As a Mandated Reporter

Protecting individuals who may be experiencing family violence is everyone's business. However, certain professionals are mandated by law to report aspects of family violence to appropriate authorities.

When making a report, you should try to include the following information:

  • The name and address of the victim you suspect is being abused or neglected
  • The age of the victim
  • The name and address of the parent(s), guardian or caregiver
  • The name of the person you suspect is abusing or neglecting the victim and the address, if available
  • The reason you suspect the victim is being abused or neglected
  • Any other information that may be helpful to the investigation

Child Abuse or Neglect

The Ohio Revised Code section 2151.421 mandates that certain people are required to make a report to child protective services or law enforcement if they suspect that abuse is taking place. The law requires that you make a report if you believe that a reasonable person would also suspect abuse or neglect, given the same circumstances. You do not have to provide proof when making a report of abuse. It is not your responsibility to conduct an investigation. In fact, questioning too many individuals regarding your concerns may interfere with a formal investigation.

The child protective services agency to which the report should be made is determined by where the parent(s) or guardian resides. For a directory of child protective services agencies, click here. The law enforcement jurisdiction is determined by where the alleged abuse took place. To determine the phone number for local law enforcement, click here.

You should report abuse or neglect even if someone tells you that it has already been reported. You may have additional information that was not previously reported to the child protective services agency.

If you are a mandated reporter, it is a misdemeanor criminal offense to fail to report suspicions of child abuse or neglect. If you are a licensed professional, failure to report could jeopardize your licensure. If you make a report in good faith, you are immune from civil or criminal liability if complaints about you intentionally providing false information are unfounded.

As a follow-up to reporting, mandated reporters may choose to refer the child victim to a local multidisciplinary team for a child assessment. In central Ohio, contact the Child Assessment Center at The Center for Family Safety and Healing. For referrals outside of central Ohio, click here.

Domestic Violence

The Ohio Revised Code section 2921.22 requires that healthcare providers handle reports of domestic violence in a specific manner. If the victim presents with felony-level injuries, such as gunshot wounds, stabbings, second or third degree burns, or other serious injuries, healthcare workers providing aid to these victims are required to report these injuries to law enforcement.

The Ohio Domestic Violence Network, along with the National Health Care Standards Campaign Committee Ohio Chapter, has developed a comprehensive protocol to assist healthcare providers to meet legal and ethical requirements related to domestic violence reporting. To review this protocol, click here.

Elder Abuse

The Ohio Revised Code section 5101.61 mandates that individuals in certain professions report elder abuse. The law requires that you make a report if you believe that a reasonable person would also suspect abuse or neglect, given the same circumstances. You do not have to provide proof when making a report of abuse or neglect and it is not your responsibility to conduct an investigation. In fact, questioning too many individuals regarding your concerns may interfere with a formal investigation.

If an elder person indicates that they are afraid to return home, call 911 immediately.

For more information for Ohio Revised Code 5101.60, click here. In non-emergency cases, you may contact Adult Protective Services (APS) through the Department of Job and Family Services. APS is responsible for investigating cases of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation for persons 60 years of age or older. APS also investigates abuse of adults with developmental disabilities and works collaboratively with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities to respond to these individuals. 

The Center for Family Safety and Healing
655 East Livingston Avenue, Columbus, OH 43205
(614) 722-8200