Prevent Child Abuse in Maryland


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 Maryland?

The Code Of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) defines child abuse and child neglect as:

  • Physical injury not (necessarily visible) of a child under circumstances that indicate that a child’s health or welfare is harmed or at substantial risk of being harmed.
child abuse
    • The failure to give proper care and attention to a child, leaving a child unattended where the child’s health or welfare is harmed or a child is placed in substantial risk of harm.
    • An act or acts involving sexual molestation or exploitation whether physical injuries are sustained or not.
    • Identifiable and substantial impairment of a child’s mental or psychological ability to function.
    • Finding credible evidence that has not been satisfactorily refuted that physical abuse, neglect or sexual abuse occurred.

According to the Child Welfare League of America, there were 7,242 victims of abuse or neglect in
Maryland in 2020, a rate of 5.4 per 1,000 children. This is a 3.6% increase since 2016.

Who is a mandated reporter according to MD state requirements?

The following individuals are mandated reporters in Maryland:

  • Health Practitioner
  • Educator
  • Human Service Worker
  • Police Officer
mandated reporter

Effective October 1, 2016, if a local department has reason to believe that a mandated reporter knowingly failed to make a report of suspected abuse or neglect of a child, the local department must file a complaint with the appropriate licensing board or employer of the mandated reporter.

How do I report child abuse in Maryland?

Mandated reporters are required to immediately notify the local department of social services or the appropriate law enforcement agency about suspected cases of child abuse or neglect. A mandated reporter must also complete the DHR/SSA 180 form within 48 hours following the verbal report. A copy of the form must also be provided to the local State’s Attorney’s office.

report child abuse

Please select the local department of social services for the jurisdiction where you believe the incident(s) occurred to make a report. If the reporter is employed in a hospital, public health agency, child care institution, school, detention facility or similar institution, the staff must also notify the head of the institution.

For reporting about a suspected substance-abused newborn, use form 2079.

All Maryland citizens who are not mandated reporters should report suspected abuse or neglect to the local department of social services or to a local law enforcement agency.

How do I contact the MD Department of Human Services?

Contact the Maryland Department of Human Services
311 West Saratoga St.
Baltimore, MD


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.

Back to Top