Prevent Child Abuse in West Virginia
What is child abuse and neglect in West Virginia?
Under West Virginia law, child abuse means the infliction upon a minor of physical injury by other than accidental means. Child neglect means the unreasonable failure by a parent, guardian or custodian of a minor child to exercise a minimum degree of care to assure the minor child’s physical safety or health.
According to the Child Welfare League of America, there were there were 6,496 victims of abuse or neglect in West Virginia in 2017, a rate of 17.6 per 1,000 children. Of these children, 40.5% were neglected, 78.2% were physically abused, and 3.5% were sexually abused.
Who is a mandated reporter according to WV state requirements?
Anyone may report suspected abuse or neglect. However, under WV Code §49-2-803, certain persons are mandated reporters and required to make a report not more than 24 hours after suspecting this abuse or neglect:
- Any medical, dental or mental health professional
- Christian Science practitioner
- Religious healer
- School teacher and other school personnel
- Social service worker
- Child care or foster care worker
- Emergency medical services personnel
- Peace officer or law-enforcement official
- Humane officer
- Member of the clergy
- Circuit court judge
- Family court judge
- Employee of the Division of Juvenile Services
- Youth camp administrator or counselor
- Employee, coach or volunteer of an entity that provides organized activities for children
- Commercial film or photographic print processor
Under WV Code §49-2-812, any mandated reporter who knowingly fails to report child abuse or neglect is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be confined in jail not more than ninety days or fined not more than $5,000, or both fined and confined.
How do I report child abuse in West Virginia?
Child abuse and neglect should be reported to the 24/7 hotline at: 1-800-352-6513.
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 in West Virginia.
How do I get online child abuse training for myself?
How do I contact the WV Department of Health and Human Resources?
Contact the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources
Bureau for Children and Families
350 Capitol Street, Room 730
Charleston, West Virginia 25301
Disclaimer: Please ensure the information and courses meet requirements for your organization and circumstances and align with what your state Department of Health and Human Resources requires. The state requirements and child abuse and human trafficking statistics listed on this page are current as of May 19th, 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 Bureau for Children and Families. If there is a child abuse emergency, call 911 immediately.