Appendix 1- How to Report Suspect Abuse

Who should report child abuse?

According to Indiana Code, Juvenile and family Law:

 Any individual who has reason to believe that a child is a victim of child abuse or neglect must make a report to Child Protective Services or the local law enforcement agency.

How do I make a report?

  1. Report your suspicions or observations to the pastor with whom you work most closely. the pastor will help you to call Child Protective services and to fill out a report form,
  2. If a child verbally reports abuse to an adult or if an adult observes/suspects suspicious behavior between another adult or older youth and a child.
    1. Secure the child’s safety: If the child is in imminent danger, seems fearful to return home after a disclosure of abuse, or needs immediate medical attention, call 911.
  3. Report the information: Child Protective Services (CPS) at 1-800-800-5566. This is a 24-hour, 7-day a week CPS hotline.
    1. What information do I give? Exact name, address and telephone number of the parent, guardian or custodian.  Exact description of what you saw or what the child said to you  The more specific your information and the details you provide, the easier it is for DHS/CPS to assess the situation quickly.
    2. Generally, do not discuss the incident with anyone else, unless requested by the pastor or other authorities.
    3. Tips to remember while acting on suspicions or report of abuse:
      1. Stay calm and listen carefully to the child.
      2. Take the child’s word seriously and keep any physical evidence.
      3. Do not ask leading questions or probe for more details. It is better to wait for a trained professional to thoroughly investigate the situation and interview the child. It is appropriate to say, “Tell me more,” or ask other open-ended questions.
      4. Give emotional support, reminding the child that he/she is not at fault and that he/she was courageous and right to tell you about the problem.
      5. Express your own sincere emotions. Tell the child how sad you feel that this has happened. Tell him/her how sad God feels when a child is hurt.
      6. Assure the child that you will do everything you can to make the abuse stop. Explain that in order to help, you must tell some other people.
    4. When child abuse allegations have been made, pastoral care will be offered to all involved, by the pastor and/or appropriate referrals will be made.

Reporting Abuse of a Vulnerable Adult


Who is an endangered adult?

A person who believes or has reason to believe an endangered adult is the victim of battery, neglect or exploitation is required to report the facts to Adult Protective Services or a law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the endangered adult. A report to Adult Protective Services may be made by calling the state hotline number or by contacting the appropriate APS Investigative Unit directly. Any emergency report should be made directly to law enforcement. A person who makes a report in good faith is immune from any civil or criminal liability. IC 35-46-1-13 & IC 35-46-1-14.

An “endangered adult,” for purposes of reporting, is an individual who is:

  1. at least eighteen (18) years of age; and
  2. incapable by reason of mental illness, mental retardation, dementia, or other physical or mental incapacity of managing or directing the management of the individual’s property or providing or directing the provision of self-care.


How to report:

  1. Report your suspicions or observations to the pastor with whom you work most closely. the pastor will help you to call Child Protective services and to fill out a report form,
  2. Call the Indiana State Hotline: 1-800-992-6978


Adapted from Franconia Mennonite Conference Child Protection Plan