What Would You Do? Winter 2024

Friday, January 26th, 2024

Imagine this scenario: You are the payroll manager at a medium-sized church. In addition to your work there, you also fill in as a volunteer with the youth program. You learned about mandatory reporting from your abuse prevention training, but you still aren’t sure whether it applies to you. What do you do?

It’s important that everyone who has contact with children, youth and vulnerable adults understands the term and knows their organization’s policies. As an office employee, you may not legally be considered a mandatory reporter. But as a volunteer, you may have a legal obligation to report known or potential 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, this is a good reminder that there should be a policy in place, and everyone should be trained.

To find out who is a mandatory reporter in your state, one helpful resource is 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). Keep in mind: Anyone can report abuse, no matter their role. You do not have to be a designated mandatory reporter to do so.