How to report suspected child abuse or neglect

Under university policy, employees and volunteers must 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, or after learning of the suspected abuse.

Child Abuse Reporting Poster

Who to call

Call the University Police Department (UPD) at 509-359-POPO (7676) or the law enforcement agency within the jurisdiction of the suspected incident if other than the UPD. If you are concerned about the immediate safety of a child call 911.

For abuse or neglect involving a parent, guardian or other household member, call the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) at 1-866-ENDHARM (1-866-363-4276) (TTY accessible).

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 call the University Risk Manager at 509-359-6618 to report the suspected abuse immediately after they report the suspected abuse to the authorities.

What to report

Information that may be requested when making a report includes:

  1. The name, address, and age of the child
  2. Contact information for a parent or guardian
  3. Identifying information of the person committing the child abuse or neglect
  4. A description of the incident, what was disclosed or witnessed, or other information that led you to suspect abuse or neglect has occurred

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

Definitions of abuse or neglect

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:

  • Physical Abuse – The non-accidental infliction of physical injury on or physical mistreatment of a child, when it may cause harm to the child’s health, welfare, or safety.
  • Negligent Treatment – An act or  failure to act, or the cumulative effects of a pattern of conduct, behavior, or inaction, that evidences a serious disregard of consequences that constitute a clear and present danger to a child’s health, welfare, or safety.
  • Sexual Abuse- committing or allowing any sexual offense against a child, including intentional touching of sexual or intimate parts for the purpose of sexual gratification
  • Sexual Exploitation – Allowing, permitting, or encouraging a child to engage in prostitution, or obscene or pornographic depictions of a child.
  • Abandonment- A parent or guardian foregoing the responsibility to provide essential care to a child.