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Report Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect

Under Executive Order 56: Reporting Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect, University employees and volunteers must report suspected child abuse or neglect as soon as possible and no later than 48 hours after suspecting the abuse has taken place. 

The Washington State Abuse of Children Law (RCW 26.44) 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.

For questions about your reporting requirements, contact or call 206-616-5706. If you have safety concerns about a situation but are not sure if it warrants a report, you can call SafeCampus 206-685 SAFE (7233) to discuss the situation. All calls are private and you may remain anonymous.

Reporting Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect: When to make a report

Who to call

If you are concerned about the immediate safety of a child call 911.

To fulfill your obligation to report:

1. Call EITHER

  • The law enforcement agency within the jurisdiction of the suspected incident.
    • A list of King and Snohomish County area non-emergency lines can be found on this webpage
    • University of Washington Police Department at 206-685-8973 for Seattle campus incidents.


2. AND, if the suspected child abuse or neglect occurred in a University program or at any University facility, University employees and volunteers must ALSO call SafeCampus at 206-685-SAFE (7233) immediately after reporting to law enforcement or DCYF.

Reporting Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect: What & How to report

EO 56 reporting steps flow chart
What to report

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. You may be asked about.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Behaviors that are discouraged and prohibited in youth programs. Certain behaviors of concern require notification to SafeCampus per APS 10.13. Examples are listed on this webpage: Addressing Unsafe Interactions & Behaviors of Concerns [PDF version here]

  • Visit the FAQ page to learn about examples of behaviors of concern and how to go about reporting the situation.

Additional Resources