Any of the below acts involving anyone under the age of 18 MUST be reported:
The mandated reporter must only have reasonable suspicion that a child has been mistreated; no evidence or proof is required prior to making a report. The case will be further investigated by law enforcement and/or child welfare services.
How to Report:
By Phone: Immediately, or as soon as possible, make a telephone report to child welfare services and/or to a Police or Sheriff’s department.
Child Welfare Services
(209) 558 - 3665
In Writing: Within 36 hours, a Suspected Child Abuse Report (Form 8572) must be sent, faxed or submitted electronically.
- Physical Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Emotional Abuse
How can you prevent child abuse and neglect?
To protect your child from abuse:
To help other children:
- Listen to your child. Let him or her know it is safe to talk about anything with you.
- Get to know your child's friends and their families.
- Screen all caregivers, such as babysitters and day care centers. Find out what they know about child health, child development, and child care. This may include getting permission for a police background check.
- Teach your child the difference between "good touches" and "bad touches."
- Take a break. Ask a family member or friend to give you a break when you feel overwhelmed. Learn healthy ways to manage stress. Look online for information and support, such as Childhelp (www.childhelp.org).
- Get help if you have ever been a victim of abuse. Having a history of being abused increases your chances of becoming an abuser. A good place to start is the Childhelp hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453). You can talk to a counselor for free without giving your name.
- Learn to recognize the signs of abuse and neglect. For example, a child may not grow as expected, may be dirty or unhealthy, or may seem fearful, anxious, or depressed.
- Know the names of your neighbors and their children. Offer to help a new parent. Child abuse becomes less likely if parents and caregivers feel supported.
- Be an advocate for children. Support any group that helps parents at risk of abusing their children. Donate time, money, or goods to a local domestic violence shelter.
- If you see abuse or neglect happening, speak up. A child's life may depend on it
What can you do if you suspect that a child has been abused or neglected?
Call the police or local child protective services. You don't have to give your name. If you don't know who to call, a hospital may be able to tell you. Many of them have special programs to deal with child abuse and neglect.
If a child is in immediate danger or has been badly hurt, don't wait. Call 911 or other emergency services right away.
If it is your own child, get him or her to a safe place and stay there. This may be the home of a close friend or family member or a domestic violence shelter. To find help in your area, call a trusted health professional, a child abuse organization, or the police.
If you are a child or teen who is being abused, don't keep the secret. Tell someone who can make a difference: a trusted family member, teacher, counselor, or doctor.
The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to offer information, advice, and support. Call 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).