Mandated Reporters play an important role in protecting our population’s most vulnerable members from abuse and neglect. However, which individuals are called upon to fulfill this important duty varies greatly from state to state and depending on the population you’re working with. Some professionals, however, are generally expected to be mandated reporters for all types of abuse.
These 7 professions are mandated reporters across multiple states and types of abuse.
7 Professions Who Are Mandated Reporters of Multiple Kinds of Abuse
As those who serve us when we are sick and injured, doctors have a unique opportunity to recognize abuse in many different populations.
Almost every state requires doctors to report suspected child abuse and neglect, and doctors are also common reporters of elder abuse.
While fewer states have laws surrounding mandated domestic violence reporting compared to requirements for other types of abuse, many do require doctors to report wounds from firearms or grave injuries to local authorities. These requirements can help provide needed aid to victims of intimate partner violence.
Like doctors, nurses are uniquely able to spot and report abuse across multiple age groups. Because of this, nurses are called upon to report child and elder abuse, and domestic violence or gunshot or other life-threatening injuries across multiple states.
Many states require mental health professionals, such as therapists and psychiatrists, to make a report when they have reasonable suspicion of abuse.
In some states, including Kentucky and Missouri, therapists and other mental health professionals are required to report suspected abuse or a gunshot wound.
Law enforcement officers are frequently called upon to report suspected elder abuse and child abuse. Furthermore, when states require reports of suspected domestic violence or grave injuries, those reports are often made to law enforcement.
Like other health care professionals, pharmacists are often tasked with the duty to report suspected abuse and neglect in vulnerable populations such as children and seniors, or grave injuries.
Social workers are called upon to report suspected child abuse and neglect or abuse and neglect of an elder or dependent adult in many states. In Kentucky, they are also required to report when an adult is the victim of suspected abuse or neglect, including by a spouse.
Coroners, undertakers, embalmers, medical examiners, etc. often have the somber duty of reporting suspicious deaths. Many states require these professionals to report deaths due to abuse or neglect to the appropriate authorities. In states like Tennessee, Kentucky, and Oregon, this includes suspected domestic abuse or suspicious injuries.
These professionals, and others like them, are called upon to report suspected abuse and help protect vulnerable populations. Because the laws surrounding mandated reporting can vary across the U.S., it’s important to be familiar with the laws and requirements where you operate. Subscribe to NAMR’s newsletter to learn more about mandated reporting.