Mandated reporters: disclosing domestic violence

What is mandated reporting?

Are you holding back from sending your child to therapy because there’s a history of domestic violence in your home and you’re afraid the therapist will report you? There are a lot reasons why you shouldn’t let that stop you from getting your family the support it needs. But first, who are mandated reporters and what is reportable?

All therapists in the state of California are what’s known as “mandated reporters.” If in the process of therapy there surfaces a reasonable suspicion of sexual, physical or emotional abuse or neglect, the law mandates the therapist to submit a report to the Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS). This can be true if the child has experienced certain forms of abuse directly, or just witnessed them. It’s important to note that the therapist is not the investigator, the DCFS is.

Get your family the support it needs

If you’re reading this and getting more nervous, watch this video for some reassurance. Most of the time in our experience the DCFS does not want to take kids out of homes unless the abuse is severe. If there is some domestic violence, most likely DCFS will mandate therapy for kids and for parents, or require parenting classes. It’s inconvenient, but it can help everyone heal and get the support they need. Don’t wait on therapy and risk your kid passing on all their issues to the next generation. Get the help you need and check out this week’s Tips On Teens question:

“I want to get my son into therapy but there’s a history of domestic violence in our family. His dad and I are separated. What happens if my son tells the therapist about domestic violence? Does the therapist have to call the police?”

Clinical Director Kent Toussaint answers your parenting questions every Wednesday at 12:00pm in our weekly segment Tips On Teens on Facebook Live. Have questions about parenting kids and teens? Send them to: We love to hear from you!

Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE!  Check out our page here –

If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.

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