Illinois dentists and dental hygienists are mandated reporters of suspected abuse and neglect. Abuse and neglect know no socioeconomic boundaries, and victims can be children, adults and the elderly. Dental office staff should be comfortable with identifying and reporting suspected abuse or neglect since members of the dental team are in a prime position to help these victims.
To report a situation of suspected abuse or neglect, call the abuse hotline at 800/25-ABUSE
. Additional information is available through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
Effective January 1, 2020,
persons required to report child abuse or child neglect (dentists and hygienists) must complete an initial mandated reporter training within 3 months of their date of engagement in a professional or official capacity as a mandated reporter, and at least every (6) years thereafter.
Medical personnel (dentists and hygienists) who work with children in their professional or official capacity must complete mandated reporter training at least every (6) years and must at least each time of licensure renewal state on their renewal form that they:
- Understand they are a mandated reporter of child abuse and neglect;
- Are aware of the process for making a report;
- Know how to respond to a child in a trauma-informed manner; and
- Are aware of the role of the child protective services and the role of a reporter after a call has been made.
The training shall be in-person or web-based, and shall include at a minimum, information on the following topics:
1) Indicators for recognizing child abuse and child neglect;
2) The process for reporting suspected child abuse and child neglect in Illinois as required by this Act and the required documentation;
3) Responding to a child in a trauma-informed manner; and
4) Understanding the response of child protective services and the role of the reporter after a call has been made.
The mandated reporter training shall be provided through the Department of Child and Family Services (click here for training module) or through an entity authorized to provide continuing education for professionals licensed through the Department of Financial and Professional Regulations.
The Department (DCFS) must make available free web-based training for reporters. Nothing in this requirement shall preclude medical personnel from completing mandated reporter training and receiving continuing education credits for the training. Each mandated reporter shall report to his or her employer, and when applicable, to his or her licensing board that he or she reviewed the mandated reporting training. The mandated reporter shall maintain records of completion.