Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

 

 

Mandated Child Abuse and Neglect Reporters

Report Child Abuse and/or Neglect

Mandated Reporters

Mandated Reporters are required by law to report child abuse and/or neglect to a county or law enforcement.  

What is required to be reported

Wisconsin law (48.981(2)) indicates that any mandated reporter who has a reasonable cause to suspect that a child seen by the person in the course of professional duties has been abused or neglected, or who has reason to believe that a child seen by the person in the course of professional duties has been threatened with abuse or neglect and that abuse or neglect of the child will occur is required to make a report.

Who is required to report

The professionals named as mandated reporters in the Wisconsin Statutes 48.981 (2) are as follows:

  • Physicians
  • Coroners
  • Medical examiners
  • Nurses
  • Dentists
  • Chiropractors
  • Optometrists
  • Acupuncturists
  • A medical or mental health professional not otherwise specified in this list
  • Social workers
  • Marriage & family therapists
  • Professional counselors
  • Public assistance workers, including a financial and employment planner, as defined in s49.141(1) (d), Statutes
  • School teachers
  • School administrators
  • School counselors
  • School employees not otherwise specified in this list
  • Mediators under s.767.11, Statutes
  • Child-care workers in a child care center, group home, or residential care center for children and youth
  • Child care providers
  • Alcohol or other drug abuse counselors
  • Members of the treatment staff employed by or working under contract with a county department under s. 46.23, 51.42, or 51.437, Statutes, 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 or law enforcement officers
  • Court-appointed special advocates (CASA) (except as provided in subs. (2m) and (2r))
  • Clergy (specific requirements and exceptions found under s.48.981(2)(bm)1-3

How to Report

Reports of suspected child abuse and neglect can be made to the county where the child resides or to the law enforcement of where the possible abuse and/or neglect occurred.

  • Persons making reports in good faith are immune from criminal or civil liability.
  • 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

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