Child abuse reporting, assessment, and rehabilitation
232.69: Mandatory and permissive reporters — training required
1. The classes of persons enumerated in this subsection shall make a report within twenty-four hours and as provided in section 232.70, of cases of child abuse. In addition, the classes of persons enumerated in this subsection shall make a report of abuse of a child who is under twelve years of age and may make a report of abuse of a child who is twelve years of age or older, which would be defined as child abuse under section 232.68, subsection 2, paragraph “a”, subparagraph (3) or (5), except that the abuse resulted from the acts or omissions of a person other than a person responsible for the care of the child.
a. Every health practitioner who in the scope of professional practice, examines, attends, or treats a child and who reasonably believes the child has been abused. Notwithstanding section 139A.30, this provision applies to a health practitioner who receives information confirming that a child is infected with a sexually transmitted disease.
b. Any of the following persons who, in the scope of professional practice or in their
employment responsibilities, examines, attends, counsels, or treats a child and reasonably believes a child has suffered abuse:
(1) A social worker.
(2) An employee or operator of a public or private health care facility as defined in section 135C.1.
(3) A certified psychologist.
(4) A licensed school employee, certified para-educator, holder of a coaching
authorization issued under section 272.31, or an instructor employed by a community college.
(5) An employee or operator of a licensed child care center, registered child development home, head start program, family development and self-sufficiency grant program under section 216A.107, or healthy opportunities for parents to experience success – healthy families Iowa program under section 135.106.
(6) An employee or operator of a substance abuse program or facility licensed under
(7) An employee of a department of human services institution listed in section 218.1.
(8) An employee or operator of a juvenile detention or juvenile shelter care facility
approved under section 232.142.
(9) An employee or operator of a foster care facility licensed or approved under chapter
(10) An employee or operator of a mental health center.
(11) A peace officer.
(12) A counselor or mental health professional.
(13) An employee or operator of a provider of services to children funded under a federally
approved medical assistance home and community-based services waiver.
(14) An employee, operator, owner, or other person who performs duties for a children’s
residential facility certified under chapter 237C.
2. Any other person who believes that a child has been abused may make a report as
provided in section 232.70.
3. a. For the purposes of this subsection, “licensing board” means a board designated in
section 147.13, the board of educational examiners created in section 272.2, or a licensing board as defined in section 272C.1.
b. A person required to make a report under subsection 1, other than a physician
whose professional practice does not regularly involve providing primary health care to
children, shall complete two hours of training relating to the identification and reporting of child abuse within six months of initial employment or self-employment involving the examination, attending, counseling, or treatment of children on a regular basis. Within one month of initial employment or self-employment, the person shall obtain a statement of the abuse reporting requirements from the person’s employer or, if self-employed, from the department. The person shall complete at least two hours of additional child abuse identification and reporting training every five years.
c. If the person is an employee of a hospital or similar institution, or of a public or
private institution, agency, or facility, the employer shall be responsible for providing the child abuse identification and reporting training. If the person is self-employed, employed in a licensed or certified profession, or employed by a facility or program that is subject to licensure, regulation, or approval by a state agency, the person shall obtain the child abuse identification and reporting training as provided in paragraph “d”.
d. The person may complete the initial or additional training requirements as part of any of the following that are applicable to the person:
(1) A continuing education program required under chapter 272C and approved by the
appropriate licensing board.
(2) A training program using a curriculum approved by the director of public health
pursuant to section 135.11.
(3) A training program using such an approved curriculum offered by the department of
human services, the department of education, an area education agency, a school district, the Iowa law enforcement academy, or a similar public agency.
e. A licensing board with authority over the license of a person required to make a report under subsection 1 shall require as a condition of licensure that the person is in compliance with the requirements for abuse training under this subsection. The licensing board shall require the person upon licensure renewal to accurately document for the licensing board the person’s completion of the training requirements. However, the licensing board may adopt rules providing for waiver or suspension of the compliance requirements, if the waiver or suspension is in the public interest, applicable to a person who is engaged in active duty in the military service of this state or of the United States, to a person for whom compliance with the training requirements would impose a significant hardship, or to a person who is practicing a licensed profession outside this state or is otherwise subject to circumstances that would preclude the person from encountering child abuse in this state.
f. For persons required to make a report under subsection 1 who are not engaged in a
licensed profession that is subject to the authority of a licensing board but are employed by a facility or program subject to licensure, registration, or approval by a state agency, the agency shall require as a condition of renewal of the facility’s or program’s licensure, registration, or approval, that such persons employed by the facility or program are in compliance with the training requirements of this subsection.
g. For peace officers, the elected or appointed official designated as the head of the agency employing the peace officer shall ensure compliance with the training requirements of this subsection.
h. For persons required to make a report under subsection 1 who are employees of state
departments and political subdivisions of the state, the department director or the chief
administrator of the political subdivision shall ensure the persons’ compliance with the
training requirements of this subsection
232.70: Reporting procedure
1. Each report made by a mandatory reporter, as defined in section 232.69, subsection 1, shall be made both orally and in writing. Each report made by a permissive reporter, as defined in section 232.69, subsection 2, may be oral, written, or both.
2. The employer or supervisor of a person who is a mandatory or permissive reporter shall not apply a policy, work rule, or other requirement that interferes with the person making a report of child abuse.
3. The oral report shall be made by telephone or otherwise to the department of human services. If the person making the report has reason to believe that immediate protection for the child is advisable, that person shall also make an oral report to an appropriate law enforcement agency.
4. The written report shall be made to the department of human services within forty-eight hours after such oral report.
5. Upon receipt of a report, the department shall do all of the following:
a. Immediately make a determination as to whether the report constitutes an allegation of child abuse as defined in section 232.68.
b. Notify the appropriate county attorney of the receipt of the report.
6. The oral and written reports shall contain the following information, or as much thereof as the person making the report is able to furnish:
a. The names and home address of the child and the child’s parents or other persons believed to be responsible for the child’s care;
b. The child’s present whereabouts if not the same as the parent’s or other person’s home address;
c. The child’s age;
d. The nature and extent of the child’s injuries, including any evidence of previous injuries;
e. The name, age and condition of other children in the same home;
f. Any other information which the person making the report believes might be helpful in establishing the cause of the injury to the child, the identity of the person or persons responsible for the injury, or in providing assistance to the child; and
g. The name and address of the person making the report.
7. A report made by a permissive reporter, as defined in section 232.69, subsection 2, shall be regarded as a report pursuant to this chapter whether or not the report contains all of the information required by this section and may be made to the department of human services, county attorney, or law enforcement agency. If the report is made to any agency other than the department of human services, such agency shall promptly refer the report to the department of human services.
8. Within twenty-four hours of receiving a report from a mandatory or permissive reporter, the department shall inform the reporter, orally or by other appropriate means, whether or not the department has commenced an assessment of the allegation in the report.
9. If a report would be determined to constitute an allegation of child abuse as defined under section 232.68, subsection 2, paragraph “a”, subparagraph (3) or (5), except that the suspected abuse resulted from the acts or omissions of a person other than a person responsible for the care of the child, the department shall refer the report to the appropriate law enforcement agency having jurisdiction to investigate the allegation. The department shall refer the report orally as soon as practicable and in writing within seventy-two hours of receiving the report.
10. If the department has reasonable cause to believe that a child under the placement, care, or supervision of the department is, or is at risk of becoming, a sex trafficking victim, the department shall do all of the following:
a. Identify the child as a sex trafficking victim or at risk of becoming a sex trafficking victim and include documentation in the child’s department records.
b. Refer the child for appropriate services.
c. Refer the child identified as a sex trafficking victim, within twenty-four hours, to the appropriate law enforcement agency having jurisdiction to investigate the allegation.
1. Any person, official, agency, or institution required by this chapter to report a
suspected case of child abuse who knowingly and willfully fails to do so is guilty of a simple misdemeanor.
2. Any person, official, agency, or institution required by section 232.69 to report a
suspected case of child abuse who knowingly fails to do so or who knowingly interferes with the making of such a report in violation of section 232.70 is civilly liable for the damages proximately caused by such failure or interference.
3. A person who reports or causes to be reported to the department of human services
false information regarding an alleged act of child abuse, knowing that the information is false or that the act did not occur, commits a simple misdemeanor.
Year of enactment2001
Last Amended2019, 2001