How to Report Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect

Under Administrative Policy Statement 11.8: Reporting Suspected Child Abuse, University employees and volunteers must orally report suspected child abuse or neglect by telephone or otherwise at the first opportunity, but no later than 48 hours after suspecting that the abuse has taken place. There are three alternative ways to make such a report:

  1. Call the University of Washington Police Department (UWPD) at (206) 685-UWPD (8973)/TTY (206) 543-3323 (if the incident is outside of UWPD’s jurisdiction, UWPD will report it to the appropriate law enforcement agency); or
  2. Call the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) at 1-866-ENDHARM (1-866-363-4276) (TTY accessible); or
  3. Call the law enforcement agency within the jurisdiction of the suspected incident if other than the UWPD.

For suspected child abuse that occurs in a University program or at a University facility regardless of its location, University employees and volunteers must also notify their supervisor or departmental administrator of the suspected abuse immediately after they report the suspected abuse to UWPD, DSHS, or a local law enforcement agency. Once that report is made, the supervisor or departmental administrator must notify the administrative head of their organization that a report of suspected child abuse or neglect has been made. The administrative head or the administrative head’s designee will contact the UWPD to confirm that it has received a report of the suspected abuse and the appropriate Human Resources office to determine what other actions may be warranted.

What to Report

Information that may be requested when making a report includes:

  1. The name, address, and age of the child; and
  2. The name of the person committing the child abuse or neglect.

You will be asked to report only what you may know, and are not expected to do any type of review or investigation prior to reporting.


The Abuse of Children Law includes the following definitions: Child or Children means any person under the age of eighteen years of age; Child abuse includes:

  • Abuse or neglect means sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or injury of a child by any person under circumstances which cause harm to the child’s health, welfare, or safety, or the negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child by a person responsible for or providing care to the child. The physical discipline of a child is not considered to fall within the reporting obligation when it is reasonable and moderate and is inflicted by a parent, teacher, or guardian for purposes of restraining or correcting the child. Any use of force on a child by any other person is unlawful unless it is reasonable and moderate and is authorized in advance by the child’s parent or guardian for purposes of restraining or correcting the child.
  • Negligent treatment or maltreatment means an act or a failure to act, or the cumulative effects of a pattern of conduct, behavior, or inaction, that evidences a serious disregard of consequences of such magnitude as to constitute a clear and present danger to a child’s health, welfare, or safety.
  • Sexual exploitation includes: (a) Allowing, permitting, or encouraging a child to engage in prostitution by any person; or (b) allowing, permitting, encouraging, or engaging in the obscene or pornographic photographing, filming, or depicting of a child by any person.

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