Skip to main content

Key Issue Header

Child Abuse Identification and Reporting


Key Message

Federal law requires the Defense Department to address child abuse and neglect within the military. States can protect victims by coordinating at the beginning of investigations and identifying the military-affiliation of victims or suspects.


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 percent of military families live off a military installation and in our communities, statutory authority would support 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.