Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect - Alabama

Date: May 2023

Professionals Required to Report
Citation: Ala. Code § 26-14-3

Reports are required from all the following:

  • Hospitals, clinics, sanitariums, doctors, physicians, surgeons, medical examiners, coroners, dentists, osteopaths, optometrists, chiropractors, podiatrists, pharmacists, physical therapists, and nurses
  • Public and private K–12 employees, teachers, and school officials 
  • Peace officers and law enforcement officials
  • Social workers
  • Daycare workers or employees
  • Mental health professionals
  • Employees of public and private institutions of postsecondary and higher education
  • Members of the clergy
  • Any other person called upon to render aid or medical assistance to a child 

Training Requirements for Mandatory Reporters

Citation: Admin. Code r. 660-5-34-.03

The county Department of Human Resources has the responsibility to persons and institutions mandated to report to inform them of this responsibility, provide them with reporting forms and instructions, and acquaint them with the protective services available. 

See the training for mandatory reporters offered by the department at Child Abuse Mandated Reporters Training. The training covers the following topics:

  • Why it is important to report child abuse and neglect
  • Who is required to report it
  • How to recognize it
  • How and when to report it
  • What happens after a report is made

Reporting by Other Persons
Citation: Ala. Code § 26-14-4

Any other person who has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is being abused or neglected may report. 

Institutional Responsibility to Report
Citation: Ala. Code § 26-14-3

A public or private employer who discharges, suspends, disciplines, or penalizes an employee solely for reporting suspected child abuse or neglect pursuant to this section shall be guilty of a class C misdemeanor. 

Standards for Making a Report
Citation: Ala. Code § 26-14-3

A report must be made when the child is known or suspected of being a victim of abuse or neglect. 

Privileged Communications
Citation: Ala. Code §§ 26-14-3; 26-14-10

Only clergy-penitent and attorney-client privileges are permitted. 

Inclusion of the Reporter's Name in the Report

The reporter is not specifically required by statute to provide their name in the report. 

Disclosure of the Reporter's Identity
Citation: Ala. Code § 26-14-8

The department will not release the identity of the reporter except under court order when the court has determined that the reporter knowingly made a false report.