Child Abuse Reporting Guidelines
Mandated reporters must immediately call the DCF area office that serves the city or town where the child lives to report child abuse or neglect. Nights, weekends, and holidays please call the Child-at-Risk Hotline at (800)792-5200. After calling, mandated reporters must submit a written report within 48 hours.
Under Massachusetts law, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) is the state agency that receives all reports of suspected abuse and/or neglect of children under the age of 18.
State law requires professionals whose work brings them in contact with children to notify DCF if they suspect that a child is being abused and/or neglected. DCF depends on reports from professionals and other concerned individuals to learn about children who may need protection. The Department receives more than 75,000 reports on children each year
Report of Child(ren) Alleged to be Suffering from Serious Physical or Emotional Injury by Abuse or Neglect
Massachusetts law requires an individual who is a mandated reporter to immediately report any allegation of serious physical or emotional injury resulting from abuse or neglect to the Department of Social Services by:
1. Immediately reporting by oral communication; and
2. Completing and sending this written report to the appropriate Department of Social Services' office within 48 hours of making the oral report.
Elder Abuse Reporting Guidelines
The Executive Office of Elder Affairs is required by law to administer a statewide system for receiving and investigating reports of elder abuse, and for providing needed protective services to abused elders when warranted. To fulfill this responsibility, Elder Affairs has established 22 designated Protective Services (PS) agencies throughout the Commonwealth to respond to reports of elder abuse. Elder abuse includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse, neglect by a caregiver, self-neglect and financial exploitation. The goal of protective services is to remedy or alleviate the abusive situation and to prevent the reoccurrence of abuse.
Call and report elder (age ≥60 years) abuse immediately to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs Hotline: 1-800-922-2275
The office will fax you a written report that must be completed within 48 hours.
(1) Physical Abuse: The non-accidental infliction of serious physical injury to an Elder or the threat of serious physical injury in which the Protective Services Agency has Reasonable Cause to Believe that an individual may have the intent and capacity to carry out the threatened serious physical injury.
(2) Sexual Abuse: Sexual assault, rape, sexual misuse, or sexual exploitation of an Elder or threats of Sexual Abuse where the individual has the intent and capacity to carry out the threatened Sexual Abuse.
(3) Emotional Abuse: The non-accidental infliction of serious emotional injury to an Elder. Emotional Abuse must establish a relationship between abusive actions, behaviors, or language and a resulting effect on the emotional state or functioning of the Elder.
(4) Neglect: The failure or refusal by a Caretaker to provide one or more of the necessities essential for physical well-being, such as food, clothing, shelter, personal care, and medical care, which has resulted in or where there is substantial reason to believe that such failure or refusal will immediately result in serious physical harm to an Elder.
(5) Financial Exploitation: The non-accidental act or omission by another person without the consent of the Elder causing substantial monetary or property loss to the Elder or substantial monetary or property gain to the other person which gain would otherwise benefit the Elder, but for the act or omission of the other person. Financial exploitation may result from consent obtained as a result of misrepresentation, undue influence, coercion or threat of force by the other person. Financial exploitation may not result from a bona fide gift or from any act or practice by another person in the conduct of a trade or commerce prohibited by M.G.L. c. 93A, § 2.
Source: 651 CMR 5.00