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Referral and Resources

How to Refer a Minor or Vulnerable Adult

Mandatory reporting of any suspected abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult

  • Inform the patient of what you will need to do and why

  • Mandated reporting does not equal mandated intervening- immediate removal is not always safest for the child

  • Notify the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) & law enforcement of your findings

  • For a vulnerable adult, notify Adult Protective Services (APS) & law enforcement


For advice and assistance with forensic collection, contact: Safe and Healthy Families or Children's Justice Center (CJC)

How to Refer an Adult

Mandatory reporting if the the patient is being treated for assaultive injury. For all other incidents:  

  • Even if you identify someone who is being exploited, you must weigh the risk and benefit of reporting versus the patient's needs and the danger posed to the victim by doing so.

  •  Respect the patient's autonomy

  • Your goal should be to help as much as possible and develop a relationship, rather than “rescue”

  • Don’t make promises you can’t keep

  • If the patient desires, contact law enforcement

  • If the patient doesn’t want help now, give them the Utah Office for Victims of Crime's Resource Site. 

  • Consider a social service consult for resources

  • Encourage the patient to use the healthcare setting as a resource


For advice and assistance with forensic collection, contact the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault (UCASA)


  •  Thoroughly document in the chart what you asked and what the patient said--quote the patient verbatim

  •  Document the patient’s description of the violence and abuse

  •  Document clinical observation of any injuries that are present:  record size, appearance, color of injuries or marks;  use photo documentation of injuries and/or body maps

  •  Document what information was given to the patient and the referrals made

  •  Document involvement of law enforcement or DCFS if appropriate

  • Ensure medical records are kept confidential

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