Report Child Abuse and  Neglect

How to Report Child Abuse

Abuse is the non-accidental injury of a child. It includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, exploitation and neglect. Any concerned person can report known or suspected child abuse or neglect. Reports can be made 24 hours per day, 7 days per week by calling 530-273-4291 or toll-free at 888-456-9380.

Please have as much information available regarding the child and family as possible. Names, addresses, ages, schools attended and other identifying information ensure that Nevada County Child Welfare Services (CWS) staff may make contact with the family if appropriate.


The reporter's identity is confidential, but it is helpful to give your name so the CWS can make follow-up contact with the reporter if necessary. The reporter is free from civil or criminal liability for reports of suspected child abuse or neglect made in good faith.

If you are unsure about whether or not to report, simply call the child abuse hotline and discuss the situation.

Mandated Reporters

Before you complete an Online Suspected Child Abuse Report (SCAR) Form

Call the 24-hour Child Welfare Services Hotline to make a verbal report, please do so before attempting to complete this online report. You can reach the Hotline by calling 530-273-4291 or toll-free at 888-456-9380.

If your verbal report was made to the Hotline, you may complete this online report and it will not be necessary for you to mail or fax a report to Child Welfare. We will automatically retrieve your report and it will be sent to the appropriate agencies.

Instructions for Completing the Form Online

Reporting Responsibilities

Certain professionals, including, doctors, therapists, teachers and others are mandated to report abuse and neglect. Any mandated reporter who has knowledge of or observes a child, in their professional capacity or within the scope of their employment, whom they know or reasonably suspect has been the victim of child abuse or neglect shall report such suspected incident of abuse or neglect to the designated agency immediately or as soon as practically possible by telephone and shall submit a written report within 36 hours of delivering the information concerning the incident. The written report must be on the Suspected Child Abuse Report (SCAR) Form. The Child Abuse and Reporting Act includes a list of all mandated reporters and reporting requirements. Mandated reporter information is kept confidential.

Completing the Form

1. Use the following link to complete and submit the online form. If you have already completed your form and have it in PDF format, you can submit it here.

2. Enter the number of victims. You will have the option to enter the number of victims inside the form in Section E.

3. It is important to indicate whether or not the child is developmentally delayed or has some disability.

4. The mandated reporter must complete and submit the SCAR (SS8572), even if some of the requested information is "unknown"; please complete all fields on the form. If the information is unknown, enter "unknown".

Completing the Narrative

The SCAR requires that you provide the date, time, and the place of the incident. Additionally, you are required to include the following in your narrative description:

1. What the victim(s) said;

2. What the mandated reporter (you) observed;

3. What the person accompanying the victim(s) said; and

4. Similar past incidents involving the victim(s) or suspect.

Review the questions below before completing the narrative. By providing the information requested, you will assist the Child’s Social Worker and law enforcement official assigned to investigate the allegations you have reported. If you don’t have all the information, do your best to include as much information as possible. Keep these questions in mind when making your next report:

1. The names of the victim(s) and the perpetrator(s)/suspect(s). Include the relationship of the perpetrator(s)/suspect(s) to the victim and the address and/or current location.

2. Is the victim developmentally disabled?

3. Does the victim have any disability?

4. Provide any known details.

5. Provide specific dates and/or timeframes.

6. Provide the specific location (address if known) of the incident.

7. Who, if anyone, was a witness to the event?

8. Is there anyone else who may know about the incident or who may be able to provide information about the victim or the victim’s family?

9. Provide the identifying information (name, address, telephone, etc.) and relationship of the person to the victim/family.