What Would You Do? Winter 2022

Monday, January 24th, 2022

Imagine this scenario: You are the office manager at a small church. Because you are at a small church, you wear many hats and also fill in for the children’s ministry, including helping in the classrooms periodically. You’ve heard the term “mandatory reporter,” but you don’t know whether it applies to you. What do you do?

This is a great question, and it’s important that everyone who works with children, youth and vulnerable adults knows the answer.

First, it’s important to know that everyone CAN report abuse. You do not have to be a designated mandatory reporter to report abuse.

One way to find out is to ask your supervisor or the person in charge of the children or youth ministry. They should know the answer, and if they don’t, they should want to. This is not only a liability issue, but also it’s the right thing to do.

To find out for yourself, look it up on the internet. To find out who is a mandatory reporter in your state, one helpful resource is, Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect. You can search for your state for more details.

To make sure this information is current and to find out to whom you should make a report, search for your local child protective services office or law enforcement agency. In an emergency, call 911. You can also call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1.800.4.A.CHILD (1.800.422.4453).