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Reporting Child Abuse - Alabama

ALABAMA

Alabama requires certain listed professionals (including doctors, any other medical professional, physical therapists, teachers, administrators and employees of public or private K-12 institutions, police officers, day care employees, mental health professionals or clergy to report orally, by phone or in person, any known or suspected child abuse orally (by phone or in person) to the proper authorities and to follow up the oral report with a written report to the authorities.

In addition, the statutes permit any other person, firm, corporation or official that knows of or suspects child abuse to make the same report to the proper authorities.

Abuse is defined by the statute as any harm or threatened harm to a child’s health, welfare, or well-being, including physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, mental abuse or attempted sexual abuse or exploitation.

The proper authorities to contact with any known or suspected child abuse are the Department of Human Resources, the chief of police for the city, town, or county, the sheriff or any person, group or organization designated by the Department of Human Resources to receive child abuse reports.

Links to the specific sections of the official Alabama Code are not available. The mandatory reporting statutes are found in Title 26 (INFANTS AND INCOMPETENTS), Chapter 14 (REPORTING OF CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT), Sections 26-14-1 through 26-14-13. To access the entire Alabama Code, follow:

http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/acas/CodeofAlabama/1975/coatoc.htm.

Links to the specific sections summarized above, including definitions, in an unofficial version of the Code online are available as follows:

http://law.justia.com/codes/alabama/2012/title-26/chapter-14/
http://law.justia.com/codes/alabama/2012/title-26/chapter-14/section-26-14-3/
http://law.justia.com/codes/alabama/2012/title-26/chapter-14/section-26-14-4/
http://law.justia.com/codes/alabama/2012/title-26/chapter-14/section-26-14-5/
http://law.justia.com/codes/alabama/2012/title-26/chapter-14/section-26-14-1/
http://law.justia.com/codes/alabama/2012/title-26/chapter-14/section-26-14-6.1/

This link provides access to contact information for the Department of Human Resources by County: http://dhr.alabama.gov/counties/county_select.aspx

This is a link to the child abuse reporting information provided by the Department of Human Resources website: http://dhr.alabama.gov/services/Child_Protective_Services/Abuse_Neglect_Reporting.aspx

and to the Frequently Asked Questions on child abuse reporting on the department website: http://dhr.alabama.gov/services/Child_Protective_Services/FAQs_CA.aspx



[1] Please note any unofficial sources may not reflect the most current changes in Alabama law and should not be relied upon.