Everyone in Maryland Is Obligated Under the Law to Report Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect
We are all obligated to report suspicions of abuse (Maryland Family Law 5-705). There are specific legal requirements for individuals who come into contact with children and youth because of the nature of the work they do. Maryland law defines these individuals as mandated reporters. The law defines these individuals as those who, "within the practice of their employment, occupation, or profession have reason to believe a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect." Mandated reporters are required to make an oral report as soon as possible to their local department of social services or law enforcement, and follow-up with a written report within 48 hours (Maryland Family Law 5-704).
Who Are Mandated Reporters
Mandated reporters play an integral role in the protection of children and are often child friendly professionals such as health practitioners, police officers, educators, and human service workers. If you are a mandated reporter you will often be the first to see signs of abuse and neglect. If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, you have a duty to report it.