Making and Screening Reports of Child Abuse and Neglect - Nevada

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Individual Responsibility to Report

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 432B.220(1); 432B.230(1)

A mandated reporter who, in his or her professional or occupational capacity, knows or has reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected shall make a report to an agency that provides child welfare services or to a law enforcement agency as soon as reasonably practicable but no later than 24 hours after the person knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the child has been abused or neglected.

A person may make a report by telephone or, in light of all the surrounding facts and circumstances that are known or that reasonably should be known to the person at the time, by any other means of oral, written, or electronic communication that a reasonable person would believe, under those facts and circumstances, is a reliable and swift means of communicating information to the person who receives the report. If the report is made orally, the person who receives the report must reduce it to writing as soon as reasonably practicable.

Content of Reports

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 432B.230

The report must contain the following information, if obtainable:

  • The name, address, age, and sex of the child
  • The name and address of the child's parents or other person responsible for the child's care
  • The nature and extent of the abuse or neglect of the child, the effect of a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder or prenatal substance use disorder on the newborn infant, or the nature of the withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal substance exposure
  • Any evidence of previously known or suspected abuse or neglect of the child or the child's siblings, effects of a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder or prenatal substance use disorder on or evidence of withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal substance exposure of the newborn infant
  • The name, address, and relationship, if known, of the person who is alleged to have abused or neglected the child
  • Any other information known to the person making the report that the agency that provides child welfare services considers necessary

Reporting Suspicious Deaths

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 432B.220(6)

If a mandated reporter knows or has reasonable cause to believe that a child has died as a result of abuse or neglect, the person shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, report this belief to an agency that provides child welfare services or a law enforcement agency. If the report is made to a law enforcement agency, the law enforcement agency shall notify an agency that provides child welfare services and the appropriate medical examiner or coroner of the report. If such a report is made to an agency that provides child welfare services, the agency shall notify the appropriate medical examiner or coroner of the report.

The medical examiner or coroner shall investigate the report and submit his or her written findings to the appropriate child welfare agency, the appropriate district attorney, and a law enforcement agency. The written findings must include, if obtainable, the information required by § 432B.230(2).

Reporting Substance-Exposed Infants

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 432B.220(3)

Effective January 1, 2022: Any mandated reporter who delivers or provides medical services to a newborn infant and who, in his or her professional or occupational capacity, knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the newborn infant has been affected by a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder or prenatal substance use disorder or has withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal substance exposure shall, as soon as reasonably practicable but no later than 24 hours after the person knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the newborn infant is so affected or has such symptoms, notify an agency that provides child welfare services of the condition of the infant and refer each person who is responsible for the welfare of the infant for appropriate counseling, training, or other services. A notification and referral to an agency that provides child welfare services pursuant to this subsection shall not be construed to require prosecution for any illegal action.

Agency Receiving the Reports

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 432B.200; 432B.220

The Division of Child and Family Services shall establish and maintain a center with a toll-free telephone number to receive reports of abuse or neglect of a child in this State 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Any reports made to this center must be promptly transmitted to the agency that provides child welfare services in the community in which the child is located.

A mandated reporter shall make his or her report of abuse or neglect of the child to an agency that provides child welfare services or to a law enforcement agency.

If a mandated reporter knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the abuse or neglect of the child involves an act or omission of a person directly responsible or serving as a volunteer for or an employee of a public or private home, institution, or facility where the child is receiving child care outside of his or her home for a portion of the day, the person shall make the report to a law enforcement agency.

If a mandated reporter knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the abuse or neglect of the child involves an act or omission of an agency that provides child welfare services or a law enforcement agency, the person shall make the report to an agency other than the one alleged to have committed the act or omission.

Initial Screening Decisions

Citation: Admin. Code § 432B.140

When an agency that provides protective services receives a referral that a child is alleged to be abused, neglected, or threatened with harm, its first step must be to obtain sufficient information to decide if the allegations constitute a report of the abuse or neglect of a child that is appropriate for investigation. The worker shall explore the nature of the reporter's concern, evaluate the report, and explain the agency's responsibility and services and the available resources that could be used.

Agency Conducting the Assessment/Investigation

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 432B.260

Upon the receipt of a report concerning the possible abuse or neglect of a child, a child welfare agency or a law enforcement agency shall promptly notify the appropriate licensing authority, if any. A law enforcement agency shall promptly notify a child welfare agency of any report it receives.

An agency that provides child welfare services and a law enforcement agency shall cooperate in the investigation, if any, of a report of abuse or neglect of a child.

Assessment/Investigation Procedures

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 432B.260; 432B.300

If the child welfare agency investigates a report of alleged child abuse or neglect, the agency shall inform the person responsible for the child's welfare who is named in the report as allegedly causing the abuse or neglect of any allegation at the initial time of contact with the person. The agency shall not identify the person responsible for making the report.

If the agency determines that an investigation is not warranted, the agency may do the following, as appropriate:

  • Provide counseling, training, or other services relating to child abuse and neglect to the family of the child
  • Assess the family to determine what services, if any, are needed

The agency that determines that an investigation is not warranted may, at any time, reverse that determination and initiate an investigation.

Except for reports that are assigned for assessment, the agency shall investigate each report of abuse or neglect received or referred to it to determine the following:

  • The composition of the family, including any siblings or other children and any other adult living or working in the same household or facility
  • Whether there is reasonable cause to believe any child is abused or neglected or threatened with abuse or neglect; the nature and extent of existing or previous injuries, abuse, or neglect; and the person apparently responsible
  • Whether there is reasonable cause to believe that a child has suffered a fatality as a result of abuse or neglect
  • If there is reasonable cause to believe that a child is abused or neglected and the immediate and long-term risk to the child if the child remains in the same environment
  • The treatment and services that would help prevent further abuse or neglect and to improve the environment of the child and the ability of the person responsible for the child's welfare to care adequately for the child

Timeframes for Completing Investigations

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 432B.260

Upon receipt of a report concerning the possible abuse or neglect of a child, a child welfare agency or a law enforcement agency shall immediately initiate an investigation if the report indicates the following:

  • There is a high risk of serious harm to the child.
  • The child has suffered a fatality.
  • The child is living in a household in which another child has died or the child is seriously injured or has visible signs of physical abuse.

In other cases, a child welfare agency shall conduct an evaluation no later than 3 days after the report or notification was received to determine whether an investigation is warranted. For the purposes of this subsection, an investigation is not warranted if any of the following apply:

  • The child is not in imminent danger of harm.
  • The child is not vulnerable as the result of any untreated injury, illness, or other physical, mental, or emotional condition that threatens his or her immediate health or safety.
  • The alleged abuse or neglect, the alleged effect of a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder or prenatal substance use disorder on or the withdrawal symptoms resulting from any prenatal substance exposure of the newborn infant could be eliminated if the child and his or her family receive or participate in social or health services offered in the community, or both.
  • The agency determines that the alleged abuse or neglect was the result of the reasonable exercise of discipline by a parent or guardian involving the use of corporal punishment and the corporal punishment was not so excessive as to constitute abuse.

If the agency determines that an investigation is warranted, the agency shall initiate the investigation no later than 3 days after the evaluation is completed.

Classification of Reports

Citation: Admin. Code § 432B.170

After the investigation of a report of the abuse or neglect of a child, an agency that provides child welfare services shall determine its case findings based on whether there is reasonable cause to believe a child is abused or neglected or threatened with abuse or neglect and whether there is credible evidence of alleged abuse or neglect of the child. The agency shall make one of the following findings:

  • The allegation of abuse or neglect is substantiated.
  • The allegation of abuse or neglect is unsubstantiated.

As used in this section:

  • 'Substantiated' means that a report was investigated and that credible evidence of the abuse or neglect exists.
  • 'Unsubstantiated' means that a report was investigated and that no credible evidence of the abuse or neglect exists.