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Human Services Agency of San Francisco
Department of Aging & Adult Services * Department of Human Services

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Mandated Reporters are by law any person who has assumed full or intermittent responsibility for care or custody of an elder or dependent adult, whether or not that person receives compensation, including administrators, supervisors, and any licensed staff of a public or private facility that provides care or services for elder or dependent adults, or any elder or dependent adult care custodian, health practitioner, clergy member, or employee of a county adult protective services agency or a local law enforcement agency.

Examples of who must report:

  • Care Custodians
  • Health Practitioners
  • County Welfare Departments
  • Employees of Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Employees of Fire Departments
  • Employees of humane societies and animal control agencies
  • Employees of environmental health and building code enforcement
  • Clergy members
  • Any other protective, public, sectarian, mental health, private assistance, or advocacy agency, or person providing health services or social services to elders or dependent adults
  • Any person who has assumed full or intermittent responsibility for care or custody of an elder or dependent adult.

Every APS case starts with the initial abuse report. In order for the APS program to respond, a report must be filed with the Intake Unit. The mandatory reporting laws exist to ensure that victims of abuse get the help they need as quickly as possible.

California Law, under the Welfare & Institutions Code for Elder Abuse, provides for mandatory reporting of physical abuse, neglect, self neglect, sexual abuse, mental suffering, financial abuse, isolation, abandonment or abduction of an elder or dependent adult when:

  • The victim reports abuse has occurred or has knowledge of abuse.
  • The mandated reporter observes the incident.
  • When an injury or condition reasonably leads the mandated reporter to suspect that abuse has occurred.

The law requires mandated reporters to make a verbal report immediately or as soon as practical, followed by a written report, California State Form SOC341: Report of Suspected Dependent Adult/Elder Abuse, within two working days.

Failure of a mandated reporter to report suspected abuse and/or neglect is a misdemeanor. When the abuse results in death or great bodily harm to the elder, the penalties for failing to report are:

  • Sentence of up to one year in county jail
  • $5,000 fine
  • Or both

Confidentiality of Mandated Reporters

  • The identity of all persons who report shall be confidential. Violation of statutory confidentiality is a misdemeanor. APS may reveal the names of reporting parties only to other investigative agencies as specified by law.
  • No person required to report elder abuse will bear criminal liability for reporting suspected abuse.
  • No supervisor or administrator may impede or prohibit reporting.
  • A victim of abuse may refuse or withdraw consent to any investigation or provision of services, which are initiated as a result of the report, unless a violation of the Penal Code has been alleged.

To make a report of abuse and/or neglect, or discuss your concerns, call (800) 814-0009.