Illinois Child Abuse Reporting Guidelines
Mandated Reporters and other persons should call the Hotline when they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been abused or neglected. The Hotline worker will determine if the information given by the reporter meets the legal requirements to initiate an investigation. Information about the reporter’s identity is confidential and will not be shared with others.
Criteria needed for a child abuse or neglect investigation:
The alleged victim is a child under the age of 18.
The alleged perpetrator (the person alleged to have committed the abuse/neglect) must be a parent, step-parent, paramour of the natural parent, guardian, foster parent, immediate family member (siblings and grandparents), any person living in the home of the child, a person who came to know the child through an official capacity or position of trust (such as a teacher, health care professional or volunteer in a youth program), or a person who is responsible for the welfare of the child (such as a babysitter, day care facility, or residential facility). (See Section 2 if alleged perpetrator does not meet this criteria).
There is a specific incident of abuse or neglect, or a specific set of circumstances involving suspected abuse or neglect.
There is demonstrated harm to the child or a substantial risk of physical or sexual injury to the child.
Information the Reporter should have ready to give to the Hotline:
Names, birthdates (or approximate ages), races, genders, etc., for all adult and child subjects.
Addresses for all victims and perpetrators, including current location.
Information about the siblings or other family members, if available.
Specific information about the abusive incident or the circumstances contributing to risk of harm. The reporter should have information about when the incident occurred, the extent of the injuries, how the child says it happened, and any other pertinent information available to the reporter.
Information about other possible individuals who may have knowledge of the situation.
Child Abuse Hotline
The Hotline operates 24 hours per day, 365 days a year.
The Hotline is less busy in the early morning hours, and reporters may be able to get through more quickly during these times. Reporters should be prepared to provide phone numbers where they may be reached throughout the day in case the Hotline must call back for more information.