Prevent Child Abuse in Iowa



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 Iowa?

Iowa Code section 232.68 defines the victim of child abuse as a person under the age of 18 who has suffered one or more of the following categories: physical abuse, mental injury, sexual abuse, denial of critical care, child prostitution, presence of illegal drugs in a child’s body, dangerous substance, bestiality in the presence of a child, allows access to a registered sex offender, allows access to obscene materials, and child sex trafficking. 

child abuse

According to the Child Welfare League of America, there were 10,600 victims of abuse or neglect in Iowa in 2020, a rate of 14.6 per 1,000 children, in 2017. This is a 23.9% increase since 2016.

Who is a mandated reporter according to IA state requirements?

The Iowa Mandatory Reporter Guidelines define mandatory reporters as professionals who have frequent contact with children, including:

  • All licensed physicians and surgeons.
  • Physician assistants.
  • Dentists.
mandated reporter
  • Licensed dental hygienists.
  • Optometrists.
  • Podiatrists.
  • Chiropractors.
  • Residents or interns in any of the professions listed above.
  • Registered nurses.
  • Licensed practical nurse.
  • Basic and advanced emergency medical care providers.
  • A social worker.
  • A massage therapist
  • An employee or operator of a public or private health care facility as defined in Iowa Code section 135C.1.
  • A certified psychologist.
  • A licensed school employee, certified Para educator, or holder of a coaching
    authorization issued under Iowa Code section 272.31, or an instructor employed by
    a community college.
  • An employee or operator of a licensed child care center, registered child
    development home, Head Start program, Family Development and Self-Sufficiency
    Grant program under Iowa Code section 216A.107, or Healthy Opportunities for
    Parents to Experience Success – Healthy Families Iowa program under Iowa Code
    section 135.106.
  • An employee or operator of a licensed substance abuse program or facility licensed
    under Iowa Code Chapter 125.
  • An employee of an institution operated by DHS listed in Iowa Code section 218.1.
  • An employee or operator of a juvenile detention or juvenile shelter care facility
    approved under Iowa Code section 232.142.
  • An employee or operator of a foster care facility licensed or approved under Iowa
    Code Chapter 237.
  • An employee or operator of a mental health center.
  • A peace officer.
  • A counselor or mental health professional.
  • An employee or operator of a provider of services to children funded under a
    federally approved medical assistance home- and community-based services
  • An employee, operator, owner, or other person who performs duties for a children’s
    residential facility certified under chapter 237C.
  • Clergy members are not considered to be mandatory reporters unless they are functioning as social workers, counselors, or another role described as a mandatory reporter. 
Here is online training for mandatory reporters in Iowa. 

Any other person who believes that a child has suffered abuse may make a report of the suspected abuse to the DHS as a permissive reporter. A mandatory reporter may also report suspected child abuse outside the scope of their professional practice, as a permissive reporter.

How do I report child abuse in Iowa?

If you suspect a child under the age of 18 is being abused or neglected please call The Child Abuse 24/7 Hotline at 1-800-362-2178

If you are making report as a mandatory reporter, you must make a report within 24 hours and leave your name and contact information.
report child abuse

Mandated reporters must submit this completed form within 48 hours of making the oral report to the Centralized Intake Unit, PO Box 4826, Des Moines, Iowa 50305. If your agency has a report form or letter format which includes all of the information requested on this form, you may use the agency format in place of this form.

How do I contact the IA Department of Human Services?

Contact the Iowa Department of Human Services

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 Human 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 Human Services If there is a child abuse emergency, call 911 immediately.

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