Mandated Reporter - DCS Reporting Procedures
Department of Child Safety Reporting Procedures
Responsibility of School Personnel for the Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse
Arizona Revised Statutes §13-3620 mandates that school personnel who reasonably believe that a minor is or has been the victim of child abuse or neglect will immediately report to Child Protective Services or to the appropriate law enforcement agency. The term “school personnel” has a broad interpretation, which includes but is not limited to, administrators, teachers, nurses, counselors, school psychologists, social workers, instructional assistants, secretaries, custodians, bus drivers, and food service employees.
Who should make the report?
- The person that disclosure was made to by a student should be the person to contact DCS and/or law enforcement. The adult should only ask who, what, when, where. Let the student do the speaking, and repeat only the language he/she provides to you. Document verbatim your questions and child’s statements. Reassure the child that he/she has done the right thing and tell them you are required by law to report.
- Reports shall be made immediately by calling 911 or 1-888-767-2445. Reports can also be made online at https://dcs.az.gov/services/suspect-abuse-report-it-now.
- The next day, inform your supervisor in writing that a report has been made, in case DCS contacts them.
- No one else should question or examine the student.
- Do not contact parent or provide information to parent.
- When receiving third party reports, encourage the party to report the information. However, statute mandates that you report information received from a third-party source. Do not interview the child.
Who do I report to?
- If the suspected abuse is believed to have occurred within the family unit, the report should be made to DCS, using the state hotline number 1-888-767-2445 or online at https://dcs.az.gov/services/suspect-abuse-report-it-now.
- If the allegation of suspected abuse is directed at a person who does not have guardianship, custody, or control of the child, the report should be made to law enforcement only. Examples include babysitter, neighbor, etc.
- In the case of visible injury and imminent threat to the safety of a child, contact local law enforcement or 911. Follow up with a call to DCS to file a report also (see above).
- If photos are needed, law enforcement must take those photos. DCS does not take photos as they would not be admissible in a legal proceeding.
- A written report is no longer required to be submitted to DCS as a follow up to the phone or online reports. Copies of emails received following an online report needs to be given to the school nurse and the principal. If you are reporting by phone, you will need to get the confirmation number and the name of the individual who took the report.
- DCS does not share the name of the source unless revealing would assist law enforcement in child’s safety.
- DCS is required to report to parents that their child was interviewed within six hours.
- DCS and/or law enforcement will often come to school to investigate. When DCS comes to the school, they must have their badge and present it to you prior to talking to a child. If DCS removes a child from school, they will present a "Notice of Removal."
Mandated Reporting User Guide and Reporting Options
- Online Mandated Reporting Website User Guide: https://extranet.azdes.gov/DCYF/CHILDS/communication/DES/UserGuideOnlineReporting.pdf
- Child Abuse Online Reporting: https://dcs.az.gov/report-child-abuse
- Child Abuse by Phone: 1-888-SOS-CHILD