Ask Me Anything Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse - Live Q & A
So, you're a mandatory reporter and you've taken the online training for professionals mandated to report child abuse and neglect, but you still have a TON of questions. The CO4kids Campaign is hosting an Ask Me Anything Mandatory Reporters - Facebook Live Q & A event and Twitter Chat on Thursday, September 6th from 4 pm to 5 pm. with experts including:
- Laura Solomon, is a social worker and intake administrator at the Colorado Department of Human Services Division of Child Welfare. Laura was a caseworker and a supervisor in the field of intake child protection in Colorado for more than 14 years before joining the Department.
- Yolanda Arredondo, the hotline specialist at the Colorado Department of Human Services Division of Child Welfare. Yolanda frequently does in-person mandatory reporter trainings and frequently answers many of the questions that the CO4kids Campaign receives about how the system works and what happens after you call?
This Q & A event is for mandatory reporters who have already taken the online training, but still have questions. Just this week we received this great question and we added it to the mandatory report FAQs:
Question: Do mandatory reporters need to call law enforcement AND human services when there is a concern regarding child abuse or neglect?
Answer: No. A mandatory reporter is required to report to ONE of the following entities; The toll-free Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437), the county human services department where the child resides or law enforcement.
After the call is received and information is gathered, those entities are required by law to share information and engage with one another, depending on the person responsible. The hotline is designed to provide one, easy-to-remember phone number for individuals to use statewide. The intent is to reduce confusion for reporters of child abuse and neglect and to make reporting suspected abuse and neglect as simple as possible. As a reporting party, when you call a county department or the child abuse reporting hotline you should NOT be directed to call someone else.
Mandatory reporters are also strongly encouraged to share contact information because follow up interviews and questions will likely need to occur in order to help the child(ren) you are concerned about.
Persons responsible for abuse or neglect can be parents, or other caretakers such as relatives, babysitters and foster parents who have harmed a child in their care. Harm caused to a child by someone other than their primary caregivers, like an acquaintance or stranger, may also be reportable as child abuse and/or neglect. To learn more about the difference between intra-familial abuse, institutional abuse or third party abuse and law enforcement and child protective services action steps following a call, click HERE
Employers or associations of mandatory reporters?
To better educate professionals the Colorado Department of Human Services created the an online training for professionals mandated to report child abuse and neglect in 2014 to ensure that there was as a resource available to fully educate mandatory reporters on their responsibilities. And while the training isn't mandated by law, it is heavily promoted by the CO4kids Campaign. Many employers of mandatory reporters have incorporated this online training as a condition of employment which has resulted in more than 100,000 trained and certified professionals. The Department also offers in-person training, free of charge, to any organization, association or employer to supplement this online resource. If you see kids and families at work, there is a good chance you are a mandatory reporter.
Encourage your employees to take the online training and then connect with your local county human service department. Not only can your county help you host a similar Q & A event, it build a stronger child abuse and neglect prevention network if you know what programs and services strengthen families in your community. If you aren't sure who to contact in your county, contact us to get connected.
Remember, there are also free educational materials in the CO4kids awareness toolkit available for order. Get magnets, business cards, brochures and posters today!
How to report child abuse in Colorado
To properly report child abuse, child sex trafficking or neglect in Colorado includes one of three things, the easiest of which is to call the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1‑844‑264‑5437). Anyone can also call the local county human services department or law enforcement agency or 911 if you are witnessing a child in a life-threatening situation.
Are you a mandatory report in Colorado?
If you see kids and families at work, there is a good chance you are a mandatory reporter. If you are unsure, here is a list of professions that are mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect in Colorado.