What Happens When I Call DSS?

  • DSS will screen in, or accept, the report if it appears from the information provided that the child is at risk of being abused by a caretaker.
  • If an emergency situation exists, DSS will assign a licensed social worker to investigate the report within 24 hours.
  • If it is not an emergency, the investigation must be completed within 10 days.
  • In certain cases, DSS is required to notify the district attorney. For example, all instances of sexual abuse of children and serious cases of physical violence must be reported to the district attorney's office.
  • It is possible that a mandated reporter will be called as a witness in the criminal prosecution of an abuse case; it is up to the prosecutor to make that determination.
  • While DSS does not identify the reporter, the family may become aware of the reporter's name through the course of a criminal investigation.
  • Once the investigation is concluded, DSS must send a letter to the mandated reporter informing him or her of the outcome.