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Reporting Child Abuse - Maryland


Under Maryland law, certain individuals (including health care practitioners, police officers, educators, and human service workers) that know of or have reason to believe, in their professional capacities, that a child is being abused or neglected, are required to immediately report the abuse to a local law enforcement agency. This report is to be made to the local Department of Social Services or local police agency by telephone or in person, and followed up by a written report within forty-eight (48) hours. An individual not listed in the statute may report known or suspected sexual abuse orally or in writing to the local Department of Social Services or local law enforcement agency. Any other person not listed in this statute that knows of or has cause to believe child abuse is occurring is required to report the abuse to the local Department of Social Services or local law enforcement agency.

Child abuse is defined to include physical, mental or sexual abuse of a child.

Links to the specific sections of the official Maryland Code online are not available. The mandatory child abuse reporting act is located in Family Law, Title 5 (Children), Subtitle 7 (Child Abuse and Neglect), Sections 5-701 through 50715. The link to the entire official Maryland Code online is:


Links to the specific sections summarized above, including definitions, in an unofficial [1] version of the Code online, are available as follows:




To access more specific information on reporting child abuse in Maryland and tools for spotting child abuse, see the Maryland Department of Social Services website:


To report child abuse toll free in Maryland, call:


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