Any of the following persons is required to report their suspicion of child abuse to the local human services agency, local police or county sheriff immediately if, (a) they are seeing the child in the course of their professional duties, (b) they suspect that the child has been abused or neglected, or (c) the child has been threatened with abuse or neglect and that abuse or neglect will occur:
No person may be fired from their job for reporting suspected abuse.
Step 1: Once a young person tells you that they have experienced an abuse, let them know that you believe them and don’t pressure them to give you more information or ask leading questions like “did your dad do this to you?” The best thing you can do is be supportive and let them know that you are required to make a report and answer all questions honestly.
Step 2: If the report comes through your work on the job, notify your supervisor and talk about your decision to make the report.
Step 3: If possible, notify the child’s family about the report and what to expect. You are required to make a report within twenty-four hours of the disclosure about the abuse.
Step 4: Make the report. If you are concerned about a child residing in Milwaukee County, you should call the Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services at 414-220-SAFE (414-220-7233). To find information about reporting alleged abuse or neglect regarding a child residing in any other Wisconsin County, click here: https://dcf.wisconsin.gov/reportabuse.
Give your name and contact information if you are comfortable. Give as much information about the child that you can. They will assign an investigator and they will call you back with follow-up information if you gave them your contact.
Step 5: Create a safety plan with the young person. Talk about the experience with your supervisor. Take care of yourself. Sometimes the person making the report experiences what we call secondary trauma.
This material may be freely reproduced and distributed. However, when doing so, please credit Kids Matter Inc.