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Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect

Letter Head: Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, California Department of Education

February 14, 2013

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:


As educators, our most important duty is the protection of the children in our care. Given recent events, I am writing with a reminder that California Penal Code includes requirements concerning the mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect. For your convenience, I have attached a copy of the California Penal Code section for your information.

California Penal Code Section 11165.7(a) defines who qualifies as a “mandated reporter.”

California Penal Code Section 11165.7(d) states that “School districts that do not train their employees specified in subdivision (a) in the duties of mandated reporters under the child abuse reporting laws shall report to the State Department of Education the reasons why this training is not provided.”

For the convenience of school districts, I have also attached a form that can be used to provide this notification to the California Department of Education (CDE).

In addition to these requirements, I have asked CDE staff to complete a review of the kinds of training school districts may be providing pursuant to California Penal Code section 11165.7(c). For your convenience, an example of such a training module is on the California Department of Social Services Child Abuse Mandated Reporter Training Web page at

I would appreciate your sharing information about the training you offer with Craig Cheslog, Principal Advisor to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, by e-mail at by February 28, 2013.

I have also asked Mr. Cheslog to coordinate a review of state laws and regulations to see if any changes to statute are warranted. If you would like to share your thoughts about possible changes to existing statute or if you have any questions about this subject, you may contact him by e-mail at the above address or by phone at 916-319-0554. 


Tom Torlakson

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