Anyone who suspects or has reason to believe that a child is being abused or neglected should make a referral to the appropriate Children Services agency. Click here for a directory of agencies by county.
Some professionals are mandated (required) by law to report child abuse and neglect. Mandated reporters include:
Day care staff
Children Services staff
Persons rendering spiritual treatment in accordance with tenants of well organized religions acting in official or professional capacity
Mandated reporters must personally make the abuse or neglect report, they cannot cause a report to be made by another person. Failure to report suspected abuse or neglect may result in a penalty of a fourth degree misdemeanor.
By law, anyone who makes a report of abuse or neglect to Children Services is entitled to the following information:
Whether a court action was filed;
Whether there was a voluntary case opening; and
Whether the case was opened, closed or referred to appropriate community agencies.
Those making reports are not entitled to details of investigative findings or other confidential disclosures.
For more information on mandated reporting visit Franklin County Children Services.
• How to respond to an abuse victim
• CHOICES offers a wide range of services for victims and survivors of domestic violence.
In case of an emergency, dial 911. In non-emergency situations, you should contact your local public Children Services agency to make a report about the abuse. Click here for a directory of agencies by county in Ohio.
Any professional who suspects sexual abuse should document the following information in the child's medical record:
All details of the circumstances of the alleged abuse in specific terms. Preferably, gathering of information from the non-offending parent of a brief history to determine what happened, where it happened (jurisdiction) and when it happened. When necessary, asking the child directly is appropriate.
With this documentation, professionals should contact the appropriate Children Services agency, which is determined by the county in which the custodial party resides. Click here for a directory of agencies by county. When possible, Children Services should be contacted while the child is being evaluated.
Refer the patient to Nationwide Children's Hospital's Emergency Department if:
The latest incidence of reported abuse is less than 72 hours ago, is outside of the Children's Child Assessment Center operating hours and requires forensic evidence collection; or
The patient is experiencing acute medical symptoms related to the sexual abuse (i.e. genital discharge/bleeding, pain, burning).
Refer the patient to the Child Assessment Center at (614) 722-3278 if:
The latest incidence of reported abuse is more than 72 hours ago and there are no acute medical symptoms present; OR
The latest incidence of reported abuse is less than 72 hours ago, is reported during normal office hours and there are no acute medical symptoms requiring emergency care such as acute bleeding, severe pain or other condition which may predispose to a rapid deterioration. A call to the Child Assessment Center Intake staff is required to consider acceptance of patients for emergent evaluations.
Any professional who suspects neglect should document, in specific terms, the details of the neglect and contact the appropriate Children Services agency, which is determined by the county in which the custodial party resides. Click here for a directory of agencies by county.
If you need additional help determining what to do in the case of suspected abuse, call the Center for Family Safety and Healing at Nationwide Children's at (614) 722-3278.