Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act
Section 4: Persons required to report; privileged communications; transmitting false report.
(a) The following persons are required to immediately report to the Department when they have reasonable cause to believe that a child known to them in their professional or official capacities may be an abused child or a neglected child:
(1) Medical personnel, including any: physician licensed to practice medicine in any of its branches (medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy); resident; intern; medical administrator or personnel engaged in the examination, care, and treatment of persons; psychiatrist; surgeon; dentist; dental hygienist; chiropractic physician; podiatric physician; physician assistant; emergency medical technician; acupuncturist; registered nurse; licensed practical nurse; advanced practice registered nurse; genetic counselor; respiratory care practitioner; home health aide; or certified nursing assistant.
(2) Social services and mental health personnel, including any: licensed professional counselor; licensed clinical professional counselor; licensed social worker; licensed clinical social worker; licensed psychologist or assistant working under the direct supervision of a psychologist; associate licensed marriage and family therapist; licensed marriage and family therapist; field personnel of the Departments of Healthcare and Family Services, Public Health, Human Services, Human Rights, or Children and Family Services; supervisor or administrator of the General Assistance program established under Article VI of the Illinois Public Aid Code; social services administrator; or substance abuse treatment personnel.
(3) Crisis intervention personnel, including any: crisis line or hotline personnel; or domestic violence program personnel.
(4) Education personnel, including any: school personnel (including administrators and certified and non-certified school employees); personnel of institutions of higher education; educational advocate assigned to a child in accordance with the School Code; member of a school board or the Chicago Board of Education or the governing body of a private school (but only to the extent required under subsection (d)); or truant officer.
(5) Recreation or athletic program or facility personnel.
(6) Child care personnel, including any: early intervention provider as defined in the Early Intervention Services System Act; director or staff assistant of a nursery school or a child day care center; or foster parent, homemaker, or child care worker.
(7) Law enforcement personnel, including any: law enforcement officer; field personnel of the Department of Juvenile Justice; field personnel of the Department of Corrections; probation officer; or animal control officer or field investigator of the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare.
(8) Any funeral home director; funeral home director and embalmer; funeral home employee; coroner; or medical examiner.
(9) Any member of the clergy.
(10) Any physician, physician assistant, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, medical technician, certified nursing assistant, licensed social worker, licensed clinical social worker, or licensed professional counselor of any office, clinic, or any other physical location that provides abortions, abortion referrals, or contraceptives.
(b) When 2 or more persons who work within the same workplace and are required to report under this Act share a reasonable cause to believe that a child may be an abused or neglected child, one of those reporters may be designated to make a single report. The report shall include the names and contact information for the other mandated reporters sharing the reasonable cause to believe that a child may be an abused or neglected child. The designated reporter must provide written confirmation of the report to those mandated reporters within 48 hours. If confirmation is not provided, those mandated reporters are individually responsible for immediately ensuring a report is made. Nothing in this Section precludes or may be used to preclude any person from reporting child abuse or child neglect.
(c)(1) As used in this Section, “a child known to them in their professional or official capacities” means:
(A) the mandated reporter comes into contact with the child in the course of the reporter’s employment or practice of a profession, or through a regularly scheduled program, activity, or service;
(B) the mandated reporter is affiliated with an agency, institution, organization, school, school district, regularly established church or religious organization, or other entity that is directly responsible for the care, supervision, guidance, or training of the child; or
(C) a person makes a specific disclosure to the mandated reporter that an identifiable child is the victim of child abuse or child neglect, and the disclosure happens while the mandated reporter is engaged in his or her employment or practice of a profession, or in a regularly scheduled program, activity, or service.
(2) Nothing in this Section requires a child to come before the mandated reporter in order for the reporter to make a report of suspected child abuse or child neglect.
(d) If an allegation is raised to a school board member during the course of an open or closed school board meeting that a child who is enrolled in the school district of which he or she is a board member is an abused child as defined in Section 3 of this Act, the member shall direct or cause the school board to direct the superintendent of the school district or other equivalent school administrator to comply with the requirements of this Act concerning the reporting of child abuse. For purposes of this paragraph, a school board member is granted the authority in his or her individual capacity to direct the superintendent of the school district or other equivalent school administrator to comply with the requirements of this Act concerning the reporting of child abuse.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, if an employee of a school district has made a report or caused a report to be made to the Department under this Act involving the conduct of a current or former employee of the school district and a request is made by another school district for the provision of information concerning the job performance or qualifications of the current or former employee because he or she is an applicant for employment with the requesting school district, the general superintendent of the school district to which the request is being made must disclose to the requesting school district the fact that an employee of the school district has made a report involving the conduct of the applicant or caused a report to be made to the Department, as required under this Act. Only the fact that an employee of the school district has made a report involving the conduct of the applicant or caused a report to be made to the Department may be disclosed by the general superintendent of the school district to which the request for information concerning the applicant is made, and this fact may be disclosed only in cases where the employee and the general superintendent have not been informed by the Department that the allegations were unfounded. An employee of a school district who is or has been the subject of a report made pursuant to this Act during his or her employment with the school district must be informed by that school district that if he or she applies for employment with another school district, the general superintendent of the former school district, upon the request of the school district to which the employee applies, shall notify that requesting school district that the employee is or was the subject of such a report.
(e) Whenever such person is required to report under this Act in his capacity as a member of the staff of a medical or other public or private institution, school, facility or agency, or as a member of the clergy, he shall make report immediately to the Department in accordance with the provisions of this Act and may also notify the person in charge of such institution, school, facility or agency, or church, synagogue, temple, mosque, or other religious institution, or his designated agent that such report has been made. Under no circumstances shall any person in charge of such institution, school, facility or agency, or church, synagogue, temple, mosque, or other religious institution, or his designated agent to whom such notification has been made, exercise any control, restraint, modification or other change in the report or the forwarding of such report to the Department.
(f) In addition to the persons required to report suspected cases of child abuse or child neglect under this Section, any other person may make a report if such person has reasonable cause to believe a child may be an abused child or a neglected child.
(g) The privileged quality of communication between any professional person required to report and his patient or client shall not apply to situations involving abused or neglected children and shall not constitute grounds for failure to report as required by this Act or constitute grounds for failure to share information or documents with the Department during the course of a child abuse or neglect investigation. If requested by the professional, the Department shall confirm in writing that the information or documents disclosed by the professional were gathered in the course of a child abuse or neglect investigation.
The reporting requirements of this Act shall not apply to the contents of a privileged communication between an attorney and his or her client or to confidential information within the meaning of Rule 1.6 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct relating to the legal representation of an individual client.
A member of the clergy may claim the privilege under Section 8-803 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(h) Any office, clinic, or any other physical location that provides abortions, abortion referrals, or contraceptives shall provide to all office personnel copies of written information and training materials about abuse and neglect and the requirements of this Act that are provided to employees of the office, clinic, or physical location who are required to make reports to the Department under this Act, and instruct such office personnel to bring to the attention of an employee of the office, clinic, or physical location who is required to make reports to the Department under this Act any reasonable suspicion that a child known to him or her in his or her professional or official capacity may be an abused child or a neglected child.
(i) Any person who enters into employment on and after July 1, 1986 and is mandated by virtue of that employment to report under this Act, shall sign a statement on a form prescribed by the Department, to the effect that the employee has knowledge and understanding of the reporting requirements of this Act. On and after January 1, 2019, the statement shall also include information about available mandated reporter training provided by the Department. The statement shall be signed prior to commencement of the employment. The signed statement shall be retained by the employer. The cost of printing, distribution, and filing of the statement shall be borne by the employer.
(j) Persons required to report child abuse or child neglect as provided under this Section must complete an initial mandated reporter training within 3 months of their date of engagement in a professional or official capacity as a mandated reporter, or within the time frame of any other applicable State law that governs training requirements for a specific profession, and at least every 3 years thereafter. The initial requirement only applies to the first time they engage in their professional or official capacity. In lieu of training every 3 years, medical personnel, as listed in paragraph (1) of subsection (a), must meet the requirements described in subsection (k).
The trainings shall be in-person or web-based, and shall include, at a minimum, information on the following topics: (i) indicators for recognizing child abuse and child neglect, as defined under this Act; (ii) the process for reporting suspected child abuse and child neglect in Illinois as required by this Act and the required documentation; (iii) responding to a child in a trauma-informed manner; and (iv) understanding the response of child protective services and the role of the reporter after a call has been made. Child-serving organizations are encouraged to provide in-person annual trainings.
The mandated reporter training shall be provided through the Department, through an entity authorized to provide continuing education for professionals licensed through the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, the State Board of Education, the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board, or the Department of State Police, or through an organization approved by the Department to provide mandated reporter training. The Department must make available a free web-based training for reporters.
Each mandated reporter shall report to his or her employer and, when applicable, to his or her licensing or certification board that he or she received the mandated reporter training. The mandated reporter shall maintain records of completion.
Beginning January 1, 2021, if a mandated reporter receives licensure from the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation or the State Board of Education, and his or her profession has continuing education requirements, the training mandated under this Section shall count toward meeting the licensee’s required continuing education hours.
(k)(1) Medical personnel, as listed in paragraph (1) of subsection (a), who work with children in their professional or official capacity, must complete mandated reporter training at least every 6 years. Such medical personnel, if licensed, must attest at each time of licensure renewal on their renewal form that they understand they are a mandated reporter of child abuse and neglect, that they are aware of the process for making a report, that they know how to respond to a child in a trauma-informed manner, and that they are aware of the role of child protective services and the role of a reporter after a call has been made.
(2) In lieu of repeated training, medical personnel, as listed in paragraph (1) of subsection (a), who do not work with children in their professional or official capacity, may instead attest each time at licensure renewal on their renewal form that they understand they are a mandated reporter of child abuse and neglect, that they are aware of the process for making a report, that they know how to respond to a child in a trauma-informed manner, and that they are aware of the role of child protective services and the role of a reporter after a call has been made. Nothing in this paragraph precludes medical personnel from completing mandated reporter training and receiving continuing education credits for that training.
(l) The Department shall provide copies of this Act, upon request, to all employers employing persons who shall be required under the provisions of this Section to report under this Act.
(m) Any person who knowingly transmits a false report to the Department commits the offense of disorderly conduct under subsection (a)(7) of Section 26-1 of the Criminal Code of 2012. A violation of this provision is a Class 4 felony.
Any person who knowingly and willfully violates any provision of this Section other than a second or subsequent violation of transmitting a false report as described in the preceding paragraph, is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor for a first violation and a Class 4 felony for a second or subsequent violation; except that if the person acted as part of a plan or scheme having as its object the prevention of discovery of an abused or neglected child by lawful authorities for the purpose of protecting or insulating any person or entity from arrest or prosecution, the person is guilty of a Class 4 felony for a first offense and a Class 3 felony for a second or subsequent offense (regardless of whether the second or subsequent offense involves any of the same facts or persons as the first or other prior offense).
(n) A child whose parent, guardian or custodian in good faith selects and depends upon spiritual means through prayer alone for the treatment or cure of disease or remedial care may be considered neglected or abused, but not for the sole reason that his parent, guardian or custodian accepts and practices such beliefs.
(o) A child shall not be considered neglected or abused solely because the child is not attending school in accordance with the requirements of Article 26 of the School Code, as amended.
(p) Nothing in this Act prohibits a mandated reporter who reasonably believes that an animal is being abused or neglected in violation of the Humane Care for Animals Act from reporting animal abuse or neglect to the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare.
(q) A home rule unit may not regulate the reporting of child abuse or neglect in a manner inconsistent with the provisions of this Section. This Section is a limitation under subsection (i) of Section 6 of Article VII of the Illinois Constitution on the concurrent exercise by home rule units of powers and functions exercised by the State.
(r) For purposes of this Section “child abuse or neglect” includes abuse or neglect of an adult resident as defined in this Act.
Any physician who willfully fails to report suspected child abuse or neglect as required by this Act shall be referred to the Illinois State Medical Disciplinary Board for action in accordance with paragraph 22 of Section 22 of the Medical Practice Act of 1987. Any dentist or dental hygienist who willfully fails to report suspected child abuse or neglect as required by this Act shall be referred to the Department of Professional Regulation for action in accordance with paragraph 19 of Section 23 of the Illinois Dental Practice Act. Any other person required by this Act to report suspected child abuse and neglect who willfully fails to report such is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor for a first violation and a Class 4 felony for a second or subsequent violation.
Any person required to report under this Act who has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has died as a result of abuse or neglect shall also immediately report his suspicion to the appropriate medical examiner or coroner. Any other person who has reasonable cause to believe that a child has died as a result of abuse or neglect may report his suspicion to the appropriate medical examiner or coroner. The medical examiner or coroner shall investigate the report and communicate his apparent gross findings, orally, immediately upon completion of the gross autopsy, but in all cases within 72 hours and within 21 days in writing, to the local law enforcement agency, the appropriate State’s attorney, the Department and, if the institution making the report is a hospital, the hospital. The child protective investigator assigned to the death investigation shall have the right to require a copy of the completed autopsy report from the coroner or medical examiner.
Year of enactment2000
Last Amended2019, 2002