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Reporting Elder Abuse and Neglect
 
If someone is being hurt or is in danger right now, call 911 immediately.
 
report abuse and neglectIf you believe abuse or neglect may be occurring contact the Department of Human Services office in your area or your local law enforcement. If you are unsure who to contact call 1-800-232-3020 (DHS).
 
Most people call because of concern about the welfare of an individual either in their own home, a relative home or as a resident of a care facility.  You do not have to determine if abuse or neglect actually occurred before you call.

Everyone should report abuse

We all have a responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves.  Oregon law requires mandatory reporting by certain people.

Confidentiality of the reporters name and identity is highly protected

State law protects the confidentiality of all individuals reporting abuse. Your identity may only be disclosed under specific legal exceptions such as by order of a judge or if required to perform the investigation by a law enforcement agency. You are not required to give your name if you wish to remain anonymous.
 
Oregon's adult abuse reporting law affords protection for any individual who reports suspected abuse in good faith.  Anyone reporting adult abuse with reasonable grounds is immune from civil liability.
 
DHS and local aging and disability offices provide protective services and investigate reports of suspected abuse.  These agencies will determine whether or not abuse or neglect occurred and work with law enforcement when a potential crime may have occurred.

Mandatory reporting

There are categories of professionals and public officials who must report suspected abuse. Mandatory reporters is defined in 124.050(9). See the full list of mandatory reporters.
 

Who is a mandatory reporter?

You are a mandatory reporter for older adults if you are a:
  • Naturopathic, osteopathic, podiatric, chiropractic or general physician or surgeon (including an intern or resident);
  • licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, nurse's aide, caregiver, home health aide or employee of an in-home health service;
  • employee of DHS or OHA, county health department, community mental health, developmental disabilities program or an area agency on aging (AAA);
  • peace officer;
  • member of the clergy;
  • psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, licensed professional counselor, licensed clinical social worker or licensed marriage and family therapist;
  • physical therapist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, audiologist or speech language pathologist;
  • information and referral or outreach worker;
  • senior center employee;
  • firefighter or emergency medical technician;
  • adult foster home licensee or an employee of the licensee; or
  • any public official that comes in contact with older adults in the performance of the official's duties.
 
Note: All of the above plus legal counsel, guardians and family members are mandatory reporters for any resident in a nursing facility.
 
Also see our "Adult Abuse Reporting" brochure.