Child Abuse Reporting

From the: DHS Child Abuse Reporting Handbook

“What is the most important thing to remember?

You should report any reasonable suspicion of abuse; you do not have to prove it. If you suspect a child has been abused, phone your local DHS office to discuss your concerns with a staff person who is CPS-trained.

How do I make a report?

Generally, reports are made by phone because the law requires an oral report.  Sometimes we may ask for additional written material, such as medical reports, when the information is needed to assess the condition or safety of the child. When a report is made to DHS, we share it with appropriate law enforcement agencies and vice versa. You only need to report to one agency.

Should I make a report to my supervisor?

As a mandatory reporter, you must report to DHS or a law enforcement agency. Telling your supervisor does not fulfill your legal obligation.

Your employer may have internal policies asking you to inform your supervisor or other staff members. That is fine as long as you also make a formal report to DHS or law enforcement. It is important that we talk to the person closest to the original source of information so we can get all relevant details.

Who decides what child abuse is?

Child abuse is defined in Oregon law. Eight different categories are listed:

• Physical abuse;

• Mental injury;

• Sexual abuse;

• Neglect;

• Threatened harm;

• Buying or selling a child;

• Permitting a person younger than 18 years of age to enter or remain in or upon premises where methamphetamines are being manufactured;

Unlawful exposure to a controlled substance, as defined in ORS 475.005, that subjects a child to a substantial risk of harm to the child’s health or safety.