Mandated Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting

Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act

The Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA) requires optometrists, and many other licensed professionals, to report suspected child abuse. As designated "mandated reporters" optometrists have legal obligation to advise certain local government agencies if they suspect child abuse or neglect.

CANRA requires that any optometrist who has knowledge of or observe a child, in his or her professional capacity or within the scope of his or her employment, whom he or she knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect shall report such suspected incident to a designated agency. The report must be made immediately or as soon as practically possible by telephone and followed up with a written report within 36 hours of receiving the information concerning the incident.

Mandated reporters may submit reports of suspected child abuse or neglect to any of the following local government agencies:

  • Police department
  • Sheriff's department
  • County probation department (if designated by the county to receive mandated reports)
  • County welfare department

No mandated reporter who reports a suspected incident of child abuse or neglect shall be held civilly or criminally liable for any report required or authorized by CANRA.

Additional information about CANRA is available at the Department of Justice web site

Child Abuse Form SS 8572 Instructions

Child Abuse Form SS 8572

Related Penal Code Sections

Issues & Answers for Mandated Reporters