REPORTING CHILD ABUSE IN INDIAN COUNTRY
 
CHILD ABUSE HOTLINE : 1-800-633-5155
 


 
 
Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse

Personnel with knowledge or reasonable suspicion that a child was abused in Indian country or that actions are being taken or will be taken that would reasonably be expected to result in the abuse of a child in Indian country must immediately report such abuse or action to local child protective services or local law enforcement. 

Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act, Public Law 101-630, 18 U.S.C. 1169(a)
 
Mandated Reporters

Federal Law requires that the following personnel report abuse- 

Health Care Personnel including physicians, surgeons, dentists, podiatrists, chiropractors, nurses, dental hygienists, optometrists, medical examiners, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, 

Education Personnel including teachers, school counselors, instructional aides, teachers' aides, teachers' assistants, bus drivers, administrative officers, supervisors of child welfare and attendance, truancy officers 

Child Care Personnel including child day care workers, Headstart teachers, public assistance workers, group home workers, residential home workers, day care facility workers, social workers 

Mental Health Personnel including psychiatrists, psychologists, psychological assistants marriage, family and child counselors 

Law Enforcement Personnel including law enforcement officers, probation officers, juvenile rehabilitation or detention facility workers, employees of public agencies responsible for enforcing statues and judicial orders 

Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act, Public Law 101-630, 18 U.S.C. 1169(a)
 
Failure to Report Child Abuse is a Crime

Failure to immediately report the abuse of a child in Indian country or actions being taken or that would reasonably be expected to result in abuse of a child in Indian country to local child protective services or local law enforcement is a Federal crime. 

Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act, Public Law 101-630, 18 U.S.C. 1169(a)(3)
 
Interfering with a Report of Child Abuse is a Crime

It is a Federal crime for any supervisor or person in authority to inhibit or prevent a mandated reporter from making a report that a child was abused in Indian country or actions are being taken or will be taken that would reasonable be expected to result in the abuse of a child in Indian country. 

Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act, Public Law 101-630, 18 U.S.C. 1169(b)(3)
 
Reporting Child Abuse in Indian Country
Contact Local Law Enforcement or Social Services
or
Call the Indian Country Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-663-5155

You do not have to prove abuse has occurred, but you do need to provide- 

  • the name of the child 
  • the age of the child 
  • the child's tribal affiliation 
  • present state of the child (is it an emergency, is the child in imminent danger) 
  • the location or address and telephone number where the child can be found (school, parent's home, grandparent's home, friend's home, hospital, shelter) 
  • name of child's parent(s), tribal affiliation, address and telephone number 
  • indicators that led you to believe the child is a victim of abuse 
  • you may remain anonymous, but it is helpful for Law Enforcement and Social Services to have your name and telephone number 
 
Immunity from Liability

Any mandated reporter who reports the abuse of a child based upon his/her reasonable belief and in good faith is immune from civil or criminal liability for making the report. 

Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act, Public Law 101-630, 25 U.S.C. 3203
 
Confidentiality

The identity of any person making a child abuse report will not be disclosed without the consent of the individual. However, a Tribal, State or the Federal investigative or social services agency may provide information, records, and the name of the informant to a court of competent jurisdiction or other agency that needs to know the information in performance of its duties. 

Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act, Public Law 101-630, 25 U.S.C. 3203
 
When Local Law Enforcement or Social Services
Receives a Report of Child Abuse

The agency receiving the report is required to-- 

  • immediately initiate an investigation 
  • take appropriate steps to secure the safety and well-being of the child(ren) 
  • inform appropriate officials of the other agency 
  • within 36 hours, prepare and submit a written report to the other agency 
  • immediately notify the Federal Bureau of Investigation if the abuse involves an Indian child or the alleged abuser is an Indian 
 
Child Abuse includes but is not limited to any case in which a child is dead or exhibits evidence of skin bruising, bleeding, malnutrition, failure to thrive, burns, fracture of any bone, subdural hematoma, soft tissue swelling, and such conditions that are not justifiably explained or may not be the product of an accidental occurrence; and any case in which a child is subjected to sexual assault, sexual molestation, sexual exploitation, sexual contact or prostitution.  

Child Neglect includes but is not limited to negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child by a person, including a person responsible for the child's welfare, under circumstances which indicate that the child's health or welfare is harmed or threatened. 

Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act, Public Law 101-630
 
Behavioral Indicators a Child May Be a Victim of Abuse
  • Sudden and severe changes in behavior, e.g., compulsively neat or extremely messy, passive or hostile, friendly or indifferent, polite or belligerent, overly obedient or extreme disagreeable 
  • Problems sleeping or excessive sleeping 
  • Eating disorders 
  • Poor self-esteem 
  • Depression, threatened or attempted suicide 
  • Substance abuse 
  • Aggressive behavior 
  • Decline in personal appearance 
  • Delinquent or runaway behavior 
  • Health complaints 
  • Excessive crying, hopelessness 
  • Withdrawal from family or friends 
  • Sexual abuse of others or developmentally inappropriate sexual behavior 
  • Petty theft 
  • Return to earlier developmental behaviors, e.g., thumb sucking, loss of bladder or bowel control 
  • Decline in academic performance, truancy or dropping out of school 
 

 

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