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Mandated Reporter

California law requires certain individuals at Stanford to report known or reasonably suspected child abuse or neglect to the authorities. These individuals are known under the law as "Mandated Reporters." All mandated reporters are required to sign an Acknowledgement Form and be provided with copies of the State of California Penal Code provisions. Use this checklist to help you identify which jobs/roles are considered mandated reporters.

If you are a manager and need to communicate with your staff about this requirement, this communication template may be useful (Note: new hires complete this requirement when they attend the Welcome Center).

Frequently Asked Questions

Hosting a program that includes attendance by minors? View the Protection of Minors website, which includes all required forms for registering your program and information about background checks.

Who Must Report

Penal Code section 11165.7 lists 44 categories of professionals or individuals who are mandated reporters. Most of Stanford’s mandated reporters fall within category 41: university employees who come into contact with children on a regular basis, or who supervise those who do.  Examples include:

  • Faculty, academic staff, graduate students and other instructors who teach courses in which minors are enrolled, including summer session
  • Residential advisors
  • Faculty, staff, or graduate student sponsoring a minor intern
  • Camp counselor

These employees are required to report known or reasonably suspected abuse that occurs on campus or at an official Stanford sponsored program or activity.

Other categories of mandated reporter at Stanford include:

  • Police officers and employees of a police department
  • Medical personnel, such as physicians and surgeons, residents and interns, psychiatrists, psychologists, psychological assistants
  • Employees of a licensed child care facility
  • Youth camp administrators
  • K-12 teachers, teacher’s aides, or administrators, such as online high school teachers
  • Athletic coaches, assistant coaches, and graduate assistants involved in coaching 
  • Clergy (unless information obtained during a "penitential communication")

Employees in these categories are mandated to report more broadly: they must report whenever in their professional capacity, or in the course and scope of their employment, they have knowledge of or observe a child who they know or reasonably suspect has been the victim of child abuse or neglect.

For a complete list, see the Penal Code provisions referenced above.

Every member of the Stanford community should report known or reasonably suspected child abuse or neglect, regardless of whether he or she is a mandated reporter.

How to Report

  • Call the child welfare authorities or the police immediately, or as soon as practically possible.
  • Send a written follow-up report within 36 hours by mail, e-mail or fax.

NOTE: Mandated reporters are immune from criminal or civil liability for reports made in good faith.

Important Contact Details

  • In an emergency, call 911 (9-911 from campus).
  • Santa Clara County Child Abuse and Neglect Center at 650-493-1186.
  • Stanford University Department of Public Safety at 650-723-9633 during business hours or 650-329-2413 after hours.
  • If the child lives in California, you may alternately call the authorities serving the area where the child lives.
  • Stanford mandated reporters are encouraged, but not obligated, to inform their supervisor and Stanford’s Compliance and Ethics Helpline at 650-721-2667 or online using the Helpline Request Form about any mandatory reports, after the mandated reporter calls the authorities.

Form to Use After Reporting

This is the required form for the written follow-up report:

Legal Penalty for NOT Reporting

Failure to report is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. If willful failure to report abuse or neglect results in death or great bodily injury, the penalty increases to up to one year in jail or up to $5,000. There may also be civil liability.


Currently there is online training available from the State of California, as well as group trainings scheduled through Stanford’s Office of the General Counsel. Other training opportunities will be posted as they are identified.

Online Training from the State of California

State of CA Mandated Reporter Training

Training at Stanford

The Office of the General Counsel is available to provide group trainings. Call Nancy Heafey, Office of the General Counsel at 650-497-9627 to set up a session.

Employees and others who have been identified as Mandated Reporters for Child Abuse are required to sign the online “Acknowledgement of Mandated Reporter Status” form. Please see the instructions below for printing out the materials and signing the form.

A copy of the Acknowledgement Form and Penal Code provisions should be downloaded and reviewed prior to electronically signing the Form in Axess.

After reviewing the materials, follow the instructions below to enroll and launch the online form, “Stanford University Acknowledgement of Mandated Reporter Status.” Make sure the popup blocker is turned off for your browser before you launch the following link.

Instructions to Complete and Submit the Acknowledgement Form

  • Login to Axess (secure) and click the STARS tab
  • Search catalog for "Mandated Reporter"
  • On next page, click “Continue” button
  • Click the“Enroll” button
  • Click “Launch” button
  • Review, then click “I agree”
  • Click "Submit” to complete your acknowledgement

For More Information

  • For questions about whether something you know or suspect is reportable, please call the child welfare authorities at 650-493-1186.
  • For questions about the law, the Stanford community can call Nancy Heafey, Senior University Counsel in the Office of General Counsel at 650-497-9627.
  • To request a department report identifying which employees have signed the Mandated Reporter Acknowledgment Form, contact Doug Hoppe in University Human Resources at

Individuals at Stanford are encouraged to tell their supervisor and the Stanford Compliance and Ethics Helpline at 650-721-2667 or via the Helpline Request Form about known or suspected abuse after they call the authorities to make an official report.