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Recognize the Warning Signs

Nervousness around adults
Aggression toward adults or other children
Sudden, dramatic changes in personality or activities
Frequent or unexplained bruises or injuries
Low self-esteem

If you see these signs in any children you know, offer your help.



Click Here for information on Mandated Reporters

Reporting Child Abuse or Neglect

If you believe a child has been abused or neglected call the county Children and Family Services office, or law enforcement in your area.

How do I report child abuse?

What should be reported to Children and Family Services?

What information is needed when making a report?

What are the criteria for reporting suspected child abuse/neglect?

What happens when I report child abuse?

Who should report allegations of abuse or neglect to Children and Family Services?

Who do I contact for Mandated Reporter Training

How do I report child abuse?

To report child abuse call:

  • In San Bernardino area call: 384-9233

  • Outside of the San Bernardino area call: 1-800-827-8724

  • Local law enforcement (Top)

What should be reported to Children and Family Services?
Child abuse and neglect occurs when a child is mistreated, resulting in injury or risk of harm. Abuse can be physical, verbal, emotional or sexual.

  • Physical Abuse is defined as non-accidental physical trauma or injury inflicted by a parent or caretaker on a child. It also includes a parent's or a caretaker's failure to protect a child from another person who perpetrated physical abuse on a child. In its most severe form, physical abuse is likely to cause great bodily harm or death.

  • Physical Neglect is defined, as the failure to provide for a child's physical survival needs to the extent that there is harm or risk of harm to the child's health or safety. This may include, but is not limited to abandonment, lack of supervision, life endangering physical hygiene, lack of adequate nutrition that places the child below the normal growth curve, lack of shelter, lack of medical or dental that results in health threatening conditions, and the inability to meet basic clothing needs of a child. In its most severe form, physical neglect may result in great bodily harm or death.

  • Sexual Abuse includes penetration or external touching of a child's intimate parts, oral sex with a child, indecent exposure or any other sexual act performed in a child's presence for sexual gratification, sexual use of a child for prostitution, and the manufacturing of child pornography. Child sexual abuse is also the willful failure of the parent or the child's caretaker to make a reasonable effort to stop child sexual abuse by another person.

  • Emotional Abuse includes verbal assaults, ignoring and indifference or constant family conflict. If a child is degraded enough, the child will begin to live up to the image communicated by the abusing parent or caretaker. (Top)

What Information is needed when making a report?

  • Nature of the harm or specific incident(s) that precipitated the report

  • Date(s) and descriptions(s) of the injuries or dangers

  • Identities of perpetrator(s) and their relationship/s to the victim

  • Witnesses to the incident(s) and how they may be reached

  • Details of any physical evidence available

  • Does the perpetrator’s have current access to the child

  • Present condition of the child (alone, in need of medical attention, etc.)

  • The location of the child and directions to get there

  • Any statements from the child

  • How the reporter came to know the information and the reporter's thoughts about the likelihood of further harm to the child(ren).

These are just several examples of the questions that may be asked when reporting abuse or neglect. The reporter's identity is confidential, but a name should be given so the Department could follow-up contact with the reporter if necessary. The reporter is free from civil or criminal liability for reports of suspected child abuse or neglect made in good faith.

What are the criteria for reporting suspected child abuse/neglect?

  • The report pertains to a child under the age of 18 years.

  • The report alleges harm or imminent risk of harm to the child.

  • The alleged perpetrator is:

    • a parent or caretaker

    • a relative or other person living in the home

    • an educator, volunteer, or employee of a recreational/organizational setting who is responsible for the child; or any individual providing treatment, care or supervision for the child.(Top)

What happens when I report child abuse?

When a person notifies the Department of Children and Family Services regarding possible abuse or neglect of a child, Children and Family Services social work staff determines how quickly to proceed with an investigation by assessing the referral information and focusing on the present and future risks to the child. Considering the condition of the child and the risk of future maltreatment helps a social worker determine how quickly to respond to a CFS referral and what priority to assign that referral. This process involves accepting oral or written allegations of child abuse or neglect for further investigation, gathering the information to determine the need for CFS and the urgency of the situation and initiating the appropriate response and an investigative plan. (Top)


Who should report allegations of abuse or neglect to Children and Family Services?
The Department of Children and Family Services encourages everyone to report suspected child abuse and neglect. The exception is those professions that have an inherent responsibility to report by virtue of their positions, and thus they are mandated to report suspected child abuse and neglect. Mandated reporters are those individuals who in the course of their work come in contact with families and children.

The following professionals are Mandated reporters (Penal Code Section 11165.7) and as such are required to report suspected/alleged child abuse and neglect to a child protective agency (police or CFS) and file a mandated reporter form within 36 hours of submitting an oral report.

  • Any one whose duties require direct contact and supervision of children.

  • Medical, Dental and Hospital Personnel. including: physicians, surgeons, dentists, residents, interns, podiatrists, chiropractors, licensed nurses, dental hygienists, optometrists, medical examiners, coroners, emergency medical technicians I & II, paramedics,

  • Mental Health Professionals and Counselors (including psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed and unlicensed marriage, family and child counselors and trainees, psychological assistants.)

  • School Officials and Educators (including public, classified or private: teachers, instructional aides, teacher’s assistants, administrative officers, supervisors of child welfare and attendance, administrators or employees of a county office of education or the California Department of Education, school police.)

  • Social Service Personnel (including: public assistance workers, social workers, clinical social workers, child visitation monitors, county welfare employees.)

  • Clergy (including priests, ministers, rabbis, religious practitioners, or similarly functionary of a church, temple or recognized denomination or organization.)

  • Day Camp or Child-Care Providers (including public or private: administrators, licensees & employees of any youth center, youth recreational program, youth organization, licensed community care or child day care facility.)

  • Commercial Film and Photographic Print Processors (including those that develop exposed negatives, slides, or prints.)

  • Law Enforcement Personnel (including: any employee of any police department, county sheriff’s department, and county probation department. This includes probation officers, parole officers, police officers, peace officers & custodial officers. (Top)


Who do I contact for Mandated Reporter Training?

For mandated reporter training please contact Liza Fimbres at (909) 420-6446.

"Organizations needing Mandated Reporter training may contact Liza Fimbres to access a Training Video at (909) 420-6446."(Top)

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