Reporting Child Abuse - Washington
Under Washington law, certain professionals (including doctors and health care professionals, social workers, law enforcement officers, child care providers, probation officers, or in non-profit organizations, administrators and academic or athletic department employees of public or private institutions of higher education, among others) who has reason to know or suspect child abuse is occurring is required to report the abuse to a law enforcement agency or to the department of social and health services. Any other person not specifically listed may make a report of known or suspected child abuse to law enforcement of the department. Any administrator of a public or private institution of higher education not already a mandatory reporter must report information received by staff and internal procedures.
Abuse means sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or injury of a child by any person under circumstances which cause harm to the child’s health, welfare, or safety; or the negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child by a person responsible for or providing care to the child.
To access the entire child abuse reporting chapter of the official Washington Code online, follow (scroll down to see Effective as of December 1, 2013):
To access the specific sections summarized above in the official Washington Code online, follow:
On February 12, 2013, S.B. 1594 was introduced and referred to committee. As proposed, this bill provides for procedures relating to interviewing children in child protective service investigations of child abuse. The text of S.B. 1594 can be viewed online at:
For more information visit the Washington Department of Social Services website at the links below:
To report child abuse, call: