Pilot CWS-R-SAP – v. 1 Current CWS, 11. Child Abuse Reporting and Screening


Pilot Child Welfare System Redesign

Strategic Action Plan


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11. Child Abuse Reporting and Screening


“A call to a child abuse hotline is as much a request for help as a call to 911.”[1]


Mandatory Reporters


“Failure to report is a violation of the law and carries a maximum penalty of $2,000. Mandatory reporters also have been successfully sued for damages in civil court for failing to report.”[2]


There is a double-standard within the Oregon Child Welfare System: there are severe punishments to mandatory reporters who do not report child abuse or neglect that they have witnessed, yet there is no punishment to CWS staff for not assessing every report from a mandatory reporter.


“Nearly seventy-eight (78%) of the child abuse reports made in 2016 were made by mandatory reporters. In some cases, especially for small children, you may be the only person outside their family who sees them. The information you have is vital.[3] [Bolding added for emphasis]


If the information is vital, why screen it out?


“Why don’t people report suspected abuse?

  • Reporters may be reluctant to go through ‘bureaucratic red tape,’ or they may feel it will do nothing to help the family.


  • A previous report may not have been handled as the reporter thought appropriate; therefore the reporter decides not to make any more reports.”[4] [Bolding added for emphasis]


CWS knows it screens-out about 48% of reports from mandatory reporters, so why require them to report?



[1] Dan Scott, retired sergeant in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office and a leader in the effort to improve cross reporting between child protective services (CPS) and law enforcement

[2] “What Can You Do About Child Abuse?” Oregon Department of Human Services, DHS 9061 (Revised 5/2017)

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.



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To submit questions or comments, please email Jo@Jo-Calk.com. I welcome all input, ideas, and suggestions. Thank you for caring for children.


Jo Calk