Child Protective Services

Reporting Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect

CODE OF MARYLAND REGULATIONS, section defines child abuse and child neglect in the following manner:

1. An individual shall immediately report suspected child abuse or neglect to the local department of social services, or report the suspected incident to a local law enforcement agency.

2. Health practitioners, educators, human service workers, and police officers are required to report, both orally and in writing, any suspected child abuse or neglect, with oral report being made immediately and the written report being made within 48 hours of the contact which disclosed the suspected abuse or neglect.

3. A report shall include:
a. The name and home address of the child and the parent or other individual responsible for the care of the child;
b. The present location of the child;
c. The age of the child;
d. The names and ages of other children in the home;
e. The nature and extent of injuries or sexual abuse or neglect of the child, including any information known to the individual making the report of previous possible physical or sexual abuse or neglect;
f. The information available to the individual reporting:
i. Which might aid in establishing the cause of the injury or neglect;
ii.About the identity of the individual or individuals responsible for abuse or neglect; and
g. If reporting abuse or neglect of a child involving mental injury, a description of the substantial impairment of the child’s mental or psychological ability to function that was observed and identified, and why it is believed to be attributable to an act of maltreatment or omission of proper care and attention.

4. Reports of abuse shall be made to the local departments of social services or the appropriate law enforcement agency. Reports of neglect shall be made to local departments of social services.

5. An employee of a local department of social services who receives a report of suspected child abuse or neglect, shall report the information to the protective services unit within the local department at once so as to initiate prompt handling of the report of suspected child abuse or neglect.

6. Address and phone numbers of social services offices across the state.