Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
IF CHILD IS IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, CALL 911
What is child abuse and neglect?
In Nevada, abuse or neglect of a child includes physical and/or mental non-accidental injury; sexual abuse or sexual exploitation; or negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child under age 18 caused or allowed by a person responsible for his/her welfare.
PHYSICAL ABUSE includes non-accidental physical injuries to a child, such as a sprain or dislocation of an arm or leg; damage to cartilage tissues, such as a broken nose; fracture of a bone or the skull; injury to an internal organ; burns or scalding, cuts, lacerations, punctures, bites; bruising; permanent or temporary disfigurement; or a permanent or temporary loss or impairment or organ of the body (NRS 432B.090).
EMOTIONAL ABUSE or “mental injury” means an injury to the intellectual or psychological capacity or the emotional condition of a child. This type of injury results in observable and substantial impairment of a child’s behavior.
SEXUAL ABUSE occurs when sex acts are forced on children.
SEXUAL EXPLOITATION occurs when children are forced, allowed, or encouraged to engage in prostitution, pornography or to engage in any other type of sexual activity such as posing for live sex shows.
STATUTORY SEXUAL SEDUCTION occurs when someone under the age of 16 engages in consensual sexual penetration with someone over the age of 18 years old.
NEGLECT treatment or maltreatment of a child occurs if a child has been abandoned, is without proper care, control and supervision or lacks; food, education, shelter, medical care or other care necessary for the well being of the child. This includes leaving young children unsupervised or alone, locked in or out of the house.
Who should report?
Any person who has reasonable cause to believe child abuse may be occurring or has occurred may report to a Child Protective Services (CPS) or law enforcement agency. Under NRS 432B.121 (1) a person has “reasonable cause to believe” based on known facts or circumstances, events or conditions that would cause a reasonable person to believe that child abuse has occurred or may be occurring. This should be reported by the person as soon as reasonably possible to a CPS or law enforcement agency. Mandated reporters are those persons, who in their professional or occupational capacities who know or have reason to believe that a child has been abused or neglected (NRS 432B.220).
Mandated reporters are required to make a report immediately to a CPS or law enforcement agency. A report must be made within 24 hours after there is a reason to believe that a child has been abused or neglected. There are penalties for mandated reporters when a report is not received within the time limit (NRS 432B.240).
When should a report be made?
A person must report or act “as soon as reasonably practicable” if, in light of all the surrounding facts and circumstances which are known or which reasonably should be known to the person at the time, a reasonable person would act within approximately the same period under those facts and circumstances (NRS 432B.121). A report of suspected child abuse or neglect is only a request for an investigation. The person making the report does not need to prove or provide proof that abuse has or may have occurred. Investigation is the responsibility of the Child Protective Services Agency and/or law enforcement.
How is abuse reported?
A report must be made in person, by telephone or other means of oral communication, written or electronic communication to the nearest CPS or law enforcement agency.
Once completed, please fax a form to the appropriate agency listed below:
|Child Protective Services||Reno Police Department|
|During Regular Business Hours||If crime occurred in the city of Reno|
|Phone: (775) 785-8600||Phone: (775) 334-2677 (COPS)|
|Fax: (775) 785-8648||Fax: (775) 334-2505|
|Sparks Police Department||Washoe County Sheriff's Office|
|If crime occurred in the city of Sparks||If crime occurred in Washoe County,|
|Phone: (775) 353-2231||excluding Reno and Sparks|
|Fax: (775) 353-2436||Phone: (775) 328-3002|
|Fax: (775) 325-6461|
|Crisis Call Center|
|For after-hours, non emergency reports|
|Phone: (775) 784-8090|
|Toll Free: 1-800-992-5757|