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Child Abuse and Neglect Training

new Important Information Regarding the Mandated Reporter Training Content (Updated 9/21/23)

Updated Training - On August 2nd, in collaboration with DCF and other stakeholders, DPI released updated training content on mandated reporting of child maltreatment to equip school staff with current research and guidance in reducing harm and improving the quality of reports. Guidance on effective practices in mandated reporting is shifting nationally. Research and lived experience highlight the harm caused to children, families, and our systems due to the overreporting of concerns when no reasonable cause to suspect child maltreatment is present. CPS involvement is not benign, and unwarranted reports can have traumatic impacts on children and families. In Wisconsin and nationally, this overreporting disproportionately impacts Black and Indigenous families, furthering their disproportionate involvement in all aspects of the child welfare system. We have an obligation to promote effective systems that reduce harm, and improve the system’s ability to serve the families who need it most.

Revamp of the Training - This new training has generated important conversations and strong feedback from stakeholders. We take this feedback seriously and in our commitment to continuous improvement we are revamping the updated training content. In addition to being streamlined to reduce the overall completion time, the revamped training will provide more clarity on the responsibility to report when there is reasonable cause, the right and wrong times to ask follow-up questions of students and caregivers, and how to respond to resource needs in partnership with families.

School Leader Choice - We are committed to working quickly on the training content while ensuring stakeholders have time for review and input. We hope to have the revamped training available early in 2024. We have now posted the prior version of the training alongside the updated training to provide local school leaders with choice for training new staff in the interim. 

Thank you for your attention to this important training, and to all of you who have provided valuable feedback.

Training Materials for Mandated Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect (Updated August 2023)

Click here to Jump Directly to the Online Training for All School Staff

Training Overview


All school employees are listed as mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect in statute, Wis. Stat. § 48.981(2).

Provide Training at Least Every 5 Years


School boards and leaders in schools participating in the Private School Choice Programs (Choice) and Special Needs Scholarship Program (SNSP) are to ensure all employees receive training provided by the Department of Public Instruction within six months of initial hiring and, minimally, at least every five years thereafter, Wis. Stat. sec. 118.07(5).

Track and Monitor Training Compliance


Schools are responsible for monitoring and tracking adherence to the training requirement. DPI recommends school leaders create a process to ensure training requirements are met and records of completion of training are on file for employees.

Legal Note


This training is not intended to serve as legal advice and cannot substitute for legal guidance in specific cases. If needed, legal advice on specific issues should be obtained by legal counsel.

Two Options for Providing Training


There are two ways a school may meet the requirement of training staff in the mandated reporting of child abuse and neglect.

  1. Hold a Local In-Service. Schools may opt to provide a local in-service session using the PowerPoint slides or showing the video segments provided by DPI. Schools are strongly encouraged to partner with local child welfare agency professionals for the planning and delivery of this training. In this case, the school is responsible for maintaining a list of who has attended and completed the training.
  2. Require Online Module Completion. Schools may also have their staff complete DPI’s online module individually. If staff complete DPI’s online module and enter their email address, they will receive an automated email that verifies their completion. Some schools require their staff to forward this email to an individual at the school who tracks this completion. Please note it may take 10-14 business days to receive your confirmation email.

Training Materials

As of September 2023, local school leaders have the option to use one of two versions of the training.


OPTION 1 - Hold a Local In-Service Training


Provide staff with local in-service training, preferably in partnership with local child welfare professionals if they have capacity to do so.

Facilitators may use the provided slide deck, or facilitators may choose to screen the video segments from the online training module. Speaker notes are provided within each PowerPoint slide. The entire PowerPoint, or each video from the online module, must be utilized in order to meet the statutory requirement of completion of DPI training. Additional slides and information may be added. Schools using this option to meet the training requirement may locally determine how to document employee participation.

Prior DPI Training Slides (Version from 2021)

Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse & Neglect: Training for All School Employees Slides for Local In-Service

Updated DPI Training Content for Local In-Service (Version from August 2023)

OPTION 2 - Online Learning Module (Click on the buttons below to begin the training) 

Employees, please read the following before you begin the training: 

As of September 2023, local school leaders have the option to use one of two versions of the training. Please ensure you know which version your school has directed you to complete.

Confirmation of Training
  1. Where do you need to send it? Make sure you know where to send your confirmation email (for example, to a supervisor, a principal, or human resources in your district.) Your school should provide instructions for where to send this email.
  2. Keep a copy - Keep a copy of your confirmation email as proof of training completion. Note: School staff will need to retake the training upon starting employment in a new school district or private school, in accordance with local policies regardless of last completion date.
  3. Do not send to DPI - DPI is not responsible for maintaining records of course completion. This responsibility lies with the school and individual employee. Do not send your confirmation email to DPI.
  4. Thank you for your patience - It may take 10-14 business days to receive your confirmation email.

Due to the high volume of users taking this course, it may take 10-14 business days to receive your confirmation email. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 10-14 business days, please do the following:
  - Check spam/junk email folders.
  - Ensure all email addresses are spelled correctly.
  - Separate multiple email addresses with commas (not spaces, periods, or semicolons.)
  - Retake the training and submit the form again.

Click here to begin the 2021 Version of the Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect - Training for All School Employees

Spanish Version - Obligatoriedad de Denunciar el Abuso y la Negligencia de Menores Capacitación para Todos los Empleados de la Escuela

Click here to begin the 2023 Version of the Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect - Training for All School Employees
2023 Version Training Resources (also found within the 2023 online module)

Threats of School Violence

Please note: All school employees must also complete the Mandatory Reporting of Threats of School Violence (Act 143) Training. The web module for this training is available on the Student Services/Prevention and Wellness Required Training for Wisconsin School Staff webpage.

Optional Modules for Further Learning
Additional Resources, FAQs, and Printed Guidance
  • The School's Role in Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect - DPI (2022) This publication includes a number of frequently asked questions and answers relating to school staff responsibilities of preventing and responding to child maltreatment.
  • Reporting Requirements for Situations Involving Sexual Contact or Intercourse and Students: Suggested Procedures for School Employees - DPI (2022) This document is intended to help school districts, in collaboration with their local child welfare and law enforcement agencies, develop policies and procedures to address situations where a school employee has reasonable cause to suspect that a minor student has been involved in sexual contact or intercourse. State statutes regarding the mandatory reporting of sexual activity with minor students are complex, with different directives that depend on various factors. This summary was developed by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) in cooperation with the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
  • Information for Mandated Reporters in Virtual Environments - DPI/DCF (2020) DPI has partnered with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to create this resource related to mandated reporting and the duty of all school staff as mandated reporters and supporters of family strengthening. The document reminds school staff about their responsibility as a mandated reporter and the signs of child abuse and neglect. On the reverse side, question examples are provided to help guide conversations with students and caregivers to further understanding and target supports.
  • Confidential Services Available to Minors - DPI Describes the circumstances in which youth may access confidential services independently, according to Wisconsin law. These circumstances include school services, services for runaway youth, sexual assault and domestic violence services, family planning services, legal representation, alcohol and other drug and mental health services, and HIV test results. This document also includes a description of other resources and provides referenced statutes.
  • Information and Resources on Child Abuse and Neglect in Wisconsin - Department of Children and Families (DCF)
  • Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board The Wisconsin Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board is committed to mobilizing research and practices that prevent the occurrence of child maltreatment.
  • Prevent Child Abuse Wisconsin
  • Awareness to Action (A2A) Awareness to Action is an initiative focused on preventing child sexual abuse by helping adults and communities take action to protect children through: Awareness, Education, Prevention, Advocacy, and Action.

For computer or technical issues with the modules, please contact us at or (608) 266-8960.

For questions about the content and best practices, contact Julie Incitti, School Social Work Consultant, (608) 266-0963.