Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect - Hawaii

Date: May 2023

Professionals Required to Report
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 350-1.1

The following persons are required to report:

  • Physicians, physicians in training, psychologists, dentists, nurses, osteopathic physicians and surgeons, optometrists, chiropractors, podiatrists, pharmacists, and other health-related professionals 
  • Medical examiners or coroners 
  • Employees or officers of any public or private school
  • Child care employees or employees or officers of any licensed or registered child care facility, foster home, or similar institution 
  • Employees or officers of any public or private agency or institution, or other individuals, providing social, medical, hospital, or mental health services, including financial assistance 
  • Employees or officers of any law enforcement agency, including, but not limited to, the courts, police departments, departments of law enforcement, correctional institutions, and parole or probation officers 
  • Employees of any public or private agency providing recreational or sports activities
  • Commercial film and photographic print or image processors
  • Commercial computer technicians
  • Members of the clergy or custodians of records therefor 

Training Requirements for Mandatory Reporters

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 350-1.15

To improve the identification of child abuse and neglect, the Department of Human Services shall offer periodic orientation and training to those responsible for making child abuse and neglect reports.

The department offers guidance to reporters through its publication A Guide for Mandated Reporters. The topics discussed in the publication include the following:

  • How child abuse or neglect is defined
  • Persons who are required to report child abuse or neglect
  • When child abuse and neglect must be reported
  • The process for making a report
  • The information that needs to be included in a report
  • What happens after a report is made

Reporting by Other Persons
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 350-1.3

Any other person who becomes aware of facts or circumstances that cause the person to believe that child abuse or neglect has occurred may report. 

Institutional Responsibility to Report
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 350-1.1

Whenever a person designated as a mandatory reporter is a member of the staff of any public or private school, agency, or institution, that staff member shall immediately report the known or suspected child abuse or neglect directly to the department or to the police department and also shall immediately notify the person in charge or a designated delegate of the report made in accordance with this chapter. 

Standards for Making a Report
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 350-1.1

A report is required when, in their professional or official capacity, a reporter has reason to believe that child abuse or neglect has occurred or that there exists a substantial risk that child abuse or neglect may occur in the reasonably foreseeable future. 

Privileged Communications
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 350-1.1; 350-5

A member of the clergy shall not be required to report information gained solely during a penitential communication.

The physician-patient privilege, psychologist-client privilege, spousal privilege, and victim-counselor privilege are not grounds for failing to report. 

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: Rev. Stat. § 350-1.4

Every reasonable good-faith effort shall be made by the department to maintain the confidentiality of the name of a reporter who requests that their name be confidential.