Prevent Child Abuse in Illinois


How do I get online child abuse prevention training and background checks?

Compass Abuse Prevention Services offers online child abuse prevention training and background checks.

What is child abuse and neglect in Illinois?

Under Illinois law, child abuse is the mistreatment of a child under the age of 18 by: 

  • A parent or their romantic partner;
  • An immediate relative or someone living in their home;
  • A caretaker such as a babysitter or daycare worker; or
child abuse
  • Any person responsible for the child’s welfare, such as a health care provider, educator, coach or youth program volunteer.

The mistreatment can either result in injury or put the child at serious risk of injury. Child abuse can be physical (i.e. bruises or broken bones), sexual (i.e. fondling or incest), or mental (emotional injury or psychological illness).

Neglect is the failure of a parent or caretaker to meet “minimal parenting” standards for providing adequate supervision, food, clothing, medical care, shelter or other basic needs.

According to the Child Welfare League of America, there were 35,437 victims of abuse or neglect in
Illinois in 2020, a rate of 12.8 per 1,000 children. This is an 8.5% increase since 2016.

Who is a mandated reporter according to IL state requirements?

If you suspect abuse or neglect, you have a social responsibility to report it to the hotline. In addition, state law requires that most professionals in education, health care, law enforcement, and social work report suspected neglect or abuse. These individuals are called Mandated Reporters.

mandated reporter

Mandated reporters include:

  • physicians
  • physician assistants
  • psychiatrists, surgeons
  • residents
  • interns
  • dentists
  • dental hygienists
  • medical examiners
  • pathologists
  • osteopaths
  • coroners
  • Christian Science practitioners
  • chiropractors
  • podiatrists
  • registered and licensed practical nurses
  • emergency medical technicians
  • hospital administrators and other personnel involved in the examination care or treatment of patients
  • teachers
  • school personnel
  • educational advocates assigned to a child pursuant to the School Code
  • directors and staff assistants of day care centers and nursery schools
  • child care workers
  • truant officers
  • probation officers
  • law enforcement officers
  • animal control officers
  • field personnel of the Departments of Children and Family Services, Public Health, Public Aid, Human Services (acting as successor to the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Rehabilitation Services, or Public Aid), Corrections and Human Rights

Other mandated reporters include supervisors and administrators of general assistance under the Illinois Public Aid Code, social workers, social service administrators, substance abuse treatment personnel, domestic violence program personnel, crisis line or hotline personnel, foster parents, homemakers, recreational program or facility personnel, registered psychologists and assistants working under the direct supervision of a psychologist. Review the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act for a comprehensive list of all mandated reporters in Illinois.

DCFS administers an online training course entitled Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse: Training for Mandated Reporters.

For more information about the guidelines for mandated reporters in Illinois, read the Mandated Reporter Manual in English or en español.

Here are printable mandated reporter posters to hang in schools, police departments, doctor offices, and wherever mandated reporters may work:

Mandated Reporter Poster – Schools
Mandated Reporter Poster – Social Worker
Mandated Reporter Poster – Educators
Mandated Reporter Poster – Police
Mandated Reporter Poster – Medical
Mandated Reporter Poster – Clergy

How do I report child abuse in Illinois?

Call the 24-hour Child Abuse Hotline at 800-25-ABUSE (800-252-2873) if you suspect that a child has been harmed or is at risk of being harmed by abuse or neglect. 

In non-emergency situations, anyone may report suspected child abuse or neglect using the new Online Reporting System

report child abuse

Call the DCFS Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline instead of using the Online Reporting System for situations including but not limited to:

  • Current injuries to the child
  • Immediate need for medical treatment (including a child who is suicidal)
  • Sexual abuse where the involved adult has or will have access to a child within the next 24 hours
  • A child is currently afraid to go home
  • A child is currently in protective custody of police or medical personnel
  • A child death

For more information about reporting guidelines child, read the Care Enough to Call brochure in Englishespañol or Chinese (中国).

How do I contact the IL Department of Children and Family Services?

Contact the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
406 East Monroe Street
Springfield, Illinois 62701

reporting child neglect

Disclaimer: Please ensure the information and courses meet requirements for your organization and circumstances and align with what your state Department of Children and Family Services requires. The state requirements and child abuse and human trafficking statistics listed on this page are current as of  February 20th, 2023 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 Abuse Prevention Services can not guarantee acceptance by your school, organization, or state Department of Children and Family Services. If there is a child abuse emergency, call 911 immediately.

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