Child Abuse Prevention Platform

Prevent Child Abuse and Human Trafficking in California


What is child abuse and neglect in California?stop child abuse

California state law defines child abuse as (1) physical injury inflicted on a child by another person, (2) sexual abuse, or (3) emotional abuse. Child neglect is defined as negligent treatment which threatens the child’s health or welfare. 

The California Legislature defines human trafficking as “all acts involved in the recruitment, abduction, transport, harboring, transfer, sale or receipt of persons, within national or across international borders, through force, coercion, fraud or deception, to place persons in situations of slavery or slavery-like conditions, forced labor or services, such as forced prostitution or sexual services, domestic servitude, bonded sweatshop labor, or other debt bondage.”         

Federal law defines trafficking in persons as “sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age”; or “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.”     

According to the Child Welfare League of America, there were 65,342 victims of abuse or neglect in California in 2017, a rate of 7.2 per 1,000 children. Of these children, 57,027 were neglected, 5,321 were physically abused, and 3,497 were sexually abused

Who is a mandated reporter according to CA state requirements?

According to California state laws, the following individuals are mandated reporters:

School Personnel

  • Teacher
  • Instructional aide
  • Teacher’s aide or teacher’s assistant
  • Classified employee of any public school
  • Administrative Officer or supervisor of child welfare and attendance, or a certified pupil personnel employee
  • Administrator of a public or private day camp
  • Administrator or employee of a public or private youth center, youth recreation program or youth organization
  • Administrator or employee of a public or private children’s organization
  • Employee of a county office of education or the California Department of Education, whose duties bring the employee into contact with children on a regular basis
  • Head start teacher
  • Licensing worker or licensing evaluator employed by a licensing agency
  • Employee of a school district police or security department
  • Any person who is an administrator or presenter of, or a counselor, in a child abuse prevention program in any public or private school
  • District attorney investigator, inspector or family support officer
  • Special education teachers, and staff.

Child Care Providers

  • Licensee of a licensed community care facility
  • Administrator of a licensed community care facility
  • Employee of a licensed community care facility
  • Licensee of a licensed child day care facility
  • Administrator of a licensed child day care facility
  • Employee of a licensed child day care facility

Medical Professionals

  • Licensed Nurses
  • Nursing Students
  • Doctors
  • Medical Students
  • Paramedics
  • EMT’s
  • Dentists
  • Chiropractors
  • Alternative Health Practitioners
  • Physical Therapists

Mental Health Professionals & Social Workers

  • Social workers
  • Social worker trainees and interns
  • Marriage counselors
  • Family and child counselors
  • School counselors
  • Unlicensed counseling trainees and interns
  • Psychologists
  • Psychological assistants
  • Psychological interns
  • Alcohol and drug counselors

Law Enforcement Professionals 

  • Probation officer or parole officer
  • District attorney investigator, inspector or family support officer
  • Peace officer
  • Employee of the police department, county sheriff’s department, county probation officer
  • Employee or volunteer of a Court Appointed Special Advocates program, a custodial officer as defined in Section 831.5., any person providing services to a minor child under Section 12300 or 12300.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code


  • Clergy member
  • Custodian of records of a clergy member


  • Commercial Computer Technicians (New as of 2013)
  • Paid Athletic Coaches (New as of 2013)
  • Administrator, or Director of a Public or Private Organization (New as of 2013)
  • Public assistance worker
  • Employee of a child care institution
  • Firefighter, except for volunteer firefighters
  • Physician, surgeon, psychiatrist, dentist, resident, intern, podiatrist, chiropractor, licensed nurse, dental hygienist, optometrist
  • Emergency medical technician I or II, paramedic
  • State or county public health employee who treats a minor for any condition.
  • Coroner
  • Medical examiner, or any other person who performs autopsies
  • Commercial film and photographic print processor
  • Child visitation monitor
  • Animal control officer or humane society officer

In order to maintain compliance with California State laws, mandated reporters must enroll in free online mandatory reporter training.

Effective Jan. 1, 2021, certain California human resources professionals and frontline supervisors will also be identified as mandated reporters. AB 1963 lists human resources employees working for businesses with at least five employees that also employ minors as mandated reporters of child abuse. A human resources employee, as defined, is any designated by the employer to accept complaints of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, etc., made under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.             

In addition, the law identifies frontline supervisors working for businesses with five or more employees whose duties require direct contact with and supervision of minors as mandated reporters of sexual abuse . Note that supervisors are not mandated reporters of all types of child abuse, as defined, but only of sexual abuse.

Employers subject to the law are required to provide training to employees who have reporting duties under the law. The training must include training in both the identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect. The training requirement may be met by completing the general online training for mandated reporters offered by the Office of Child Abuse Prevention in the State Department of Social Services.

How do I report child abuse in California?report child abuse

Here is a step-by-step guide for reporting child abuse in California.

If you suspect that a child has been, or is in danger of, abuse or neglect, contact the county Children’s Protective Services 24-hour emergency response phone. You may also contact the police or county sheriff.

Failure to report concerns of child abuse or neglect is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable in California by six months in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine.

How do I report human trafficking in California?

If you are a victim of human trafficking, know of somebody who may be a victim of human trafficking, or have information about a potential trafficking situation, please call:

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline: 1-888-373-7888

The U.S. Department of Justice Hotline: 1-888-428-7581

What is the new harassment prevention training requirement in California?

Effective January 1, 2019, California businesses with 5 or more employees must provide harassment prevention training every two years (SB1343). 

How do I get free online child abuse training for my organization?

Use the code STAYSAFE to enroll in Creating Safe Environments for Organizations, a free online training class. Leaders in organizations use this free online course to explore child abuse prevention best practices and help prevent child abuse and human trafficking in California.

How do I get online child abuse training for myself?

Explore 100% online training courses



contact usHow do I contact the CA Department of Social Services?

Contact the California Department of Social Services
The Office of Child Abuse Prevention
744 P Street, MS 8-11-82
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 651-6960


Disclaimer: Please ensure the information and courses meet requirements for your organization and circumstances and align with what your state Department of Social Services requires. The state requirements and child abuse and human trafficking statistics listed on this page are current as of May 13th, 2021 to meet the best information available. State requirements may change and it is your responsibility  to know your state mandated reporter requirements and the process for online child abuse prevention training. Compass Child Protection Training can not guarantee acceptance by your school, organization, or state Department of Social Services.  If there is a child abuse emergency, call 911 immediately.

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