Georgia Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse

Important Information on Georgia's Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse

The Valdosta State University community is committed to preventing the abuse of children. Georgia state law, Georgia Code Section 19-7-5, requires VSU employees or volunteers with reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused to report that abuse immediately. The law includes VSU employees and volunteers because VSU is a public organization that provides care, treatment, education, training, supervision, coaching, counseling, recreational programs, and/or shelter to children. Immediate action is essential to protect all children we work with both on and off our campus.

How has the Georgia mandatory reporting of child abuse law changed?

Before the Georgia law was updated, the law applied only to certain categories of people who routinely had contact with children, such as doctors, teachers and social workers. Georgia’s statute has been revised to expand its scope beyond those limited categories of mandated reporters to now include both volunteers and employees on campuses such as ours.

The Georgia mandatory reporting of child abuse statute applies to any employee or volunteer at VSU who knows about child abuse, or has good-faith reason to suspect that someone has committed child abuse, either on or off campus. This duty to report applies to Valdosta State University student volunteers, faculty members, and coaches, among others.

Who is considered a child?

“Child” means any person under the age of 18.

What is considered child abuse?

Sexual abuse, non-accidental physical injury, and neglect are forms of child abuse to report.

How do I report child abuse?

If you see, hear about, or know about possible child abuse through a VSU program, either on or off campus, you must take the following steps:

  1.  You must immediately contact the Valdosta State University Police Department by calling 229-259-5555.
  2.  You must immediately contact The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services at 1-855-GACHILD
  3.  You must immediately inform your supervisor, program director, or Valdosta State University official.