The Illinois Abused and Neglected Childrens Reporting Act (“ANCRA”)



Any person under 18 unless legally married

Abused Child

“Abused child” means a child whose parent or immediate family member, or any person responsible for the child’s welfare, or any individual residing in the same home as the child, or a paramour of the child’s parent:

  • inflicts, causes to be inflicted, or allows to be inflicted upon such child physical injury, by other than accidental means, which causes death, disfigurement, impairment of physical or emotional health, or loss or impairment of any bodily function;
  • creates a substantial risk of physical injury to such child by other than accidental means which would be likely to cause death, disfigurement, impairment of physical or emotional health, or loss or impairment of any bodily function;
  • commits or allows to be committed any sex offense against such child, as such  sex offenses are defined in the Criminal Code of 1961, as amended, and extending those definitions of sex offenses to include children under 18 years of age;
  • commits or allows to be committed an act or acts of torture upon such child; or
  • inflicts excessive corporal punishment.

Neglected Child

Any child who is not receiving proper nourishment or medically indicated treatment or other care necessary for child’s well being including food, clothing and shelter or child who is abandoned or child whose urine contains any amount of a controlled substance.


  • Where medical treatment of mother results in illegal urine content;
  • Parents depend upon prayer alone for child’s medical care;
  • Not neglected solely because child is not attending school.

Person Responsible For Child’s Welfare

“Person responsible for the child’s welfare” means the child’s parent; guardian; foster parent; any person responsible for the child’s welfare in a public or private residential agency or institution; any person responsible for the child’s welfare within a public or private profit or not for profit child care facility; or any other person responsible for the child’s welfare at the time of the alleged abuse or neglect, or any person who came to know the child through an official capacity or position of trust, including but not limited to health care professionals, educational personnel, recreational supervisors, and volunteers or support personnel in any setting where children may be subject to abuse or neglect.

Temporary Protective Custody

“Temporary protective custody” means custody within a hospital or other medical facility or a place previously designated for such custody by the Department, subject to review by the Court, including a licensed foster home, group home, or other institution; but such place shall not be a jail or other place for the detention of criminal or juvenile offenders.


Persons required to report-Medical personnel-Privileged communications-Transmitting false report

Any physician, resident, intern, hospital, hospital administrator and personnel engaged in examination, care and treatment of persons, surgeon, dentist, dentist hygienist, osteopath, chiropractor, podiatrist, substance abuse treatment personnel, Christian Science practitioner, coroner, medical examiner, emergency medical technician, crisis line or hotline personnel, school personnel, educational advocate assigned to a child pursuant to the School Code, truant officers, social worker, social services administrator, domestic violence program personnel, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, director or staff assistant of a nursery school or a child day care center, recreational program or facility personnel, law enforcement officer, registered psychologist and assistants working under the direct supervision of a psychologist, psychiatrist, or field personnel of the Illinois Department of Public Aid, Public Health, Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, Corrections, Human Rights, Rehabilitation Services, or Children and Family Services, supervisor and administrator of general assistance under The Illinois Public Aid Code, probation officer, or any other foster parent, homemaker or child care worker having reasonable cause to believe a child known to them in their professional or official capacity may be an abused child or a neglected child shall immediately report or cause a report to be made to the Department.

Whenever such person is required to report under this Act in his capacity as a member of the staff of a medical or other public or private institution, school, facility or agency, he shall make report immediately to the Department in accordance with the provisions of this Act and may also notify the person in charge of such institution, school, facility or agency or his designated agent that such report has been made.  Under no circumstances shall any person in charge of such institution, school, facility or agency, or his designated agent to whom such notification has been made, exercise any control, restraint, modification or other change in the report or the forwarding of such report to the Department.


The privileged quality of communication between any professional person required to report and his patient or client shall not apply to situations involving abused or neglected children and shall not constitute grounds for failure to report as required by this Act.

Immunity from liability-Presumption

Any person, institution or agency, under this Act, participating in good faith in the making of a report or referral, or in the investigation of such a report or referral or in the taking of photographs and x-rays or in the retaining a child in temporary protective custody shall have immunity from any liability, civil, criminal or that otherwise might result by reason of such actions.  For the purpose of any proceedings, civil or criminal, the good faith of any persons required to report or refer, or permitted to report, cases of suspected child abuse or neglect or permitted to refer individuals under this Act, shall be presumed.


In addition to the above persons required to report suspected cases of abused or neglected children, any other person may make a report if such person has reasonable cause to believe a child may be an abused child or a neglected child.


Any person who enters into employment on and after July 1, 1986 and is mandated by virtue of that employment to report under this Act, shall sign a statement on a form prescribed by the Department, to the effect that the employee has knowledge and understanding of the reporting requirements of this Act.  The statement shall be signed prior to commencement of the employment.  The signed statement shall be retained by the employer.  the cost of printing, distribution, and filing of the statement shall be borne by the employer.


Any person who knowingly transmits a false report to the Department commits the offense of disorderly conduct under subsection (a)(7) of Section 26-1 of the “Criminal Code of 1961”.  Any person who violates this provision a second or subsequent time shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony.

Any person who knowingly and willfully violates any provision of this Section, other than a second or subsequent violation of transmitting a false report as described in the preceding paragraph, shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.


A child whose parent, guardian or custodian in good faith selects and depends upon spiritual means through prayer alone for the treatment or cure of disease or remedial care may be considered neglected or abused, but not for the sole reason that his parent, guardian or custodian accepts and practices such beliefs.


Pesce v. Morton H.S.                        (1987) 830 F.2d 789

Psychologist’s Federal Right of Confidentiality (under FERPA) did not overcome reporting requirements.

People v. Morton                               (1989) 543 N.E.2d 1366

DMHDDCA confidentiality is “destroyed” where defendant made admissions to hospital MSW and she was then called on to testify.

Brown v. Farkas                                 (1986) 511 N.E.2d 1143

A made a false ANCRA report and was then sued by subject of report – He got 1 million – court said the million was OK even though first false report was only A misdemeanor.


If a hospital makes the report, they must be given coroner’s findings within 72 hours, and 21 days in written form.


Who can take P.C.?

  • Police officer
  • Probation officer
  • DCFS employee
  • Physicians

When to take P.C.?

  • Continued residence with person responsible for child’s care poses an imminent danger to the child’s life or health;
  • There is no time to apply for a juvenile court order for temporary custody.

What to do if you take P.C.?

  • Must make every effort to notify child’s caretaker;
  • Must notify DCFS (DCFS then must give you any information it has on child’s testing HIV positive, or for any other communicable disease).
  • Physicians must notify the hospital administrator, who then becomes the temporary custodian.

What does a temporary custodian have authority to do?

  • Consent to emergency medical treatment;
  • Provide care, shelter, nourishment;
  • Is cloaked in full immunity from civil or criminal liability when acting in good faith, for care, disclosures, etc.


Phone central register, give the following information:

  • Name, address of child and parents;
  • Age
  • Nature of child’s condition
  • “Other helpful information”

Confirmation by DCFS

DCFS must make oral reports of abuse to local police and states attorney and confirm within 48 hours in writing – for certain listed acts of abuse, “including but not limited to” brain damage, skull fractures, subdural hematomas, and, internal injuries, torture of a child, malnutrition of a child, and sexual abuse to a child, including, but not limited to, sexual intercourse, sexual exploitation, sexual molestation, and venereal disease in a child age twelve and under.

Admissibility of Reports and Abuse of Children in Institutions

Written confirmation reports from persons not required to report by this Act may be made to the appropriate Child Protective Service Unit.  Written reports from persons required by this Act to report shall be admissible in evidence in any judicial proceeding relating to child abuse or neglect.  Reports involving known or suspected child abuse or neglect in public or private residential agencies or institutions shall be made and received in the same manner as all other reports made under this Act.


Must be commenced immediately if

  • Immediate safety or well being of child is endangered;
  • Family may flee
  • Child may disappear
  • “The facts otherwise so warrant.”

In all other cases, within 24 hours of receiving the report.  But there is a loophole; upon receipt of a report, the Child Protective Service Unit shall “make an initial investigation” and an “initial determination” whether the report is a good faith indication of alleged child abuse or neglect.

Elements of the “formal” investigation

  • Direct contact with subject(s) of report;
  • Determination of the risk to children;
  • Nature, extent and cause of the child’s condition;
  • Name, age and condition of other kids in the home;
  • Whether there is an immediate and urgent necessity to remove the child if appropriate family preservation services are provided.

The person being investigated is notified unless the DCFS Director determines the notice would be detrimental to the investigation.

Where investigation is for abuse by a “school employee” or on school grounds, there are requirements that the school day and/or class shall not (to extent possible) be disrupted; employee must be informed of due process rights; right to confront accuser, etc.

If the Department has to contact an employer, and report is unfounded, DCFS must likewise notify the employer.

At 325 ILCS 5/7.17, Expungement procedures are outlined.


Disclosure to mandated reporting sources

Upon request, a mandated reporting source as provided in Section 4 of this Act may receive appropriate information about the findings and actions taken by the Child Protective Service Unit in response to its report.  P.A. 79-65, § 11.2, added by P.A. 81-1077, § 1, eff. July 1, 1980.


Publicizing disclosed information-Court actions-Violations

A person given access to the names or other information identifying the subjects of the report, except the subject of the report, shall not make public such identifying information unless he is a State’s attorney or other law enforcement official and the purpose is to initiate court action.  Violation of this Section is a Class A misdemeanor.


Confidentiality of records-Violations

All records concerning reports of child abuse and neglect or records concerning referrals under this Act and all records generated as a result of such reports or referrals, shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except as specifically authorized by this Act or other applicable law.  It is a Class A misdemeanor to permit, assist, or encourage the unauthorized release of any information contained in such reports, referrals or records.


Employer discrimination

Employer discrimination.  No employer shall discharge, demote or suspend, or threaten to discharge, demote or suspend, or in any manner discriminate against any employee who makes any good faith oral or written report of suspected child abuse or neglect, or who is or will be a witness or testify in any investigation or proceeding concerning a report of suspected child abuse or neglect.


Testimony by person making report

Any person who makes a report or who investigates a report under this Act shall testify fully in any judicial proceeding resulting from such report, as to any evidence of abuse or neglect, or the cause thereof.  Any person who is required to report a suspected case of abuse or neglect under Section 4 of this Act shall testify fully in any administrative hearing resulting from such report, as to any evidence of abuse or neglect or the cause thereof.  No evidence shall be excluded by reason of any common law or statutory privilege relating to communications between the alleged perpetrator of abuse or neglect, or the child subject of the report under this Act and the person making or investigating the report.


  • Written Confirmation of Suspected Child Abuse/Neglect Report: Mandated Reporters
  • Illinois Department of Children & Family Services Acknowledgement of Mandated Reporter Status