Child Abuse

   When you report, police or CPS will want to know:
> nature of the suspicions you have – who, what, when, where, how
> where is the child now
> are there also possible affected siblings
> who might be involved - what is their relationship to the child, and where are they now
> danger potential to child/other family members/yourself
How do I report?

  1. Call immediately or as soon as possible.
  2. Send a written follow-up report within 36 hours by mail, e-mail or fax.
  3. Contact police if immediate danger or sexual abuse is suspected.

To whom do I report?

Report either to the police department in the city where the incident occurred, or to the child protection service in the county where the child lives.  In general, report suspected sexual abuse, iincidents by a stranger, or incidents in a daycare facility to the police, and home/family situations to CPS.

Palo Alto Police (650) 329-2413
[PAPD can give you phone number of police dept. in city you need.]

Dept. of Family and Children's Services
Santa Clara County (updated from list below)
(408) 299-2071
373 West Julian St., Second Floor
San Jose, CA 95110

San Mateo County
(800) 632-4615
400 Harbor Blvd.
Belmont, CA 94002

All Calif. County CPS PDF Document

What forms do I use?

There are two related state forms:

SS 8572 plus Instructions
Single page, small area to detail injuries; can attach other pages, such as a child body map

Optional additional detailed forensic form:
CalEMA 2-900 plus Instructions
8 page forensic examination form

Is there liability from reporting?

Mandated reporters are immune from criminal or civil liability.

Is there a penalty for NOT reporting?

Failure to report is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. If willful failure to report abuse or neglect results in death or great bodily injury, the penalty increases to up to one year in jail or up to $5,000. There may also be civil liability.


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