Prevent Child Abuse in Virginia
What is child abuse and neglect in Virginia?
Under Virginia law, any parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of a child under the age of 18 who by willful act or willful omission or refusal to provide any necessary care for the child’s health causes or permits serious injury to the life or health of such child is guilty of child abuse.
Any parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of a child under the age of 18 whose willful act or omission in the care of such child was so gross, wanton, and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life is guilty of child neglect.
According to the Child Welfare League of America, there were 6,277 victims of abuse or neglect in Virginia n 2017, a rate of 3.4 per 1,000 children. Of these children, 65.3% were neglected, 30.4% were physically abused, and 11.1% were sexually abused.
Who is a mandated reporter according to VA state requirements?
The following persons who, in their professional or official capacity, have reason to suspect that a child is an abused or neglected child, shall report the matter immediately:
- Any person licensed to practice medicine or any of the healing arts;
- Any hospital resident or intern, and any person employed in the nursing profession;
- Any person employed as a social worker or family-services specialist;
- Any probation officer;
- Any teacher or other person employed in a public or private school, kindergarten or nursery school;
- Any person providing full-time or part-time child care for pay on a regularly planned basis;
- Any mental health professional;
- Any law-enforcement officer or animal control officer;
- Any mediator eligible to receive court referrals pursuant to § 8.01-576.8;
- Any professional staff person, not previously enumerated, employed by a private or state-operated hospital, institution or facility to which children have been committed or where children have been placed for care and treatment;
- Any person 18 years of age or older associated with or employed by any public or private organization responsible for the care, custody or control of children;
- Any person who is designated a court-appointed special advocate pursuant to Article 5 (§ 9.1-151 et seq.) of Chapter 1 of Title 9.1;
- Any person 18 years of age or older who has received training approved by the Department of Social Services for the purposes of recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect;
- Any person employed by a local department as defined in § 63.2-100 who determines eligibility for public assistance;
- Any emergency medical services provider certified by the Board of Health pursuant to § 32.1-111.5, unless such provider immediately reports the matter directly to the attending physician at the hospital to which the child is transported, who shall make such report forthwith;
- Any athletic coach, director or other person 18 years of age or older employed by or volunteering with a public or private sports organization or team;
- Administrators or employees 18 years of age or older of public or private day camps, youth centers and youth recreation programs;
- Any person employed by a public or private institution of higher education other than an attorney who is employed by a public or private institution of higher education as it relates to information gained in the course of providing legal representation to a client; and
- Any minister, priest, rabbi, imam, or duly accredited practitioner of any religious organization or denomination usually referred to as a church, unless the information supporting the suspicion of child abuse or neglect (i) is required by the doctrine of the religious organization or denomination to be kept in a confidential manner or (ii) would be subject to § 8.01-400 or 19.2-271.3 if offered as evidence in court.
How do I report child abuse in Virginia?
You can report child abuse and neglect in Virginia to the Child Protective Services (CPS) 24/7 Hotline: (800) 552-7096.
Mandated reporters can also report child abuse and neglect online.
How do I get free online child abuse training?
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 in Virginia.
Looking for online child abuse training for individuals?
How do I contact the VA Department of Social Services?
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.