Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect

The California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, California Penal Code §§ 11164-11174.3 ("CANRA" or the "Act"), identifies certain groups of employees as "Mandated Reporters" of child abuse and neglect, and also imposes various obligations on and extends certain protections to those Mandated Reporters as well as their employers. As a covered employer, the California State University (CSU) is required to comply with the Act. Relevant excerpts of the Act are provided as Attachment A.

Executive Order 1083

Executive Order 1083 was revised on July 21, 2017. Prior to the revision of E.O. 1083, all CSU employees were designated as mandated reporters under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act. Beginning on January 15, 2018 Humboldt employees will be designated into two categories: General Reporter or Limited Reporter. Humboldt encourages all employees to report suspect child abuse regardless of their designated categories. Also beginning on January 15, 2018, employees will be asked to submit an updated acknowledgement form to Human Resources pursuant to the revised E.O. 1083 requirements. Mandated Reporter training is available in CSU Learn and all employees are highly encouraged to complete the training online.

All Management Personnel Plan (MPP) employees and all volunteers are considered Limited Reporters, unless they are in positions that require the General Reporter designation (e.g. employees whose duties involve regular contact with children or who supervise such employees).

Below are the definitions of General Reporter and Limited Reporter from E.O. 1083:

General Reporter

As a Mandated Reporter (General Reporter), whenever in your professional capacity or within the scope of your employment you have knowledge of or observe a person under the age of 18 years whom you know or reasonably suspect has been the victim of child abuse or neglect, you must report the suspected incident, no matter where it occurred (Penal Code §§ 11166(a)).

Limited Reporter

As a Limited Reporter, whenever in your professional capacity or within the scope of your employment you have knowledge of or observe a person under the age of 18 years whom you know or reasonably suspect has been the victim of child abuse or neglect on CSU premises or at an official activity of, or program conducted.

Procedure for Reporting

To make a report, you must do the following:

Step One: Immediately, or as soon as practically possible, contact by phone one of the following:

Step Two: Within 36 hours of receiving the information concerning the incident:

Note: In case of an emergency or if a crime is in progress, employees should always immediately call campus police or 911.

At the time of the phone call, the Mandated Reporter must provide the following information, if known:

  • Their name, business address, and telephone number as the Mandated Reporter
  • The child's name, address, and present location
  • The name(s), address(es), and telephone number(s) of the child's parent(s), guardian(s), or caretaker(s)
  • The source of information that led to the suspicion of child abuse
  • The name(s), address(es), telephone number(s), and other personal information of person(s) who might have abused the child

The Mandated Reporter is not excused from making a report where some of this information is not known or is uncertain.

For suspected abuse or neglect occurring on CSU premises or at an official activity of, or program conducted by the CSU, Mandated Reporters are encouraged, but not required, to also notify their supervisors or other appropriate administrators. However, reporting to a supervisor, a coworker, or any other person is not a substitute for making a mandated report to one of the agencies listed above.

When two or more persons, who are required to report, jointly have knowledge of a known or suspected instance of child abuse or neglect, and when there is agreement among them, the report may be made by a member of the team selected by mutual agreement and a single report may be made and signed by the selected member of the reporting team. Any member who has knowledge that the member designated to report has failed to do so shall thereafter make the report (Penal Code § 11166(h)).

Abuse and Neglect That Must Be Reported

Physical abuse, meaning physical injury other than by accidental means inflicted on a child (Penal Code § 11165.6).

Sexual assault, including sex acts with a child, intentional masturbation in the presence of a child, child molestation, and lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years of age or with a child under 16 years of age if the other person is at least ten years older than the child (Penal Code § 11165.1(a)(b)).

Sexual exploitation, including acts relating to child pornography, child prostitution, or performances involving obscene sexual conduct by a child (Penal Code § 11165.1(c)).

Statutory rape involving sexual intercourse between a child under 16 years of age and a person 21 years of age or older, which is also a form of “sexual assault” (Penal Code § 11165.1(a)).

Neglect, meaning the negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child by a parent, guardian or caretaker under circumstances indicating harm or threatened harm to the child’s health or welfare (Penal Code § 11165.2).

Willful harming or injuring or endangering a child meaning a situation in which any person inflicts, or willfully causes or permits a child to suffer unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or causes or permits a child to be placed in a situation in which the child or child’s health is endangered (Penal Code § 11165.3).

Unlawful corporal punishment, meaning a situation in which any person willfully inflicts.

What is Not Child Abuse or Neglect?

The law does not consider the following child abuse or neglect for reporting purposes:

  • Injuries caused by two children fighting during a mutual altercation (Penal Code § 11165.6)
  • An injury caused by reasonable and necessary force used by a peace officer acting within the course and scope of his or her employment (Penal Code § 11165.6)
  • Reasonable and necessary force used by public school officials to quell a disturbance threatening physical injury to person or damage to property, for self-defense, or to obtain possession of weapons or other dangerous objects under a child’s control (Penal Code § 11165.4)
  • Corporal punishment, unless it is cruel or inhumane or willfully inflicts a physical injury (Penal Code § 11165.4)
  • Not receiving medical treatment for religious reasons (Penal Code § 11165.2(b))
  • Acts performed for a valid medical purpose (Penal Code § 11165.1(b)(3))
  • An informed and appropriate medical decision made by a parent, guardian or caretaker after consultation with a physician who has examined the child (Penal Code § 11165.2(b))

Immunity and Confidentiality of Reporter

Mandated Reporters cannot be held civilly or criminally liable for their reports. Instead, they enjoy immunity from prosecution for their reporting of suspected child abuse (Penal Code § 11172(a)). Both the identity of the person who reports and the report itself are confidential and disclosed only among appropriate agencies (Penal Code § 11167(d)).


Anthony Baker Ortiz
Director of Recruitment, Training and HR Compliance
(707) 826-5091