Who must report: When am I required to report suspected abuse or neglect?

State law (A.S. 47.17.020) requires that persons who are mandatory reporters who, in the performance of their occupational duties have reasonable cause to suspect that a child has suffered harm as a result of child abuse or neglect, shall immediately report the harm. A.S. 47.17.290 defines "reasonable cause to suspect" as "based on all the facts and circumstances known to the person, that would lead a reasonable person to believe that something might be the case." It is not your responsibility to determine if the information you receive is accurate or whether the child is a reliable source. It does not matter how long ago the act happened, where it happened, or whether or not you believe it happened.

Mandated reporters must report suspected abuse or neglect immediately, which means as soon as reasonably possible and no later than within 24 hours.

State law (A.S. 47.17.068) and federal law (18 U.S.C. 1169) provide for criminal penalties for failing to comply with the obligation to report suspected abuse or neglect. State law (A.S. 47.17.050) and federal law (18 U.S.C. 1169) also provide that a person who complies with their obligations and makes a report in good faith is immune from civil or criminal liability.

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Office of Children's Services | Alaska Children's Justice Task Force