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Center for Professional Practice of Nursing

Center for Professional Practice of Nursing

Child abuse

Those persons listed as child care custodians, health practitioners, and employees of child protective agencies must report all cases of suspected child abuse and neglect discovered when acting in their professional capacity or within the scope of their employment when the suspected child abuse victim is under 18 years of age. Policy further states that reports must be made immediately or as soon as practically possible by telephone to a child protective agency, followed by a written report to the same agency within 36 hours.

The law attaches criminal liability when a person required to report knew or should have known of an instance of child abuse and failed to report. The law does provide absolute immunity from criminal and civil liability for any child care custodian, medical practitioner or non-medical practitioner, or any other person reporting, unless the report is false and the person reporting knew or should have known the report was false.

Questions regarding reporting procedures and psychosocial issues should be addressed to the Child Protection Center, the SCAN Coordinator in Child Protection Center, or the Department of Clinical Social Services. Questions regarding medical issues should be first addressed to pediatric residents and then to members of the SCAN and CARE teams, who can be reached through the Department of Pediatrics.

See UC Davis Health System Policy # 1528 and 1528B: Reporting and Management of Suspected Child Abuse, Neglect, and Sexual Abuse.