Child Abuse and Neglect Program
(Child Protective Services)

Mandated Reporters

Certain individuals whose employment brings them into contact with children are required by law to report any suspected abuse or neglect or threatened abuse or neglect to a child seen in the course of their professional duties. Anyone who suspects a child is being maltreated may make such a referral. Persons making reports in good faith are immune from criminal or civil liability. Reports are made to the county in which the child or the child’s family resides. 

A person who is mandated to report suspected child abuse or neglect will be informed by the county what action, if any, was taken to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the child who is the subject of the report.

Penalty: Persons required to report who intentionally fail to report suspected child abuse or neglect may be fined up to $1,000 or imprisoned up to 6 months or both.

Persons Required to Report Abuse and Neglect:

Mandated Reporters ~ s. 48.981(2):

  • Physicians
  • Coroners
  • Medical examiners
  • Nurses
  • Dentists
  • Chiropractors
  • Optometrists
  • Acupuncturists
  • A medical or mental health professional
  • Social workers
  • Marriage & family therapists
  • Professional counselors
  • Public assistance workers, including a financial & employment planner, as defined in s.49.141(1) (d), Stats.
  • School teachers
  • School administrators
  • School counselors
  • Mediators under s.767.11, Stats.
  • Child-care workers in a day care center, group home, as described in s.48.625(1m), Stats. (a "second chance home"), or residential care center for children and youth
  • Day care providers
  • Alcohol or other drug abuse counselors
  • Member of the treatment staff employed by or working under contract with a county department under s. 46.23, 51.42, or 51.437, Stats., or a residential care center for children and youth
  • Physical therapists
  • Physical therapist assistants
  • Occupational therapists
  • Dieticians
  • Speech-language pathologists
  • Audiologists
  • Emergency medical technicians
  • First responders
  • Police and law enforcement officers
  • Court-appointed special advocates (CASA)


Last Revised: March 10, 2015

The Department of Children and Families, protecting children, strengthening families, building communities.