Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect - Illinois

Date:

Professionals Required to Report
Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 325, § 5/4; Ch. 720, § 5/11-20.2

The following persons are required to report:

  • Medical personnel, including physicians, residents, interns, hospital administrators and personnel, psychiatrists, surgeons, dentists, dental hygienists, osteopaths, chiropractors, podiatric physicians, physician assistants, emergency medical technicians, physical therapists, acupuncturists, nurses, genetic counselors, respiratory care practitioners, home health aides, or certified nursing assistants 
  • Social services and mental health personnel, including professional counselors, social workers, psychologists, assistants working under the direct supervision of a psychologist, marriage and family therapists, social services administrators, or substance abuse treatment personnel
  • field personnel of the Departments of Healthcare and Family Services, Public Health, Human Services, Human Rights, or Children and Family Services
  • Supervisors or administrators of the General Assistance program established under 305 ILCS § 5/6-1 et seq.
  • Crisis intervention personnel, including crisis line or hotline personnel or domestic violence program personnel
  • Education personnel, including school personnel, including administrators and certified and noncertified school employees; personnel of institutions of higher education; educational advocates; members of a school board or the Chicago Board of Education or the governing body of a private school; or truant officers
  • Recreation or athletic program or facility personnel or athletic trainers
  • Child care personnel, including early intervention providers 
  • Law enforcement personnel, including law enforcement officers, field personnel of the Department of Juvenile Justice, field personnel of the Department of Corrections, probation officers, animal control officers, or field investigators of the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare
  • Funeral home directors, embalmers, funeral home employees, coroners, or medical examiners
  • Member of the clergy
  • Physicians, physician assistants, nurses, medical technicians, nursing assistants, social workers, or professional counselors in any office, clinic, or any other physical location that provides abortions, abortion referrals, or contraceptives
  • Commercial film and photographic print processors or computer technicians

Training Requirements for Mandatory Reporters

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 325, § 5/4

Mandated reporters must complete an initial mandated reporter training, including a section on implicit bias, within 3 months of their date of engagement in a professional or official capacity as a mandated reporter, or within the time frame of any other applicable State law that governs training requirements for a specific profession, and at least every 3 years thereafter. 

The mandated reporter trainings shall be in-person or web-based, and shall include, at a minimum, information on the following topics: 

  • Indicators for recognizing child abuse and child neglect, as defined by law
  • The process for reporting suspected child abuse and child neglect in Illinois and the required documentation
  • Responding to a child in a trauma-informed manner
  • Understanding the response of child protective services and the role of the reporter after a call has been made

The implicit bias section shall be in-person or web-based and shall include, at a minimum, information on implicit bias and racial and ethnic sensitivity. As used in this section, 'implicit bias' means the attitudes or internalized stereotypes that affect people's perceptions, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner and that exist and often contribute to unequal treatment of people based on race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, and other characteristics. The implicit bias section shall provide tools to adjust automatic patterns of thinking and ultimately eliminate discriminatory behaviors. 

During these trainings mandated reporters shall complete the following: 

  • A pretest to assess baseline implicit bias levels
  • An implicit bias training task
  • A posttest to reevaluate bias levels after training

The implicit bias curriculum for mandated reporters shall be developed in consultation with organizations demonstrating expertise and or experience in the areas of implicit bias; youth and adolescent developmental issues; prevention of child abuse, exploitation, and neglect; culturally diverse family systems; and the child welfare system.

Medical personnel who work with children in their professional or official capacity must complete mandated reporter training at least every 6 years. Such medical personnel, if licensed, must attest at each time of licensure renewal that they understand they are mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect, that they are aware of the process for making a report, that they know how to respond to a child in a trauma-informed manner, and that they are aware of the role of child protective services and the role of a reporter after a call has been made.

The Department of Children and Family Services offers information and training resources at Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect

Reporting by Other Persons
Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 325, § 5/4

In addition to the persons required to report suspected cases of child abuse or child neglect under this section, any other person may make a report if such person has reasonable cause to believe a child may be an abused child or a neglected child.

Institutional Responsibility to Report
Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 325, § 5/4

When two or more individuals who work within the same workplace and are required to report under this act share a reasonable cause to believe that a child may be an abused or neglected child, one of those reporters may be designated to make a single report. The report shall include the names and contact information for the other mandated reporters sharing the reasonable cause to believe that a child may be an abused or neglected child. The designated reporter must provide written confirmation of the report to those mandated reporters within 48 hours. If confirmation is not provided, those mandated reporters are individually responsible for immediately ensuring a report is made.

Whenever such person is required to report in their capacity as a member of the staff of a medical or other public or private institution, school, facility, or agency, or as a member of the clergy, they shall make a report immediately to the department and also may notify the person in charge of such institution, school, facility, or agency; or church, synagogue, temple, mosque, or other religious institution; or their designated agent that a report has been made. Under no circumstances shall any person in charge of such institution, school, facility, or agency; or church, synagogue, temple, mosque, or other religious institution; or their designated agent to whom such notification has been made exercise any control, restraint, modification, or other change in the report or the forwarding of the report to the department. 

Standards for Making a Report
Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 325, § 5/4; Ch. 720, § 5/11-20.2

A report is required when any of the following apply:

  • A reporter has reasonable cause to believe that a child known to them in their professional capacity may be abused or neglected.
  • A physician, physician's assistant, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, medical technician, certified nursing assistant, social worker, or licensed professional counselor of any office, clinic, or any other physical location that provides abortions, abortion referrals, or contraceptives has reasonable cause to believe a child known to them in their professional or official capacity may be an abused child or a neglected child.
  • Commercial film and photographic print processors or computer technicians have knowledge of or observe any film, photograph, videotape, negative, slide, computer hard drive, or any other magnetic or optical media that depicts a child engaged in any actual or simulated sexual conduct. 

Privileged Communications
Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 325, § 5/4; Ch. 735, § 5/8-803

The privileged quality of communication between any professional person required to report and their patient or client shall not apply to situations involving abused or neglected children and shall not constitute grounds for failure to report or constitute grounds for failure to share information or documents with the department during the course of a child abuse or neglect investigation. 

The reporting requirements shall not apply to the contents of a privileged communication between an attorney and their client or to confidential information within the meaning of rule 1.6 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct relating to the legal representation of an individual client. 

A member of the clergy may claim the privilege under § 8-803 of the Code of Civil Procedure

Inclusion of the Reporter's Name in the Report
Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 325, § 5/7.9

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

Disclosure of the Reporter's Identity
Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 325, § 5/11.1a

Any disclosure of information shall not identify the name of or provide identifying information regarding the source of the report.