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National Childres Alliance

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Report Abuse

Information about Abuse and Neglect of Children and Maryland’s Law
Child abuse and neglect of children is a serious problem which requires the involvement of all private citizens and professionals in the community for the purpose of prevention, identification and treatment. In Maryland, the child abuse and neglect law mandates that all persons, including all professionals, make a report as soon as possible to the department of social services when they SUSPECT a child has been or is being mistreated.

Report AbuseWho is required to report/mandated reporter

Any health practitioner, police officer, educator, or human service worker who knowingly fails to make a required report of child abuse may be subject to certain professional sanctions.

Child abuse is defined as the physical or mental injury of a child by any parent or other person who has permanent or temporary care or custody or responsibility for supervision of a child, or by any household or family member, under circumstances that indicate that the child’s health or welfare is harmed or at substantial risk of being harmed; or sexual abuse of a child weather physical injuries are sustained or not. Sexual abuse means any act that involves sexual molestation or exploitation of a child, and includes; fondling, incest, rape or sexual offense in any degree, sodomy, and unnatural or prevented sexual practices

Child neglect is defined as the failure to give proper care and attention to a child including the leaving of a child unattended, under circumstances that indicate that the child's health or welfare is harmed or placed at substantial risk of harm.

Child AbuseChild Abuse and Neglect also includes mental injury of a child. Mental injury is defined as an observable, identifiable and substantial impairment of a child’s mental or psychological ability to function. When mental injury is suspected an assessment is required by any two of the following: physician, psychologist or social worker.

Good Faith
The law provides immunity from any civil liability or criminal penalty when a report is made in good faith. The law provides immunity for persons who participate in an investigation or a resulting judicial proceeding.

Making a Report
The names of persons making referrals concerning maltreatment are kept in the strictest confidence. Individuals who make reports are encouraged to give their names and telephone numbers to person taking the referral so that additional information may be obtained from them at a later date, if necessary. If someone does not wish to reveal his or her name, the report may still be made anonymously.

Report Child Abuse in Washington County

Call: 240-420-2222

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Safe Place - Washington County Child Advocacy Center - 24 N. Walnut Street, Suite 201 - Hagerstown, Maryland 21740 - Phone: 240-420-4300 -