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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 and administrators and academic or athletic department employees of public or private institutions of higher education) who have reason to know or suspect child abuse is occurring is required to report the abuse to a law enforcement agency, including military law enforcement, if appropriate 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 Washington Department of Social Services. Any administrator of a public or private institution of higher education not already a mandatory reporter must report information received by staff and through 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:


To access the specific sections summarized above in the official Washington Code online, follow:



For more information visit the Washington Department of Social Services website at the links below:



To report child abuse, call:

1-866-END-HARM (1-866-363-4276)