Announcements

New Guidance: California’s Mandated Reporting Requirements and ACE Screening

DHCS, OSG, and CDSS logos

We are pleased to share this joint letter from the California Department of Social Services, the California Department of Health Care Services, and the Office of the California Surgeon General providing clarifying guidance on the responsibilities of health care clinical teams who conduct screenings for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in the context of the state’s mandated reporting requirements.

The Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act requires individuals that fall into the category of a “mandated reporter” to report suspected child abuse or neglect to Child Protective Services. Mandated reporters are professionals who have regular contact with children or are otherwise in a position to observe indicators of abuse and are, therefore, legally required to report suspected child abuse. In California there are 49 categories of individuals defined as mandated reporters. There are also professionals that are required to report abuse of elders (65 or older) and dependent adults (18 or older with a disability), but those requirements are not discussed in this document.

The Office of the California Surgeon General (CA-OSG) and the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) jointly launched the ACEs Aware initiative on January 1, 2020, with the goal of providing training, clinical protocols, and payment to Medi-Cal providers for screening children and adults for Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs). Since the initiative launched, several questions have emerged about the interaction between ACE screening and the requirement that health and mental health care clinical teams report suspected cases of child abuse and/or neglect to Child Protective Services for investigation.

This document is designed to provide information to the health care community, local governments, and other interested stakeholders in hopes of clarifying these issues.

If you have questions regarding this guidance, please email info@acesaware.org.