Mandated Reporters

Mandated reporters are healthcare providers, licensed or unlicensed social service providers for vulnerable adults, paid or unpaid caretakers, care custodians, the clergy, and other professionals in a position of trust who suspect elder or dependent adult abuse or neglect, including self-neglect.

How to Report Abuse

State law requires that mandated reporters immediately report cases of suspected abuse or neglect of an elder or dependent adult to Adult Protective Services (APS).

(800) 814-0009 APS Hotline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

  • Emergencies:  Call 911 if an elder or dependent adult is in immediate physical danger.
  • Non-urgent, online reports: Submit a referral on reporttoaps.org.
  • Urgent reports: Call the APS Hotline for an in-person response within 24 hours, followed by a written report within two business days using Form SOC 341 (English | Spanish).
  • Non-urgent, verbal reports: Call the APS Hotline to make a verbal report, followed by a written report within two business days using Form SOC 341 (English | Spanish). 
  • Financial abuse: Financial institutions should call the APS hotline to make a verbal report, followed by a written report within two business days using Form SOC 342.

Submit Form SOC 341 or 342:  Fax to (415) 355-3549, or mail to P.O. Box 7988, SF, CA  94120-7988, Attn: APS. 

Questions? Call the APS Hotline to speak with an APS Integrated Intake Social Worker. 

Who is a Mandated Reporter?

Examples of Mandated Reporters include: 

  • Care custodians and health practitioners
  • County welfare departments
  • Employees of law enforcement and fire departments
  • Employees of humane societies and animal control agencies
  • Employees of environmental health and building code enforcement
  • Clergy members
  • Any other protective, public, sectarian, mental health, private assistance or advocacy agency, or person providing health services or social services
  • Any person who has assumed full or intermittent responsibility for care or custody
  • Officers or employees of financial institutions who suspect financial abuse

For questions about your status as a mandated reporter, call (800) 814-0009. 

When to Report

California Law, under the Welfare & Institutions Code for Elder Abuse, provides for mandatory reporting of physical abuse, neglect, self-neglect, sexual abuse, mental suffering, financial abuse, isolation, abandonment or abduction of an elder or dependent adult when:

  • The victim reports that abuse has occurred or has knowledge of abuse
  • The mandated reporter observes the incident
  • When an injury or condition reasonably leads the mandated reporter to suspect that abuse has occurred

Failure of a mandated reporter to report suspected abuse and/or neglect is a misdemeanor. When the abuse results in death or great bodily harm to the elder, the penalties for failing to report are a sentence of up to one year in county jail, a $5,000 fine, or both.

Confidentiality

The identity of all persons who report shall be confidential. Violation of statutory confidentiality is a misdemeanor. APS may reveal the names of reporting parties only to other investigative agencies as specified by law.

No person required to report elder abuse will bear criminal liability for reporting suspected abuse.

No supervisor or administrator may impede or prohibit reporting.

A victim of abuse may refuse or withdraw consent to any investigation or provision of services, which are initiated as a result of the report, unless a violation of the Penal Code has been alleged.

Mandated Reporter Training

This free, 90-minute online training provides basic information about mandated reporting requirements. For specialized training, agencies can contact their local APS or Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program offices. 
View course description and start the training.