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Skip Navigation LinksADLA Administrative Handbook > Chapter 9 - Safe Environment > 9.8 - Reporting Child and Youth Sexual Abuse > 9.8.2 - Legal Responsibility to Immediately Report Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect

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​​​​​​​The California Penal Code requires that any mandated reporter who knows or reasonably suspects that a minor (anyone under 18 years old) has been a victim of child abuse or neglect must report the incident​ to a child protective agency immediately by phone and must follow up with a written or online report within 36 hours of the phone report. Mandated reporters include a wide range of persons who may be in a position to observe such matters; in the archdiocese, as an example, this includes all teachers, educators, coaches, school and parish staff, and clergy. Please see the comprehensive list of mandated reporters provided by the state. Any mandated reporter in California who fails to report an instance of child abuse or neglect that he or she knows of or has reasonable suspicions about is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail, by a fine, or by both. This failure to report may subject the person to disciplinary action as an employee and may result in the loss of teaching or other professional credentials.

​The mandated report may involve concerns about possible abuse or neglect in the child's home or by a family member. At the school or parish, if the person making a report believes that child abuse or neglect is the case and that it is not safe for the child to return home, then the person should make the report to the local law enforcement agency, which has the resources and ability to intervene immediately.