Protecting the most vulnerable in our community

Certain professionals are required by law to report physical abuse, sexual abuse, caretaker neglect, and exploitation of children, as well as at-risk elders and at-risk adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Child Protection

Disclosing suspected child abuse or neglect to a supervisor or reporting through an organization’s internal process does not fulfill a mandatory reporter’s legal obligation to report suspected child abuse and neglect. It is a class 3 misdemeanor in Colorado for a mandatory reporter to fail to report suspected child abuse or neglect. The legal obligation will remain unmet until the mandatory reporter has either reported or received confirmation that a report was immediately made to the county department, local law enforcement agency or through the child abuse reporting hotline system.

Mandatory reporters include:

  • Physician or surgeon, including a physician in training
  • Child health associate
  • Medical examiner or coroner
  • Dentist
  • Osteopath
  • Optometrist
  • Chiropractor
  • Podiatrist
  • Registered nurse or licensed practical nurse
  • Hospital personnel engaged in the admission, care, or treatment of patients
  • Christian science practitioner
  • Public or private school official or employee
  • Social worker or worker in any licensed or certified facility or agency (e.g. child care providers and employees, foster parents, employees at residential care facilities, youth shelters, homeless shelters)
  • Mental health professional
  • Dental hygienist
  • Psychologist
  • Physical therapist
  • Veterinarian
  • Peace officer
  • Pharmacist
  • Commercial film and photographic print processor
  • Firefighter
  • Victim’s advocate
  • Licensed professional counselors
  • Licensed marriage and family therapists
  • Registered psychotherapists
  • Clergy member
  • Registered dietitian
  • Worker in the state department of human services
  • Juvenile parole and probation officers
  • Child and family investigators
  • Officers and agents of the state bureau of animal protection, and animal control officers
  • The child protection ombudsman
  • Educator providing services through a federal special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children
  • Director, coach, assistant coach, or athletic program personnel employed by a private sports organization or program
  • Person who is registered as a psychologist candidate, marriage and family therapist candidate, or licensed professional counselor candidate
  • Emergency medical service providers
  • Officials or employees of county departments of health, human services or social services

More information about mandatory reporting, including training opportunities, is available from the state online at

Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline

1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1‑844‑264‑5437)

Anyone witnessing a child in a life-threatening situation should call 911 immediately.

Adult Protection

Mandatory reporters are required by law to report abuse, neglect, and exploitation (universally referred to as “mistreatment”) that is observed or that the reporter becomes aware of when that mistreatment is occurring to an at-risk elder or an at-risk adult with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD).
An at-risk elder is any person 70 years of age or older.

An at-risk adult with IDD is a person who is eighteen years of age or older who has an onset of an intellectual and developmental disability before the person is 22 years old. An adult with IDD has an I.Q. of 70 or below and/or has significant limitations in the ability to socialize, provide self-care, or communicate. IDD includes autism spectrum disorders, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, Down Syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, and other disorders.

Mandatory Reporting Overview

Mandatory reporters include:

  • Any person providing health care or health-care related services including: general medical, surgical, nursing services, nursing specialty services, dental, vision, pharmacy, chiropractic services, physical, occupation, musical, or other therapies.
  • Staff of hospital and long term care facilities engaged in admission, care, or treatment of patients.
  • First responders, including: emergency medical providers, fire protection personnel, law enforcement offices, any person employed, contracted, or volunteers of any law enforcement agency, including victim advocates.
  • Medical examiners and coroners
  • Code enforcement officers
  • Psychologists, addictions counselors, professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, and registered psychotherapists (Title 12, Article 43, C.R.S)
    Social workers (Title 12, Article 43, C.R.S)
  • Staff of Community Centered Boards
  • Staff, consultants, or independent contractors of service agencies for persons with IDD (Section 25-27.5-102 (5), C.R.S. and Section 25.5-10-202(34), C.R.S)
  • Staff or consultants of a care facility, agency, home, or governing board (licensed or unlicensed, certified or uncertified) including long-term care facilities, home care agencies, or home health providers
  • Home health staff
  • Caretakers, staff members, employees, or consultants for a home care placement agency (Section 25-27.5-102(5), C.R.S.)
  • Persons performing case management or assistant services for at-risk adults
  • Staff of County Departments of Human Social Services
  • Staff of Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS)
  • Staff of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)
  • Staff of Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF)
  • Staff of senior centers or senior outreach and research organizations
  • Staff and staff of contracted providers of Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) (except the long-term care ombudsman)
  • Employees, consultants, or volunteers that provide transportation services for at-risk adults
  • Court appointed guardians and conservators
  • School personnel at schools serving persons in preschool through 12th grade
  • Veterinarians
  • Clergy (pursuant to Section 13-90-109(1)(C), C.R.S.)
  • Personnel of banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, and other lending or financial institutions

Making a Report

If you are a mandatory reporter and you witness or become aware that an at-risk elder or at-risk adult with IDD has been or is at imminent risk for mistreatment (abuse, caretaker neglect, or exploitation), you must make a report to law enforcement within 24 hours of witnessing or becoming aware of the mistreatment.

Have as much information as possible about the at-risk elder or at-risk adult with IDD, the alleged perpetrator, and what is concerning you.

At a minimum, law enforcement will need the following information:

  • Name and address of the at-risk elder or at-risk adult with IDD.
  • A description of the alleged mistreatment and the situation and what you observed.
  • The nature and extent of the injury.
  • The alleged perpetrator name and contact information, if possible.

Other information that will be helpful to provide when making the report includes:

  • When you last saw the adult.
  • Any medical or physical conditions that impairs the adult’s ability to provide for day-to-day needs.
  • Any memory, decision making, or understanding deficits.
  • Any recent decline in the adult’s ability to adequately do cooking, shopping, manage healthcare, medications, or hygiene needs.
  • Any service providers or family/friends already in place to help address the adult’s needs.
  • Any other information that may be relevant to adult or the mistreatment concerns.

More information about mandatory reporting, including training opportunities, is available from the state online at

An 11-minute video that covers more detail about mandatory reporters and Adult Protective Services is online.

To make a report in El Paso County

Phone: (719) 444-5755
Fax: (719) 444-5780
Email: Complete Referral Form and submit to

Phone, fax and email monitored between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, closed holidays.

If there is an emergency situation, where there’s imminent risk to the at-risk elder or at-risk adult with IDD, call 911.