The law requires everyone to report suspected child abuse or neglect, “Any person or institution who has cause to suspect that any juvenile is abused or neglected or dependent, as defined by General Statute (G.S.) 7B-101, or has died as the result of maltreatment shall report the case of that juvenile to the director of the Department of Social Services, or his/her designee, in the county where the juvenile resides or is found,” (G.S. 7B-310). This reporting requirement applies to professionals such as physicians, psychologist, other health and mental health workers, day care workers, and school personnel. But it applies equally to friends, neighbors, relatives. and anyone else who suspects that a child is abused or neglected.
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Child Protective Services is a unit within the Department of Social Services (DSS) that investigates child abuse, neglect, and dependency of children from birth to 18 years of age. The purpose of the investigation is to determine: