Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
Anyone, whether a minor or an adult, can report child abuse and neglect. The authorities can only act to protect children in danger if someone who knows about the child abuse or neglect steps forward to report the problem.
The Alaska Legislature decided that people in certain jobs who are likely to see evidence of child abuse or neglect must report suspected child abuse or neglect directly to the Department of Health and Social Services. These people are called “mandatory reporters.” Some of the mandatory reporters are:
- Doctors, nurses and other medical workers;
- School teachers and school administrative staff;
- Law enforcement and corrections officers;
- Administrative officers of hospitals and medical facilities;
- Child care providers;
- Employees of domestic violence and sexual assault programs;
- Employees of crisis intervention and prevention programs ;
- Employees of drug and alcohol counseling and treatment centers;
In addition, persons who provide services related to visual media, computer, internet, or cellular telephone use must notify law enforcement immediately if they see what they reasonably suspect to be child pornography.
Call 911 if you know or suspect someone is abusing or neglecting a child and it is an emergency. You should also report that information to the nearest office of the Office of Children’s Services.
If you cannot reach OCS to make a report, call the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-478-4444. You can also contact a local law enforcement agency.
If you are being abused or neglected, you can ask for help. You can speak to one or more of the “mandatory reporters” listed above. You can call the OCS yourself, or ask another person to call OCS for you if you are too nervous to call. For more information, check the following websites: