Children and dependent adults in Iowa deserve the greatest possible protection from abuse. The Department of Health and Human Services strives to achieve this through encouraging reports when abuse is suspected, prompt assessment of these reports, and working with families and supports to assist in providing a safe and stable home environment.
Mandatory reporters are essential partners in protecting children and dependent adults from abuse. As professionals who have frequent contact with children or dependent adults, mandatory reporters are trained to identify the signs that a child or and dependent adult may have suffered abuse or neglect.
Mandatory reporters are required to make an oral report of suspected abuse within 24 hours when they reasonably believe a child or dependent adult has suffered abuse (in accordance with Iowa Code section 232.69 and IAC 441—176.4)
If you have any technical questions or experience any issues regarding Mandatory Reporter training, please email MandatoryReporter@dhs.state.ia.us.
Please sign in here to access all Mandatory Reporter Training. Once a participant signs in or creates an account, they will be routed to a welcome page to select the training they need.
Complete the full 2-hour course(s) if this is your first time completing the Mandatory Reporter Training provided by HHS or if your current certification has expired:
- DS 168 Dependent Adult Abuse Mandatory Reporter Training
- DS 169 Child Abuse Mandatory Reporter Training
If you have previously completed the full 2-hour course(s), DS 168 Dependent Adult Abuse Mandatory Reporter Training and/or DS 169 Child Abuse Mandatory Reporter Training and your current certification has not expired, you are eligible for the 1-hour recertification course(s):
- DS 170 Dependent Adult Abuse Mandatory Reporter Recertification Training
- DS 171 Child Abuse Mandatory Reporter Recertification Training
Inicie sesión aquí para acceder a todas las versiones en español de la Capacitación para Denunciantes Obligatorios. Una vez que un participante inicia sesión o crea una cuenta, será dirigido a una página de bienvenida para seleccionar la capacitación que necesita.
Como alternativa lingüística, las capacitaciones incluyen subtítulos en español del audio del idioma principal de la presentación. La opción de subtítulos en español puede ser activada por el usuario dentro de cada una de las capacitaciones.
Complete el (los) curso(s) de 2 horas si esta es la primera vez que completa la Capacitación para Denunciantes Obligatorios provista por el HHS o si su certificación actual ha vencido:
- Español DS 168 Capacitación para denunciantes obligatorios de abuso de adultos dependientes
- Español DS 169 Capacitación para denunciantes obligatorios de abuso infantil
Si previamente completó los cursos de 2 horas, DS 168 Capacitación para denunciantes obligatorios de abuso de adultos dependientes y/o DS 169 Capacitación para denunciantes obligatorios de abuso infantil y su certificación actual no ha vencido, usted es elegible para el (los) curso(s) de recertificación de 1 hora:
- Español DS 170 Capacitación de recertificación para denunciantes obligatorios de abuso de adultos dependientes
- Español DS 171 Capacitación de recertificación para denunciantes obligatorios de abuso infantil
The Department of Health and Human Services has the legal authority to conduct an assessment of child abuse when it is alleged that:
- The victim is a child.
- A child is defined in Iowa Code section 232.68 as any person under the age of 18 years.
- The child is subjected to one or more of the categories of child abuse defined in Iowa Code section 232.68:
- Physical abuse
- Mental injury
- Sexual abuse
- Prostitution of a child
- Presence of illegal drugs in a child's body
- Denial of critical care
- Dangerous substance
- Bestiality in the presence of a child
- Allows access to a registered sex offender
- Allows access to obscene materials
- Child Sex Trafficking
- The abuse is the result of the acts or omissions of:
- a person responsible for the care of the child; or
- a person 14 years or older who resides in a home with the child, if the allegation is sexual abuse; or
- a person who engages in or allows sex trafficking.
A perpetrator of child abuse must be a person responsible for the care of a child, a person 14 years or older who resides in a home with the child, if the allegation is sexual abuse, or a person who engages in or allows child sex trafficking.
A person responsible for the care of a child is defined in Iowa Code 232.68 as one of the following:
- Parent, guardian, or foster parent.
- A relative or any other person with whom the child resides and who assumes care or supervision of the child, without reference to the length of time or continuity of such residence.
- An employee or agent of any public or private facility providing care for a child, including an institution, hospital, health care facility, group home, mental health center, residential treatment center, shelter care facility, detention center, or child care facility.
- Any person providing care for a child, but with whom the child does not reside, without reference to the duration of the care.
A person who assumes responsibility for the care or supervision of the child may assume such responsibility through verbal or written agreement, or implicitly through the willing assumption of the care-taking role.
Perpetrators of child abuse come from all walks of life, races, religions, and nationalities. They come from all professions and represent all levels of intelligence and standards of living. There is no single social group free from incidents of child abuse.
Abusive parents may show disregard for the child's own needs, limited abilities, and feelings. Many abusive parents believe that children exist to satisfy parental needs and that the child's needs are unimportant. Children who don't satisfy the parent's needs may become victims of child abuse.
Sexual abusers may have deviant personality traits and behaviors that can result in sexual contact with a child. Sexual abuse perpetrators sometimes use threats, bribery, coercion or force to engage a child in sexual activity. They violate the trust that a child inherently places in them for care and protection, and exploit the power and authority of their position as a trusted caretaker in order to sexually misuse a child. Often the child is threatened or warned "not to tell," creating a conspiracy of silence about the abuse.
In regard to dependent adults, ‘Caretaker’ means a related or non-related person who has the responsibility for the protection, care, or custody of a dependent adult as a result of assuming the responsibility voluntarily, by contract, through employment, or by order of the court.
‘Dependent adult’ means a person eighteen years of age or older who is unable to protect the person’s own interests or unable to adequately perform or obtain services necessary to meet essential human needs, as a result of a physical or mental condition which requires assistance from another, or as defined by Department rule.
Mandatory reporters have a right to:
- Report suspected abuse without interference from their employer or supervisor (in accordance with Iowa Code section 232.70 and Iowa Code section 235B.3(3)(b)). The employer or supervisor of a person who is a mandatory reporter cannot apply a policy, work rule, or other requirement that interferes with the person making a report of suspected child abuse.
- Mandatory reporters of child abuse are entitled to immunity from any civil or criminal liability (in accordance with Iowa Code section 232.73), which might otherwise be incurred when they participate in good faith in:
- Making a of report, photographs, or X rays,
- Performing a medically relevant test, or
- Aiding and assisting in an assessment.
- Mandatory reporters of dependent adult abuse are entitled to immunity from any civil or criminal liability (in accordance with Iowa Code section 235B.3(10)) which might otherwise be incurred or imposed based upon the act of making the report or giving the assistance. The person has the same immunity with respect to participating in good faith in a judicial proceeding resulting from the report or cooperation or assistance or relating to the subject matter of the report, cooperation, or assistance.
- Oral notification by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), within 24 hours of making the report of suspected child abuse, as to whether or not the report has been accepted or rejected (in accordance with Iowa Code section 232.70).
- Written Notice of Intake Decision from HHS, indicating whether the report of suspected child abuse was accepted or rejected (in accordance with Iowa Code section 232.70).
- An outcome notice from HHS (in accordance with Iowa Code section 232.70), indicating whether the report of suspected child abuse was Founded (Substantiated and Placed on the Registry), Confirmed (Substantiated but Not Placed on the Registry), or Not Confirmed (Unsubstantiated).
- An outcome notice from HHS (in accordance with Iowa Code section 235B.8(2)), of the results of the dependent adult abuse assessment and confidentiality provisions.
- Request a copy of any founded abuse assessment in which they were the mandatory reporter (in accordance with Iowa Code section 235A.15 and Iowa Code 235B.6).
Mandatory reporters have a responsibility to:
Make an oral report of suspected abuse within 24 hours when they reasonably believe a child or dependent adult has suffered abuse (in accordance with Iowa Code section 232.69 and IAC 441—176.4)
- Note that a written report of suspected abuse is no longer required.
- Call 911 or make an oral report to law enforcement when they believe a child or dependent adult is in need of immediate protection (in accordance with Iowa Code section 232.70 and IAC 441—176.5(2)).
- Know and identify potential child abuse as defined in Iowa Code section 232.68 and potential dependent adult abuse as defined in Iowa Code section 235B.2(5)(a)
Q. How do I log into the Iowa HHS Learning Management System?
A. If you are new to the Iowa HHS Learning Management System, log in by clicking on this link (or copy and paste the following site into your browser: https://lsglm700.learnsoft.com/LSGLM/Login/iowalogindhs.aspx) and register as an external user. Please write down and store your username and password in a safe but accessible place to log in and access your training records in the future.
Q: If certification was acquired prior to July 1, 2019, will I need to take the new curriculum training to maintain my certification?
A: Legislation clarifies that all valid Mandatory Reporter Training certificates issued prior to July 1, 2019 remain effective for five years. After July 1, 2019, the curriculum provided by HHS is the only training available for mandatory reporters in Iowa to maintain their certification.
Q: If I am already certified, can I just take the 1-hour recertification training?
A: No. Every mandatory reporter in Iowa is required to take the full 2-hour training. 1-hour recertification training will only be available to those who have previously completed the full 2-hour training curriculum provided by HHS and whose certification has not expired.
Q. Is it the employee or employers’ responsibility to assure mandatory reporter training requirements are fulfilled?
A. It is the responsibility of the employee AND employer to assure compliance with the law. Every mandatory reporter in Iowa is required to take the full 2-hour training AND have a non-expired certification prior to being eligible to take the 1-hour recertification training. If a mandatory reporter allows their certificate (for either the 2-hour training or the 1-hour recertification training) to expire, they are required to take the 2-hour training again.
It is up to the employee to maintain record of their initial 2-hour certification and provide it to their employer along with any 1-hour recertification(s) in order to be considered up to date on the statutory requirements of mandatory reporting. It is up the employer to assure they have record of the employees initial 2-hour certification along with all 1-hour recertification(s) to document that their employees are up to date on the statutory requirements of mandatory reporting.
Q. How do I access my mandatory reporter training certificate?
A. If you took the training before July 1, 2019, HHS will not have a copy of your certificate. You will need to request a copy from the employer or agency who provided the training.
If you took the HHS training between July 1, 2019 and June 19, 2020, an actual certificate is not available. Rather, a transcript certifying your completion of the mandatory reporter training is available on the Iowa HHS Learning Management System. To access the system, click on this link or copy and paste the following site into your browser: https://lsglm700.learnsoft.com/LSGLM/Login/iowalogindhs.aspx.
- On the “Overview” tab, locate your dashboard.
- Click on the “Print Transcripts Report” below the number of Completed Courses.
- Click on the printer icon in the top left corner to print the transcript.
If you took the HHS training after June 19, 2020, your certificate is available on the Iowa HHS Learning Management System. To access the system, click on this link or copy and paste the following site into your browser: https://lsglm700.learnsoft.com/LSGLM/Login/iowalogindhs.aspx.
To access mandatory reporter certificates, email MandatoryReporter@dhs.state.ia.us.
Q: What if I question the validity of a HHS certificate an employee provides as proof that mandatory reporter training was completed?
A: Contact MandatoryReporter@dhs.state.ia.us for questions regarding the validity of mandatory reporter training certificates for child abuse or dependent adult abuse.
Q: How do I know if I am a mandatory reporter?
A: Iowa Code 232.69(1) and Iowa Code 235B.3(2) define mandatory reporters in the state of Iowa. Please reference Iowa Code and speak to your employer to determine if your employment falls in the categories outlined. If you continue to have questions whether your employment qualifies you as a mandatory reporter, please seek legal advice from a legal professional. The Department of Human Services is not able to provide legal advice.
Q: Is the Mandatory Reporter Training curriculum still reviewed and approved by the Department of Public Health?
A: No. Effective July 1, 2019, HHS is responsible for developing and providing all training for mandatory reporters in Iowa.
Q: Is the certification I acquired prior to July 1, 2019 valid?
A: Any certification acquired prior to July 1, 2019 from a provider approved by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) is valid for five years. See this list for all IDPH mandatory reporter training approval/provider numbers.
Q: What prompted the changes to how Mandatory Reporter training is offered?
A: Please see the Mandatory Reporter Training and Certification Workgroup Report.
Q: Does Mandatory Reporter Training taken in another state meet the training requirements in Iowa?
A: No. Any mandatory reporter who practices in Iowa is required by law to take the Iowa Mandatory Reporter Training. States differ in how they define abuse and any mandatory reporter must be knowledgeable about Iowa Code to practice in Iowa.
Q: Is there a fee for each 2-hour training, or for the 1-hour recertification training?
A: There is no fee for the 2-hour training or the 1-hour recertification training - they are free for all.
Q: What is the timeframe to complete Mandatory Reporter Training?
A: Mandatory reporters for child abuse and mandatory reporters for dependent adult abuse have the same timeframe. Every individual required to report suspected abuse as defined in Iowa Code 232.69(1) and Iowa Code 235B.3(2) must complete 2 hours of mandatory reporter training within their first six months of employment or self-employment and one hour of additional training every three years (unless otherwise specified by federal regulations). If your employment qualifies you as a mandatory reporter for both child abuse and dependent adult abuse, you are required to take both trainings and maintain certification for both curricula.
Q: Will there be an opportunity for organizations to get a report on their employees from HHS on who has completed the training?
A: HHS will not be able to provide reports regarding who has completed the training. All training participants who successfully complete the training will receive a training certificate. The participant will have the ability to email, download and print their training certificate as proof of training completion. The certification of completion will be retained in the participant's training account, and it can be accessed at any time. Employers who require their staff to provide proof of training should provide clear instructions to their employees on how their organization will track training completion.
Q: Are the child and dependent adult abuse trainings still combined for one 2-hour training?
A: No. There are now separate curricula for child abuse and dependent adult abuse, each with their own certification.
Q: After I complete the initial 2-hour training, how often am I required to recertify, and how long is the recertification training
A: Mandatory reporters must take the 1-hour recertification training within 3 years of the initial 2-hour training, and every 3 years thereafter, in order to remain in compliance with the law.
Q: Will I be reminded that my 3-year certification is preparing to expire by HHS’ LMS?
A: Not at this time. Mandatory reporters are responsible for keeping their certification current. Once participants have registered and completed Mandatory Reporter Training through HHS’ LMS, they may access their individual account at any time to review their last certification, which includes the completion date.
Q: Is support available to me if I have a technical issue?
A: Yes. Email MandatoryReporter@dhs.state.ia.us for assistance.
Q: Are Continuing Education Units offered for the mandatory reporter trainings?
A: The Iowa Board of Social work states that it is the licensees’ responsibility to determine if the continuing education programs they attend meet the requirements of their professional licensure board. Those important requirements can be located on the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals' (DIAL) website.
The Iowa Board of Nursing has approved the mandatory reporter trainings, for both child abuse and dependent adult abuse, as fulfilling 2.0 contact hours of nursing continuing education. Questions regarding nursing CEUs may be directed to email@example.com.
For all other disciplines, please direct any questions regarding CEUs to your respective professional licensure board.
Q: Can an employer administer the training?
A: No, each participant must create their own account on HHS’ LMS and take the training individually. An employer can provide supplemental training as it relates to their professional practice in addition to the core training curriculum provided by HHS.
Q. What if there are multiple mandatory reporters who need to report the same abuse?
A. When more than one mandatory reporter reasonably suspects abuse involving the same incident, each mandatory reporter is required to make a report of suspected abuse. One call can be made to make the report jointly. Just assure that the names and contact information for all mandatory reporters making the joint report are provided to the HHS intake worker and that each of the reporters' concerns are provided during the call.
- Access to Confidential Abuse Information and Non-Redissemination Agreement, Form 470-3767
- Authorization for Release of Child and Dependent Adult Abuse Information, Form 470-3301
- Autorizacion para divulgar informacion sobre abuso de menores o adultos dependientes, Form 470-3301(S)
- Record Check Evaluation, Form 470-2310
- Investigacion de antecedentes penales, Form 470-2310(S)
- Report of Suspected Child Abuse, Form 470-0665
- Reporte de sospecha de abuso de menores, Form 470-0665(S)
- Request for Child and Dependent Adult Abuse Information, Form 470-0643
- Rights of Youth in Out-of-Home Placement, Form 470-5337
- Suspected Dependent Adult Abuse Report, Form 470-2441
- Child Abuse: A Guide for Mandatory Reporters, Comm. 164
- Dependent Adult Abuse: A Guide for Mandatory Reporters, Comm. 118
- Abuse infantil: Una guia para informadores obligatorios, Comm. 164(S)
- Differential Response System: Family Assessment, Comm. 450
- Sistema de respuesta diferencial: Evaluación familiar, Comm. 450(S)
Reporting Child or Dependent Adult Abuse
- Please be ready to provide identifying information about the child or dependent adult, their parents or other caregivers, and the whereabouts of the child or dependent adult and family.
- While mandatory reporters are required to provide their name and address, all other reporters may remain anonymous.
- Mandatory reporters are required by law to make a report of suspected abuse within 24 hours of becoming aware of the concern(s).