Making and Screening Reports of Child Abuse and Neglect - American Samoa

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Individual Responsibility to Report

Citation: Ann. Code § 45.2002(a), (c)

Mandated reporters who have reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect shall immediately report or cause a report to be made to the child protection services (CPS) agency.

Content of Reports

Citation: Ann. Code § 45.2010

The mandated reporter shall submit a written report that contains the following:

  • The name, address, age, sex, religion, and race of the child
  • The name and address of the person responsible for the child
  • The nature and extent of the child's injuries, including any evidence of previous abuse or neglect
  • The names and addresses of the person or persons responsible for the abuse or neglect
  • Family composition
  • The name, address, and occupation of the person making the report
  • Any action taken by the reporting source
  • Any other information that might be helpful

Reporting Suspicious Deaths

Citation: Ann. Code § 45.2003

A mandated reporter who knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has died as a result of abuse or neglect shall report immediately to the Department of Public Safety (department).

The department shall investigate and report its findings to the attorney general and the CPS agency.

Reporting Substance-Exposed Infants

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Agency Receiving the Reports

Citation: Ann. Code § 45.2010

A report of known or suspected child abuse or neglect is immediately made to the department by a written report prepared by a mandated reporter, if requested by the receiving CPS agency. The receiving agency will forward a copy of its own report to the central registry on forms supplied by the registry. If at any time a report of suspected child abuse or neglect is made to the CPS agency, the department must be notified. If a report of suspected child abuse or neglect is made to the department, the agency must be notified. Copies of the report of known or suspected child abuse or neglect are immediately transmitted by the receiving agency to the attorney general's office and to the department.

Initial Screening Decisions

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Agency Conducting the Assessment/Investigation

Citation: Ann. Code § 45.2010

The CPS agency shall conduct the investigation.

Assessment/Investigation Procedures

Citation: Ann. Code § 45.2011

The primary purpose of the investigation is the protection of the child. The investigation shall include the nature, extent, and cause of the child abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect; the identity of the person responsible; the names and conditions of other children in the home; an evaluation of the parents or persons responsible for the care of the child; and all other pertinent data.

The investigation must include a visit to the child's home, a physical and psychological or psychiatric evaluation of all children in the home, and an interview with the subject child. If the admission to the home, school, or any other place that the child may be, or permission of the parent or other persons responsible for the children for the physical and psychological or psychiatric evaluation cannot be obtained, then the court, upon cause shown, shall order the parents and persons responsible and in charge of any place where the child may be to allow entrance for the interview, evaluations, and investigations.

If, before the evaluation is complete, the opinion of the investigators is that immediate removal is necessary to protect children from further abuse or neglect, the court, on petition by the investigators and with good cause shown, shall issue an order for temporary removal and custody.

Timeframes for Completing Investigations

Citation: Ann. Code § 45.2010

The CPS agency shall make a thorough investigation promptly upon receiving either the oral or the written report.

Classification of Reports

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.