Illinois has expanded its list of which professions are considered mandated reporters of child abuse in the state. The law, SB 3833, was signed into law in May 2022 and went into effect on January 1, 2023. Learn who this change affects and what mandated reporters in Illinois need to know about the law.
Illinois Expands Mandated Reporting Requirements to New Professions
The Illinois law adds new professionals to the state’s list of mandated reporters. Occupational therapists and assistants, physical therapists and assistants, and athletic trainers in Illinois are now required to report suspected child abuse and neglect.
“Law enforcement works off of tips a lot of times on investigations so if that group is getting larger by including people like the therapists or athletic trainers, that would be a good, positive thing to get the cases reported and to the people that can investigate it,” stated the Adams County Chief Deputy of Operations, Patrick Frazier.
This expansion of which professionals are mandated reporters means more people are watching for potential child abuse. In particular, occupational and physical therapists have a unique opportunity to spot potential abuse. Per Advocacy Network for Children CAC Coordinator Susan Tode, “typically in these fields they are looking at the bodies of children and often the way bodies move and they can see when a child’s been injured or moving in a way that would indicate injury.”
What to Do if You’re Now a Mandated Reporter in Illinois
The State of Illinois has certain requirements that new mandated reporters should be aware of. These requirements cover frequently asked questions like:
- When is a report required? Illinois requires mandated reporters to report when they have reasonable cause to believe a child may be abused or neglected.
- How quickly should a report be filed? Reporters must report suspected abuse or neglect immediately, and confirm their report in writing to the appropriate Child Protective Services Unit within 48 hours.
- What should reports include? When a report of suspected abuse is filed it should include, if known, the name and address of the child and the persons who have their custody, the child’s age, the nature of the child’s condition, and any other information the reporter believes might be helpful.
- What happens if a reporter fails to report? Knowingly and wilfully violating reporting requirements may be considered a misdemeanor in Illinois, or even a felony if there have been multiple violations, or if a reporter has knowingly filed a false report.
Educational resources are available to help physical therapists, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, and other Illinois mandated reporters fulfill their duty. Mandated reporters in the state are required to take a 60-90 minute self-paced training. Take the training here, or discover other resources for mandated reporters from Mandated Reporter Training.