Reporting Child Abuse - California
Under the California law, certain individuals (including teachers and school officials, athletic coaches, athletic administrators, athletic directors of public or private schools (K-12), day care of child care employees, employees of day camps or youth organizations or recreation programs or centers, public assistance workers, district attorneys, case workers, doctors or medical professionals or health care workers, counselors and therapists (including professional clinical counselors), coroners, commercial film developers, animal control officers, clergy, law enforcement officer or employees of a police department, alcohol and drug counselors, among several others) are required to report suspected child abuse to any police department, sheriff’s department (but not including school district police or security), county probation department, or the county welfare department. These agencies will also accept reports from persons not named above as mandatory reporters. Volunteers of public and private organizations who have contact with and supervise children are not mandatory reporters, but are encouraged under the law to obtain training to identify suspected child abuse and neglect. The statutes define child abuse or neglect as physical injury or death inflicted upon a child through non-accidental means, the willful harming or endangering of a child, or unlawful corporal punishment. The statues also define neglect, sexual abuse, and willful endangerment of a child.
Links to the specific sections of the official California Penal Code are not available. The mandatory reporting statute is found in Part 4 (PREVENTION OF CRIMES AND APPREHENSION OF CRIMINALS), Title 1 (INVESTIGATION AND CONTROL OF CRIMES AND CRIMINALS), Chapter 2 (Control of Crimes and Criminals), Article 2.5 (Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act), Sections 11164 through 11174.3. To access the entire California Penal Code, follow:
Links to the specific sections summarized above, including definitions, in an unofficial version of the Code online, are available as follows:
Below is a link to a list of California county welfare offices and their contact information:
Below is a link to and a web address for a PDF of the child abuse reporting hotlines for all counties:
Child Protective Services (CPS) Hotlines:
Below are links provided by the Department of Social Services regarding reporting child abuse:
 Please note any unofficial sources may not reflect the most current changes in California law and should not be relied upon.