Mandated Reporter

Suspected Abuse

Emergency Response (ER)

Emergency Response provides 24-hour daily response to allegations of child abuse and neglect. Community members reporting abuse call our ER Hotline where a social worker assesses each report and makes a determination of the appropriate response. If an investigation reveals a child is at risk of abuse or neglect, emergency response prevention services may be offered for a maximum of 30 days. Services include case management, counseling, emergency in-home caretaker, parenting training, teaching and demonstrating homemakers and transportation. Community members have an important role in protecting children from abuse and neglect.

California law defines child abuse as any of the following:

  • Sexual Abuse-any sexual act against a minor by a parent, caretaker or member of the household or if the parent has failed to protect the child from sexual abuse
  • Physical Abuse-bodily injury inflicted on a child by other than accidental means
  • Emotional Abuse-non-physical mistreatment that endangers a child's emotional health
  • General Neglect-failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical treatment or supervision where no physical injury to the child has occurred
  • Severe Neglect-refers to situations where the child's health and life is endangered, including severe malnutrition and failure to thrive
  • Exploitation-forcing or coercing a child into performing activities that are beyond the child's capabilities or which are illegal or degrading

Criteria for Reporting Suspected Child Abuse / Neglect

  • The report pertains to a child under the age of 18 years
  • The report alleges abuse, neglect or imminent risk of harm to the child
  • The alleged perpetrator is:
    • A parent or caretaker
    • A relative or other person living in the home
    • An educator, volunteer or employee of a recreational/organizational setting who is responsible for the child
    • Any individual providing treatment, care or supervision for the child

Information to Be Reported

  • The nature of specific incident(s) you are reporting
  • Date(s) and descriptions(s) of the injuries or danger(s)
  • Identities of perpetrator(s) and their relationship(s) to the child
  • Witnesses to the incident(s) and how they may be reached
  • Details of any physical evidence available
  • The perpetrator's current access to the child
  • Present condition of the child (for example is the child in need of medical attention), the location of the child, and statements from the child(ren) when possible

Reporting Process

Child Welfare Services social work staff determines how to proceed by assessing the referral information and focusing on present and potential future risk to the child. An assessment tool assists the social worker to determine how to respond and what priority to assign that referral. When a referral is received, the social service staff obtains facts from the person making the referral to determine if the referral alleges abuse, neglect, or exploitation. The Emergency Response staff determines if an in-person response is indicated. Whenever a report indicates the need for protection, Children's Services will:

  • Accept the case
  • Intervene in the crisis, if required
  • Apply Family Preservation and Support Services for some families
  • Assess or identify problems, gather facts and clarify the problems
  • Plan and provide services, set goals, identify resources and time frames
  • Document the case
  • Terminate the case or transfer it to another program

24 Hour Emergency Response Hotline

Dependency Investigators (DI)

Napa County’s DI program conducts investigations and assesses the need for dependency status for a child who is new to the system, and also evaluates and files petitions to change the dependency status of a child already in the system.

The DI team supports the ER program once a child has been taken into custody, or, if an ER investigation suggests the need for further investigation, of the risk to a child who has not been taken into custody. The DI team also provides or coordinates all the assessment and services needed during hearings associated with these activities and performs all the court related work required to find or maintain jurisdiction over a child.

Mandated Reporter Training

In California, certain professionals are required to report known or suspected child abuse. Other citizens, not required by law to report, may also do so. It is important for practitioners and other mandated reporters to keep updated on periodic amendments in the law.

The Child Abuse Prevention Council of Napa County maintains a speaker's bureau to educate teachers, childcare providers, and the public about child abuse and how to report it.

For more information or to request Mandated Reporter Training please call:

  • Child Abuse Prevention Council
    Phone: 707-252-1123, ext.18
  • Shana Rousseau, Child Welfare Emergency Response Supervisor
    Phone: 707-259-8699