Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting

Case Studies

As a mandated reporter, you may have to make a decision as to whether or not a situation you witness constitues abuse or maltreatment. Of course in real life situations are not black and white and easily identified as abuse. This page contains scenarios such as those you may run into. Read through the scenario, choose whether or not you think the incident should be reported, then proceed to the next page to see the correct answer and why it is the correct answer.

Bear in mind, even though these scenarios are very detailed, like the rest of the website they are for informational purposes and not to be taken as legal advice. If you have any questions about a situation, contact your direct supervisor immediately.


Neglect is defined as "a type of maltreatment that refers to the failure by the caregiver to provide needed, age-appropriate care although financially able to do so or offered financial or other means to do so."

•   Go to the first Scenario on Neglect

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is non-accidental physical injury (ranging from minor bruises to severe fractures or death) as a result of punching, beating, kicking, biting, shaking, throwing, stabbing, choking, hitting (with a hand, stick, strap, or other object), burning, or otherwise harming a student, that is inflicted by a parent, caregiver, or other person who has responsibility for the student.

•   Go to the first Scenario on Physical Abuse

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is a pattern of behavior that impairs a student’s emotional development or sense of self-worth.

•   Go to the first Scenario on Emotional Abuse

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is defined by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act as "the employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of any student to engage in, or assist any other person to engage in, any sexually explicit conduct or simulation of such conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct; or the rape, and in cases of caretaker or inter-familial relationships, statutory rape, molestation, prostitution, or other form of sexual exploitation of children, or incest with children."

•   Go to the first Scenario on Sexual Abuse

This website is for informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal advice.

School Social Work Department
Cobb County School District
514 Glover Street
Marietta, GA 30060
Phone: 678-581-6811
Fax: 770-590-4556

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