Mandated Reporters - O.C.G.A. §19-7-5
The purpose of the mandated reporter law is to provide for the protection of children whose health and welfare are adversely affected and further threatened by the conduct of those responsible for their care and protection. It is intended that the mandatory reporting of such cases will cause the protective services of the state to be brought to bear on the situation in an effort to prevent further abuses, to protect and enhance the welfare of these children, and to preserve family life wherever possible.
The following persons having reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused shall report or cause reports of that abuse to be made as provided by law.
(A) Physicians licensed to practice medicine, physician assistants, interns, or residents;
(B) Hospital or medical personnel;
(D) Licensed psychologists and persons participating in internships to obtain licensing pursuant to Chapter 39 of Title 43;
(F) Registered professional nurses or licensed practical nurses licensed pursuant to Chapter 26 of Title 43 or nurse's aides;
(G) Professional counselors, social workers, or marriage and family therapists licensed pursuant to Chapter 10A of Title 43;
(H) School teachers;
(I) School administrators;
(J) School guidance counselors, visiting teachers, school social workers, or school psychologists certified pursuant to Chapter 2 of Title 20;
(K) Child welfare agency personnel, as that agency is defined pursuant to Code Section 49-5-12;
(L) Child-counseling personnel;
(M) Child service organization personnel;
(N) Law enforcement personnel; or
(O) Reproductive health care facility or pregnancy resource center personnel and volunteers.
(2) If a person is required to report child abuse because that person attends to a child pursuant to such person's duties as an employee of or volunteer at a hospital, school, social agency, or similar facility, that person shall notify the person in charge of the facility, or the designated delegate thereof, and the person so notified shall report or cause a report to be made. An employee or volunteer who makes a report to the designated person pursuant to this paragraph shall be deemed to have fully complied the law. Under no circumstances shall any person in charge of such hospital, school, agency, or facility, or the designated delegate thereof, to whom such notification has been made exercise any control, restraint, modification, or make other change to the information provided by the reporter, although each of the aforementioned persons may be consulted prior to the making of a report and may provide any additional, relevant, and necessary information when making the report.
Any other person, other than those specified above, who has reasonable cause to believe that a child is abused may report or cause reports to be made.
An oral report shall be made immediately, but in no case later than 24 hours from the time there is reasonable cause to believe a child has been abused to a child welfare agency providing protective services or, in the absence of such agency, to an appropriate police authority or district attorney.
Reports can either be made orally by calling Central Intake at 1-855-GACHILD / 1-855-422-4453 or by faxing or emailing the DFCS Mandated Reporter Form.
Such reports shall contain the names and addresses of the child and the child's parents or caretakers, if known, the child's age, the nature and extent of the child's injuries, including any evidence of previous injuries, and any other information that the reporting person believes might be helpful in establishing the cause of the injuries and the identity of the perpetrator.
Photographs of the child's injuries to be used as documentation in support of allegations by hospital employees or volunteers, physicians, law enforcement personnel, school officials, or employees or volunteers of legally mandated public or private child protective agencies may be taken without the permission of the child's parent or guardian. Such photographs shall be made available as soon as possible to the chief welfare agency providing protective services and to the appropriate police authority.
Mandated Reporter Training
Mandated Reporter Training is available through The Governor's Office for Children and Families (GOCF). GOCF has partnered with Care Solutions, Inc. to make this valuable online training available for free any time or day that you may want to use it. It is one-hour of your time to learn how to better recognize the indicators of abuse and neglect, understand your role in responsible reporting, and identify the groups of children that may be at a higher risk of being abused or neglected. Please click here to register: Mandated Reporters: Critical Links in Protecting Children in Georgia