California State Law (California Penal Code 11166.5 – Child Abuse and California Welfare and Institutions Code 15630 - Dependent Adult) requires any District employee who has knowledge of or observes a child (anyone under 19) or a dependent adult (one whose physical or mental limitations restrict his/her ability to protect his/her rights) in the employee's professional capacity or within the scope of his or her employment whom he or she knows, or in the case of child abuse, reasonably suspects, has been the victim of physical, sexual or mental abuse, to report the known or suspected instance of abuse to the District Police and/or Marin County Child Protective Services Department immediately or as soon as practicably possible by telephone and to prepare and send a written report thereof within 36 hours of receiving the information concerning the incident.
Written reports may be submitted to Children and Family Services Emergency Response online.
Reports may also be made by phone to Marin County reporting telephone numbers:
- First, please call (415) 473-7153.
- Second, please download the Suspected Child Abuse Report Form and fill out.
- Last, please fax reports to (415) 473-3279.
Instructions on how to complete the form are available online.
These reports are confidential and your identity will be protected. No administrator or supervisor may impede or inhibit your reporting nor can you be harassed or disciplined for reporting. A person who fails to make a required report is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine (Penal Code Section 11172 subdivision (e)).
Child Abuse and/or Child Neglect Can Be Any of the following:
- Any physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and/or emotional maltreatment.
- Sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and/or sexual abuse of a child.
- The willful cruelty or unjustifiable punishment of a child.
- Incidents of corporal punishment or injury against a child.
- Abuse in out-of-home care.
- Severe and/or general neglect of a child (definitions contained in Penal Code Section 11165).
One does not have to be physically present or witness the abuse to identify suspected cases of abuse, or even have definite proof that a child may be subject to child abuse or neglect. Rather, the law requires that a person have a “Reasonable suspicion” that a child has been the subject of child abuse or neglect, and occurs when “it is objectively reasonable for a person to entertain such a suspicion, based upon facts that could cause a reasonable person in a like position drawing when appropriate on his/her training and experience, to suspect child abuse” (Penal Code Section 11166 subdivision (a)).
For more information, please refer to Administrative Procedure 3518 – Child Abuse Reporting.