Welcome to the Child Abuse Mandated Reporter Training for the State of Massachusetts. This training will provide an overview of the definitions, requirements, and protections associated with being a mandated reporter in Massachusetts. The General Training course is all inclusive, non-profession specific, and should be taken by every mandated reporter.
Who Should Report
Mandated reporters are individuals who come into contact with child as a part of their employment, practice of their profession, or as volunteers in child-serving programs. They are required by law to report suspected child abuse. Requirements vary based on state, territory and profession. Taking the appropriate mandated reporter training is the best way to ensure that you understand your duty and can report effectively.
School personnel play a key role in identifying and helping abused children. Children spend the majority of their day in school, where you have regular contact and the ability to observe changes in appearance and behavior that others may not notice.
School personnel are often seen as positive role models and may be a source of support and care for many children; you may be the one trusted adult to whom a child confides in about abuse. It’s critical that you know how to recognize the signs and report suspected abuse.
- School employees (anyone who is employed by a school)
- Program or Service employees that provide programs, activities or services sponsored by a school
- Youth camp/program employees
- Recreational camp/program employees
- Sports or athletic program coaches and employees
- Outreach program employees
- Enrichment program employees
- Troop, club, or similar organization employees engaged in a school function
Child Care Providers
Child care providers have unique opportunities to notice signs of child abuse or neglect. Your caregiving duties allow you to pay attention to children’s progress and development, and regular contact with children can reveal changes in appearance and behavior that indicate abuse. You may have infants in your care who cannot speak for themselves and are completely reliable on caregivers to protect them.
As a child care provider, you may be the only person outside of the family with whom a child has significant contact. You may be the one trusted adult to whom a child confides in about abuse and the only person who is in a position to help a child. It’s critical that you know how to recognize the signs and what to do when abuse is suspected.
- Licensee of licensed child care or day care facilities
- Administrator of licensed child care or day care facilities
- Employee of licensed child care or day care facilities
- Head Start program teacher
- Employees of child care institutions, such as group home or residential care facilities
- Foster Parents
Medical and healthcare professionals may be the first to recognize signs of suspected abuse, neglect, or maltreatment in children. Children brought in for care may have injuries or be exhibiting behavioral changes that are concerning for possible abuse.
When parents have concern about possible abuse, their first step is often to contact their health care provider. It’s critical that healthcare professionals be able to recognize the signs of suspected maltreatment and have the tools needed to take action.
- All licensed physicians and surgeons
- Physicians Assistants
- Registered nurses and licensed practical nurses
- Dentists and licensed hygienists
- Specialty professionals, such as optometrists, pediatrists, or chiropractors
- EMT, paramedic, or other certified professional
Mental Health & Social Workers
Mental health professionals and social workers who have worked with abused children know firsthand the long-term effects of abuse and its impact. In your profession, you’re in a unique position to identify red flags for abuse in individual parent and child behaviors as well as family interactions.
You may be the only person who can recognize and support parents/ families who are vulnerable to abusive or neglectful treatment. You’re in a key role to help children and families emerge from trauma. It’s critical that you’re aware of the signs of abuse and possess the tools to act when you suspect it.
- Certified psychologists or psychiatrists
- Social Workers
- Counselors or mental health professionals
- Alcohol or drug counselors
- Marriage, family and child therapists
As a law enforcement officer you are often a first responder to reports of suspected child abuse. You play a key role in detecting and helping abused children. Law enforcement officers may often times be in a position to recognize unique environmental factors in a home or dwelling that can trigger concerns for a child’s safety. In addition, law enforcement officers may identify signs of abuse by observing children’s behavior, recognizing physical signs, and observing family dynamics during interactions with parents and caregivers.
As a law enforcement officer, you play a key role in detecting and helping abused children. Your response in situations where a child may be subjected to abuse or neglect can significantly impact the future welfare of that child. It is critical that all law enforcement professionals know what to look for and how to proceed when child maltreatment is suspected.
- Employee of any police department or county sheriff’s department
- Employee of county probation office
- Employee of county welfare department
- Peace Officers and Parole Officers
- Employee of school district police or security department
- Animal control or humane society officers
Faith-based listening, spiritual guidance, prayer and pastoral support are all ways in which clergy members serve a vital role in guiding people through many of life’s challenges to safety and healing. Becoming educated about the complexities and psychological impact of child abuse can help ensure that clergy members respond appropriately when confronted with evidence of child maltreatment.
As a clergy member, you may be the trusted adult to whom a child makes an initial disclosure of abuse. In addition, perpetrators of child abuse and/or family members may come to you for advice when abuse has been discovered. Clergy members have both a moral and a legal obligation to report when there is the possibility that a child has been harmed. It’s critical to be knowledgeable about what to look for and how to respond when these situations arise.
- Clergy members such as priests, ministers, rabbis or nuns
- Religious practitioners of a church, temple or recognized denomination of organization
- Custodian of records of a clergy member
Volunteers & Other Reporters
People who examine, attend to, counsel, or treat a child within the scope of their professional practice or employment responsibilities are also reporters.
Additionally, community members, such as Volunteers, have an important role in protecting children from abuse and neglect.
- An attorney, except as otherwise provided
- Employees of agencies that advise on child abuse and neglect
- Any person enrolled with DHCF and DHHS to provide doula services to recipients of medicaid
- Volunteers at public and private schools
- Volunteers at child care providers, youth service organizations, or recreation programs
- Volunteers at church, temple or recognized denomination organization
- Other professional volunteers (such as firefighters, humane society workers, or agencies)
General Training provides an overview of the definitions, requirements, and protections associated with being a mandated reporter. It is a prerequisite for any profession specific training.
Profession Specific Training
The Profession Specific training must be taken by people required by law to report concerns of child abuse or neglect, elder abuse, or domestic violence.
At the conclusion of the training, you will take a final exam which will test the information that you have learned during the training.
After completing all the courses, you will be automatically issued a certificate, which will serve as proof of your completion of the training.
You will learn
- Who mandated reporters are and your role as a mandated reporter
- What the law requires of you and protections the law provides
- How the law defines child abuse and neglect
- The types of child abuse and neglect and how to recognize them
- How to report suspected or alleged child abuse
- What happens after a report is filed
Mandated reporter training provides the knowledge and skills to help professionals carry out their responsibilities to identify and report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect.
The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) is Federal legislation enacted in 1974 to protect children from abuse and neglect. Under this legislation, each state has its own guidelines and laws regarding who needs to train and report, as well as penalties for failing to do so. Some states, such as CA, IL, and MI, do require employers to provide training for mandated reporters.
A mandated reporter is a person required by law to report suspected child abuse and neglect. Each state has its own guidelines and laws regarding who needs to train and report. In some states, all persons are considered mandated reporters. In others, the designation is based on profession, such as school employees, medical professionals, and HR employees, to name a few.
We’ve partnered with Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services Division of Child and Family Services to create training specifically for mandated reporters in Massachusetts. Simply click the Start Training button on this page to create an account (or login if you’ve been here before) and start training.
Depending on your state’s laws, you may be required to take mandated reporter training within 90 days of beginning employment in a profession that designates you as a mandated reporter. Please check with your employer regarding requirements for taking mandated reporter training.
It’s recommended to retake training every two years to stay up to date on the latest changes in legislation and reporting requirements. However, you may be required to train more frequently, depending on the requirements of your profession and state.
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CEUs are not currently available through this training but may be in the future. Check back for more information.