What Happens After You Report


After a report is filed, the county child welfare department or local law enforcement agency investigates the allegations. These agencies are also required to cross-report suspected child abuse or neglect cases to each other.

The county child welfare department or law enforcement agency investigation will result in one of three outcomes.

  • Unfounded report  the report is false, or does not involve abuse, such as an accidental injury.
  • Substantiated report  it is determined that child abuse has occurred.
  • Inconclusive report  there is insufficient evidence to determine whether abuse has occurred.

Only substantiated reports of child abuse and severe neglect must be forwarded to the Department of Justice. The county child welfare department will determine if children need to be removed from the home or if services need to be offered to the parents or caregivers. Law enforcement agencies may also pursue criminal prosecution.