Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect - Colorado

Date: May 2023

Professionals Required to Report
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-3-304

Persons required to report include the following:

  • Physicians, surgeons, physicians in training, child health associates, medical examiners, coroners, dentists, osteopaths, optometrists, chiropractors, podiatrists, nurses, hospital personnel, dental therapists or dental hygienists, physical therapists, pharmacists, or registered dieticians
  • Public or private school officials or employees
  • Social workers, Christian Science practitioners, mental health professionals, psychologists, professional counselors, and marriage and family therapists  
  • Veterinarians, peace officers, firefighters, or victim's advocates 
  • Commercial film and photographic print processors 
  • Counselors, marriage and family therapists, or psychotherapists 
  • Clergy members, including priests; rabbis; duly ordained, commissioned, or licensed ministers of a church; members of religious orders; or recognized leaders of any religious bodies
  • Workers in the State Department of Human Services 
  • Juvenile parole and probation officers 
  • Child and family investigators 
  • Officers and agents of the State Bureau of Animal Protection and animal control officers
  • The child protection ombudsman
  • Educators providing services through a Federal special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children, as provided for in 42 U.S.C. § 1786
  • Directors, coaches, assistant coaches, or athletic program personnel employed by private sports organizations or programs
  • Persons registered as psychologist candidates, marriage and family therapist candidates, or licensed professional counselor candidates
  • Emergency medical service providers
  • Officials or employees of county departments of health, human services, or social services
  • Registered naturopathic doctors
  • Employees of the Department of Early Childhood

Training Requirements for Mandatory Reporters

Mandatory reporter training is not addressed in the laws and policies reviewed.

The Colorado Department of Human Services offers training for mandatory reporters at Mandated Reporter Training

Reporting by Other Persons
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-3-304

Any other person may report known or suspected child abuse or neglect. 

Institutional Responsibility to Report

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed. 

Standards for Making a Report
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-3-304

A report is required when any of the following apply:

  • A mandated reporter has reasonable cause to know or suspect child abuse or neglect. 
  • A reporter has observed a child being subjected to circumstances or conditions that would reasonably result in abuse or neglect. 
  • Commercial film and photographic print processors have knowledge of or observe any film, photograph, videotape, negative, or slide depicting a child engaged in an act of sexual conduct. 

Privileged Communications
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 19-3-304; 19-3-311

The clergy-penitent privilege is permitted. 

Privileged communication between a patient and a physician or registered nurse or between a client and a licensed mental health practitioner or school psychologist, which is the basis for a report pursuant to § 19-3-304, shall not be a ground for excluding evidence in any judicial proceeding resulting from a report.

The privileged communication between spouses shall not be a ground for excluding evidence in any judicial proceeding resulting from a report.

Inclusion of the Reporter's Name in the Report
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-3-307

The report shall include the name, address, and occupation of the person making the report. 

Disclosure of the Reporter's Identity
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-1-307

The identity of the reporter shall be protected.