Cross-Reporting Among Agencies That Respond to Child Abuse and Neglect - District of Columbia

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Cross-Reporting Between Child Protective Services and Law Enforcement

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 4-1321.02; 4-1301.04; 4-1301.05

Any mandatory reporter who knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a child known to them in their professional or official capacity has been or is in immediate danger of being a mentally or physically abused or neglected child, as defined in § 4-1301.02(15A), immediately shall report or have a report made of such knowledge or suspicion to either the Metropolitan Police Department or the Child and Family Services Agency.

A licensed health professional who, in their own professional or official capacity, knows that a child under age 12 months is diagnosed as having a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, shall immediately report or have a report made to the agency.

The police department immediately shall report or have a report made to the agency with any knowledge, information, or suspicion of a child engaging in or offering to engage in a sexual act or sexual contact in return for receiving anything of value.

The agency shall conduct a thorough investigation of a report of suspected child abuse or neglect to protect the health and safety of the child or children when a report involves a child fatality or suspected sex abuse or the agency suspects a child is at imminent risk of or has experienced abuse or neglect that the agency determines to be severe. For all other reports of suspected child abuse or neglect, the agency shall conduct either a thorough investigation or a family assessment.

The initial phase of the investigation shall be completed within 24 hours of its commencement and include notifying and coordinating with the police department when there is indication of a crime, including sexual or serious physical abuse. The agency may request the assistance of the police department to assist in the investigation or to ensure the safety of agency staff.

The police shall, as soon as possible after the receipt of a report of a neglected child other than an abused child, inform the agency of its contents and any action the police are taking or have taken.

The police may, upon the receipt of a report of an abused child, inform the agency of its contents and shall, as soon as possible when the report is a substantiated report, inform the agency of its contents and any action they are taking or have taken.

After a report is received, the police shall immediately commence an investigation of the circumstances alleged in the report. The police shall immediately after a report is received commence an investigation of a case of a neglected child in immediate danger when the case was referred from the agency or reported directly to the police.

Upon the receipt of a report alleging a child is or has been left alone or without adequate supervision, the police shall respond to the report immediately and shall take such steps as are necessary to safeguard the child until an agency staff member arrives. If, however, the agency does not arrive within a reasonable time, the police may transport the child to the agency. The transporting of a child to the agency shall not be considered a taking into custody, as described in § 16-2309.

Other Reporting Requirements

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.