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Child Abuse Identification and Reporting


Key Message

Federal law requires the Defense Department to request state reports regarding instances of child abuse and neglect involving military family members. States can assist military Family Advocacy Programs in providing needed support by requiring child protective services to report cases to the military at the onset of their investigations.


States can protect victims by requiring local child protective services to identify military families and develop reporting and information-sharing procedures with the department’s Family Advocacy Program. State statutes directing the collection of military affiliation as part of the child abuse and neglect response process, and sharing pertinent case file information with the appropriate military authorities, can provide consistency and complement the statutory responsibility of the DOD.


As 70% of military families live off a military installation and in your communities, statutory authority would support the development of more consistent memorandums of understanding, allowing better coordination of local child welfare and military protective and rehabilitative services in support of military children and families.

State Policymakers

If you are a state policymaker, request more information.