Reporting Child Abuse - District of Columbia
District of Columbia
Under the statute for the District of Columbia, certain individuals and professionals (including employees of the department of child and family services, doctors and other medical or health care professionals and employees, law enforcement officers, animal cruelty officers, school teachers and officials, public housing officers, employees of the department of parks and recreation, social workers, day care or child care workers, domestic violence counselors and mental health care professionals) that have reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or reasonable cause to suspect a child is in immediate danger of abuse and discovers this information in his or her professional capacity, are required by law to report the knowledge or suspected abuse to either the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia or the Child and Family Services Agency. Professionals in hospitals, schools, or agencies are required to also report the abuse to the person in charge of the institution.
Under the statute, any other person not specifically listed may also report child abuse or suspected child abuse to either the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia or the Child and Family Services Agency.
The statute applies to physical abuse, mental abuse, sexual abuse or neglect of a child.
To access the specific sections summarized above in the unofficial District of Columbia Code online, including any relevant definitions, follow:
On July 10, 2013, B20-0397 was introduced and referred to committee. As proposed, B20-0397 will work in conjunction with the Attendance Accountability Amendment Act of 2013 to ensure that public and private school teachers and administrators are reporting child abuse. The text of B20-0397 can be viewed online at:
The web page for the Metropolitan Police Department:
Contact information for the Metropolitan Police Department can be found at:
The website for the District of Columbia or the Child and Family Services Agency, which provides general information and links to resources on spotting child abuse, is:
The D.C. CFSA takes reports of child abuse and neglect 24 hours a day, seven days a week at:
(202) 671-SAFE | [(202) 671-7233]
 Please note any unofficial sources may not reflect the most current changes in DC law and should not be relied upon.