Making and Screening Reports of Child Abuse and Neglect - Guam

Date: November 2021

Individual Responsibility to Report

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 19, § 13203(a)

Mandated reporters shall report cases of suspected abuse to child protective services (CPS) or the police immediately by telephone and follow up in writing within 48 hours. Oral reports shall be made to CPS or to the police department.

Content of Reports

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 19, § 13203(c)

Reports of child abuse or neglect should contain the following information:

  • The name of the person making the report
  • The name, age, and sex of the child
  • The present location of the child
  • The nature and extent of injury
  • Any other information, including information that led that person to suspect child abuse, that may be requested by the child protective agency receiving the report

Mandated reporters shall be required to reveal their names.

Other information relevant to the incident of child abuse also may be given to an investigator from a child protective agency who is investigating the known or suspected case of child abuse, including the following:

  • The name of the person or persons responsible for causing the suspected abuse or neglect
  • Family composition
  • The actions taken by the reporting source, including the taking of photographs and x-rays, removal or keeping of the child, or notification of the medical examiner
  • Any other information that the child protective agency may, by regulation, require

Reporting Suspicious Deaths

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 19, § 13205

Any mandated reporter who has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has died as a result of abuse shall report that fact to the medical examiner. The medical examiner shall report any findings to the police department, attorney general's office, and CPS.

Reporting Substance-Exposed Infants

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Agency Receiving the Reports

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 19, § 13209

CPS shall receive all reports, both oral and written, of suspected child abuse or neglect 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

Initial Screening Decisions

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Agency Conducting the Assessment/Investigation

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 19, § 13204

The Guam Police Department and CPS shall develop and implement cooperative arrangements to coordinate existing duties in connection with the investigation of suspected child abuse. CPS shall initiate the development and implementation of these arrangements, including the development and distribution of reporting forms. The Guam Police Department shall report to CPS that it is investigating a case within 36 hours after starting its investigation. In cases where a minor is a victim of criminal sexual conduct, CPS shall evaluate what action or actions would be in the best interests of the child victim.

Assessment/Investigation Procedures

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 19, §§ 13209; 13209.1

The investigation shall include a determination of the risk to the child or children if they continue to remain in the existing home environment as well as a determination of the nature, extent, and cause of any condition enumerated in the report and, after seeing to the safety of the child or children, notify the subjects of the report orally and in writing of the existence of the report.

The investigation shall determine whether the child is being harmed by factors beyond the control of the parent or other person responsible for the child's welfare, and if so determined, CPS shall promptly take all available steps to remedy and correct such conditions, including, but not limited to, the coordination of social services for the child and the family.

CPS shall develop written procedures for screening each referral for abuse or neglect of a child to assess whether abuse of another family or household member also is occurring. The assessment must include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • A check of the criminal record of the parents, the alleged abusive or neglectful person, and the alleged perpetrator of family violence if not a parent of the child
  • An inquiry concerning the existence of orders for protection issued to either parent

Timeframes for Completing Investigations

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 19, § 13209

Upon receipt of each report of suspected child abuse or neglect, CPS shall commence within a reasonable time, but no later than 72 hours, an appropriate investigation. The investigation shall be completed within 60 days.

Classification of Reports

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 19, § 13209

CPS shall determine within 60 days whether the report is 'indicated, 'substantiated,' or 'unsubstantiated.'