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Some community professionals are required by law to report the observation, knowledge or reasonable suspicion of abuse to APS or law enforcement.
Mandated reporters are:
- Care custodians and health practitioners
- County welfare departments
- Employees of law enforcement and fire departments
- Employees of humane societies and animal control agencies
- Employees of environmental health and building code enforcement
- Clergy members
- Any other protective, public, sectarian, mental health, private assistance or advocacy agency, or person providing health services or social services
- Any person who has assumed full or intermittent responsibility for care or custody
- Officers or employees of financial institutions who suspect financial abuse
To ask about your status as a mandated reporter, call (800) 667-0404.
When and How to Report
California law, under the Welfare & Institutions Code for Elder Abuse, mandates reporting of physical abuse, neglect, self-neglect, sexual abuse, mental suffering, financial abuse, isolation, abandonment or abduction of an elder or dependent adult when:
- The victim reports that abuse has occurred or has knowledge of abuse.
- The mandated reporter observes the incident.
- When an injury or condition reasonably leads the mandated reporter to suspect that abuse has occurred.
Failure of a mandated reporter to report suspected abuse and/or neglect is a misdemeanor. When the abuse results in death or great bodily harm to the elder, the penalties for failing to report are a sentence of up to one year in county jail, a $5,000 fine, or both.
Learn how and what to report at free trainings offered at the Santa Rosa APS office or on-site for a group. Call to schedule: (707) 565-5900.
To report neglect or abuse, call:
Confidentiality in Reporting
The identity of all persons who report are confidential. Violation of confidentiality is a misdemeanor offense. As specified by law, APS may reveal the names of reporting parties only to other investigative agencies.
No person required to report suspected elder abuse will bear criminal liability for reporting.
No supervisor or administrator may impede or prohibit reporting.
A victim of abuse may refuse or withdraw consent to any investigation or provision of services initiated as a result of the report, unless a violation of the Penal Code has been alleged.