Reporting Child Abuse - Georgia
Under Georgia law, certain individuals and professionals (including doctors, physician assistants and other health care professionals and employees, mental health professionals, school teachers and administrators, counselors, child welfare employees, clergy and law enforcement personnel) who know of or have reasonable cause to believe a child is being abused are required to report such abuse or suspected abuse by telephone immediately, but in no case later than 24 hours, and followed by written report if required, to the Department of Human Services Division of Family and Children Services or where no such department exists, to an appropriate police authority or district attorney. When a person identified above has reasonable cause to believe that child abuse has occurred involving a person who attends to a child pursuant to such person’s duties as an employee or volunteer at a hospital, school, social agency, or similar facility, the person who received such information shall notify the person in charge of such hospital, school, etc. and the person so notified shall report or cause a report to be made in accordance with the Code section. Any other person or professional not specifically listed may report any known abuse or reasonably suspected abuse to the Department of Human Services or where no such department exists, to an appropriate police authority or district attorney.
Abuse is defined as physical injury or death caused by neglect, exploitation, sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of the child. Sexual abuse includes consensual sex acts between minors if any individual is less than 14 years of age. It does not include consensual sex acts when the sex acts are between a minor and an adult who is not more than four years older than the minor.
Links to the specific sections of the official Georgia Code online are not available. The mandatory reporting statute is found in Title 19 (Domestic Relations), Chapter 7 (Parent and Child Relationship Generally), Article 1 (General Provisions), Section 19-7-5. To access the entire Georgia Code on Child Abuse, follow:
Links to the specific sections summarized above, including definitions, in an unofficial
The Georgia Department of Human Services Division of Family and Children Services website has information on reporting child abuse in Georgia:
County listing of contact information for local Department of Human Services Division of Family & Children Services:
Georgia Abuse Hotline: 1-855-422-4453
1 Please note any unofficial sources may not reflect the most current changes in Georgia law and should not be relied upon.