If you need to report suspected or known child abuse and/or neglect,
STEP1: Immediately telephone the 24-hour DCF Child Protection Hotline at 1-(800)-792-5200 or local DCF office. You will find a directory of the DCF Area Offices at www.mass.gov/dcf. Offices are staffed between 9 AM and 5 PM weekdays.
STEP2: All Mandated Reporters are required by law to mail or fax a written report using the following template to the Department within 48 hours after making the oral report.
- Report of Child(ren) Alleged to be Suffering from Serious Physical or Emotional Injury by Abuse or Neglect
Who are Mandated Reporters?
Massachusetts law defines the following professionals as mandated reporters:
- Physicians, medical interns, hospital personnel engaged in the examination, care or treatment of persons, medical examiners;
- Emergency medical technicians, dentists, nurses, chiropractors, podiatrists, optometrists, osteopaths;
- Public or private school teachers, educational administrators, guidance or family counselors;
- Early education, preschool, child care or after school program staff, including any person paid to care for, or work with, a child in any public or private facility, home or program funded or licensed by the Commonwealth, which provides child care or residential services. This includes child care resource and referral agencies, as well as voucher management agencies, family child care and child care food programs;
- Child care licensors, such as staff from the Department of Early Education and Care;
- Social workers, foster parents, probation officers, clerks magistrate of the district courts, and parole officers;
- Firefighters and police officers;
- School attendance officers, allied mental health and licensed human services professionals;
- Psychiatrists, psychologists and clinical social workers, drug and alcoholism counselors;
- Clergy members, including ordained or licensed leaders of any church or religious body, persons performing official duties on behalf of a church or religious body, or persons employed by a religious body to supervise, educate, coach, train or counsel a child on a regular basis; and
- The Child Advocate.
Your report of child abuse should include:
- Your name, address and telephone number;
- All identifying information you have about the child and parent or other caretaker, if known;
- The nature and extent of the suspected abuse and/or neglect, including any evidence or knowledge of prior injury, abuse, maltreatment, or neglect;
- The identity of the person you believe is responsible for the abuse or neglect;
- The circumstances under which you first became aware of the child's injuries, abuse, maltreatment or neglect;
Guide for Mandated Reporters:
For more information about requirements for mandated reporters and filing a report of alleged abuse and/or neglect please see the following document:
This information is provided by the Department of Children and Families.