State law mandates certain professionals or officials, acting in their professional capacity, must report concerns about any child who may be, or is at risk of being, abused or neglected. Most mandated reporters work in schools, health care, counseling/psychology, child care, camps for children, the legal field, social work or developmental disability programs. More specific information on mandated reporters, and a complete list, is available at Ohio Revised Code 2151.421.
All of us have a responsibility to report a situation in which we suspect a child may be in danger of abuse or neglect. Ohio law encourages everyone to act on behalf of children in need of protection and to report concerns or suspicions to the appropriate authorities.
Why Should You Call?
First and foremost, you should call to protect the child. Infants and young children cannot speak for themselves, and older children are often afraid to tell people about potential abuse. They need others to act for them. Parents who maltreat their children do not voluntarily request services. It’s important to remember that the intent of the reporting law is not to hurt or to punish, but rather to help children and families in need.
Some Definitions to Help You
While these definitions are provided to help you, always remember to call 393-3111, as they will make the determination regarding any allegation of abuse or neglect.
A child is considered to be:
- anyone under the age of 18 or
- anyone under the age of 21 who is developmentally disabled or physically impaired
Abuse may involve non-accidental injuries, bone fractures, burns, beatings, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, etc.
Neglect may involve inadequate supervision, endangerment, malnutrition, refusing to seek medical care for a child, abandonment, etc. A parent who does not protect their child from abuse by another person is another example of neglect.
How Do You Report Suspected Cases?
Report concerns by telephone to 937-393-3111. You can also make a report in person to the Children’s Services Division of Highland County Job and Family Services (HCJFS) at the address below:
Highland County Department of Job and Family Services
Children’s Services Division
1575 North High Street Ste #100
Hillsboro, OH 45133