Administrative and Business Practices
California law designates USC employees with certain positions as "mandated reporters" (defined below and in Appendix A). Mandated reporters have an individual duty to report known or suspected abuse or neglect relating to children, elders or dependent adults. Any employees whose positions are designated by the state as mandated reporters must understand what they are required to report, when it must be reported, and to whom. Summary information regarding the three categories of mandated reports is provided below.
Some schools and departments may offer additional assistance related to abuse reporting. Employees should refer to their department or facility for abuse reporting procedures. If the department or facility does not maintain such procedures, the employee must take the steps listed below to report the known or suspected abuse or neglect.
All USC employees, regardless of "mandated reporter" status, are required to report any known or suspected abuse or neglect relating to children. Two reports must be made in cases involving minors: First, an immediate report must be made to USC's Department of Public Safety (DPS); from all locations, call (213) 740-4321 (emergencies; immediate threat of danger) or (213) 740-6000. The second report must be made to the Department of Children and Family Services Child Protection Hotline at (800) 540-4000. See USC's Protecting Minors and Reporting Wrongdoing policies for more information.
- Child. Person under age 18. (Penal Code § 11165)
- Elder. Person age 65 or older. (Welfare & Inst. Code § 15610.26)
- Dependent Adult. Person between ages 18 and 64 with a physical or mental limitation that restricts his or her ability to carry out normal activities or protect his or her rights. Includes all people between ages 18 and 64 who have been admitted as an inpatient to a 24 hour health care facility. (Welfare & Inst. Code § 15610.23)
- Mandated Reporter. Employee who is required by law to report a particular category or type of abuse to the appropriate law enforcement or social service agency.
- Who must report (Penal Code § 11165.7(a))
- Teachers who instruct students under the age of 18
- Any USC employee, including faculty, whose duties require direct contact and supervision of persons under the age of 18
- Child care and children's activity providers
- Social workers and mental health practitioners
- Health care providers
The following general categories of employees, described in more detail in Appendix A, are mandated reporters for abuse and neglect of a child:
- What must be reported (Penal Code §§ 11165.1, 11165.6, 11166(a))
- Physical injury
- Sexual abuse
- Willful harm or injury
- Endangering of health
- Unlawful corporal punishment or injury
The following general categories of abuse and neglect of a child must be reported when a mandated reporter knows of or reasonably suspects such abuse or neglect has occurred:
- Reporting process (Penal Code § 11166)
- ImmediatelyReport to the Department of Public Safety, from all locations, by calling (213) 740-4321 (emergency) or (213) 740-6000.
- As soon as possibleMake a telephone report to Department of Children and Family Services Child Protection Hotline at (800) 540-4000 (available 24 hours, 7 days a week). See Protecting Minors policy.
- Within 36 hoursFile a written report on Form SS8572 (Suspected Child Abuse Report) with the Department of Children and Family Services; address to be provided when making telephone report. Form available at: http://ag.ca.gov/childabuse/pdf/ss_8572.pdf
A mandated reporter who knows of or reasonably suspects abuse or neglect must comply with the reporting process described below.
Dependent Adult/Elder Abuse
- Who must report (Welfare & Inst. Code § 15630)
- Any employee (including support staff and maintenance staff) working in any facility that provides any elder or dependent care services.
- Any employee providing direct health care or social services to an elder or dependent adult.
- Health care practitioners.
The following categories of employees are mandated reporters for elder or dependent adult abuse:
- What must be reported (Welfare & Inst. Code § 15630(b))
- Physical abuse
- Financial abuse
The following general categories of incidents of abuse of an elder or dependent adult must be reported when a mandated reporter has observed, has knowledge of or reasonably suspects the abuse, or is told by the elder or dependent adult that such abuse has occurred:
- Reporting procedures (Welfare & Inst. Code § 15630(c))
- Long-term care or adult day health care center
- ImmediatelyTelephone report to the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program at (800) 334-9473.
- Within two working daysWritten report on Form SOC341 "Report of Suspected Dependent Adult/Elder Abuse" to Long Term Care Ombudsman; address to be provided when making telephone report. Form available at: http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/Forms/English/SOC341.pdf
- All other settings
- ImmediatelyTelephone report to Adult Protective Services at (213) 351-5401 or (877) 477-3647.
- Within two working daysWritten report on Form SOC341 "Report of Suspected Dependent Adult/Elder Abuse" faxed to (213) 738-6485. Form available at: http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/Forms/English/SOC341.pdf
The appropriate reporting agency for elder and dependent adult abuse depends on the location in which the abuse occurred, not the location in which it was discovered. After a report has been made using the procedures below, follow up and status updates may be obtained via the Adult Protective Services Mandated Reporter Hotline at (888) 202-4248.
- Long-term care or adult day health care center
Injury by Firearm or Assault/Abuse
- Who must report (Penal Code § 11160(a))
Any health practitioner providing services in a health facility, clinic or physician's office who knows or reasonably suspects that a patient to whom the practitioner is providing services is the victim of assaultive or abusive conduct or a firearm injury.
- What must be reported (Penal Code § 11160(a)(1), (d))
- Firearmswhether inflicted by the patient or another
- Murder, manslaughter, mayhem, aggravated mayhem, torture, battery
- Assaultincluding with intent to commit another crime, with a stun gun or taser, or with a deadly weapon
- Administration of a controlled substance or anesthetic to aid in commission of a felony
- Sexual battery, incest, rape, spousal rape, procuring a female to have sex with another man, sodomy, oral copulation, sexual penetration
- Throwing chemical substances with the intent to injure or disfigure
- Child abuse or endangerment, lewd or lascivious acts with a child
- Abuse of spouse or cohabitant
- Elder abuse
- Attempt to commit any crime listed in sections b-i, above
All physical injuries known or reasonably suspected to have resulted from the following general categories of conduct must be reported:
- Reporting process (Penal Code § 11160(b))
- ImmediatelyTelephone report to local law enforcement in the jurisdiction in which the injury occurred.
- Within two working daysWritten report on Form OES 920 "Suspicious Injury Report"; address to be provided when making telephone report. Form available at: http://www.calema.ca.gov/PublicSafetyandVictimServices/Documents/Forms%202011/Medical%20forms/Suspicious%20Injury%20Report%202-920.pdf
The USC hospitals have additional procedures related to the same categories of mandated reporting. See the hospital intranet for links to hospital-based mandated reporter information.
Failure to report is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail or a fine of up to $1,000, or both (Penal Code §§ 11162, 11166(c); Welfare & Inst. Code § 15630(h)). In some cases, failure to report elder or dependent adult abuse may result in up to one year in jail or a fine of up to $5,000, or both (Welfare & Inst. Code § 15630(h)).
Questions regarding categories of abuse that must be reported or the reporting process in general may be directed to the following offices:
Compliance (213) 740-2500
DPS (213) 740-4321 (emergency), (213) 740-6000 (non-emergency)
Equity and Diversity (213) 740-5086
Office of Compliance
Elizabeth Garrett, Provost and Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs
Todd R. Dickey, Senior Vice President, Administration
University of Southern California