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We’ll also discuss the social worker’s role as mandated reporter and tease out when you’re a mandated reporter, and when you’re not.

Other articles in this series will provide more detail on what, when, and how to report suspicions of child abuse and neglect.

In most states, reporters are protected by immunity as long as the report was made in “good faith.” Making a report in good faith means that the reporter believed that the information she or he was providing to CPS was true, to the best of his or her knowledge.

The reporter does not have to be sure that the information is true.

Mandated reporters are individuals required by the law of a given state to report concerning suspicions.

Immunity provisions were included in the law to encourage reports to be made, even when the reporter is unsure of whether abuse or neglect has occurred (Kalichman, 1999).For the purposes of this article and series, we’ll be focusing on the role of social workers as mandated reporters of suspected child abuse and neglect.Most social workers in practice today have always been mandated reporters, but mandated reporting itself is only about 50 years old, and the role of mandated reporter is constantly evolving.As a social worker, you’ve heard about child abuse and neglect, and probably learned about it, but what are you supposed to do in these situations? To answer the other questions, we need some context and more detail.You may have heard the term “mandated reporter” and wondered: Am I a mandated reporter? This article will explain what a mandated reporter is and why there are mandated reporters.

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