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Reporting Child Abuse - Tennessee


Under Tennessee law, any person who has knowledge of or suspects child abuse is required to report that information to a judge having juvenile jurisdiction of the child, the Department of Children’s Services, the sheriff of the county where the child resides or the chief law enforcement officer where the child resides immediately, by telephone or otherwise.

The statutes define abuse to include physical or mental injury and sexual abuse.

Links to the specific sections of the official Tennessee Code are not available. The mandatory reporting statute is found in Title 37 (Juveniles), Chapter 1 (Juvenile Courts and Proceedings), Part 4- Mandatory Child Abuse Reports and Part 6- Child Sexual Abuse, Section 37-1-401 through 37-1-414 and 37-1-605. To access the entire Tennessee Code, follow:


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




Use the following link to find more information on Tennessee’s reporting guidelines and statutes:


To report abuse or neglect call:

1-877-542-2873 or 1-877-237-0004

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