VERSION: 1.4.0
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Welcome to the Child Protection Reporting Guide


This CPRG is intended to assist reporters who are concerned about possible abuse or neglect of a child and who must decide whether to report their concerns to a child protection agency (CPA), which includes Child Welfare Services (CWS), Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), or any other law enforcement agency. When a report is recommended, this CPRG directs users to CWS.

The reporting decision is not an easy one, and the consequences of the decision are considerable. Humboldt County has undertaken the effort to develop a multidisciplinary reporting guidance tool in order to achieve the following goals.

  • Assist reporters as they gain familiarity with the reporting threshold.
  • Help ensure that children and families requiring a child protection response are promptly reported.
  • Provide alternative options for reporters to assist children and families who would be better served outside of the statutory child protection system.
  • Help child protection agencies increase direct family contact for reports requiring response by eliminating time spent on reports that could be diverted for more appropriate service(s).

This guide is intended to complement rather than replace critical thinking and does not prohibit a reporter from any course of action the reporter believes is appropriate. The guide incorporates design principles that help focus on the most critical pieces of information for the decision at hand. The guide reflects the consensus of multiple child protection agencies and community partners concerning situations that are best served through a formal child welfare response and those that are best served through alternative interventions.

Finally, this guide is a dynamic document. Continuing feedback and evaluation will be used to refine this site over time. If you have feedback on the CPRG, please email

Need training on how to use the Child Protection Reporting Guide? Visit

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