Mandatory reporting of adult mistreatment

Mandatory reporting of adult mistreatment header image

Visit the Adult Protective Services page for more information about Colorado's system of protecting adults from mistreatment and self-neglect.


About mandatory reporting

Certain professionals are required by law to report physical abuse, sexual abuse, caretaker neglect, and exploitation (termed “mistreatment”) that is observed or that the reporter becomes aware of when that mistreatment is occurring to an at-risk elder or an at-risk adult with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD). These mandatory reports must be made to the law enforcement agency where the mistreatment occurred within 24 hours of witnessing or becoming aware of the mistreatment.

List of mandatory reporters

​Mandatory reporters include:

  • Any person providing health care or health-care related services including: general medical, surgical, nursing services, nursing specialty services, dental, vision, pharmacy, chiropractic services, physical, occupation, musical, or other therapies. 
  • Staff of hospital and long term care facilities engaged in admission, care, or treatment of patients. 
  • First responders, including: emergency medical providers, fire protection personnel, law enforcement officers, any person employed, contracted, or volunteers of any law enforcement agency, including victim advocates. 
  • Medical examiners and coroners
  • Code enforcement officers
  • Psychologists, addictions counselors, professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, and registered psychotherapists (Title 12, Article 43, C.R.S)
  • Social workers (Title 12, Article 43, C.R.S)
  • Staff of Community Centered Boards
  • Staff, consultants, or independent contractors of service agencies for persons with IDD (Section 25-27.5-102 (5), C.R.S. and Section 25.5-10-202(34), C.R.S)
  • Staff or consultants of a care facility, agency, home, or governing board (licensed or unlicensed, certified or uncertified) including long-term care facilities, home care agencies, or home health providers 
  • Home health staff 
  • Caretakers, staff members, employees, or consultants for a home care placement agency (Section 25-27.5-102(5), C.R.S.)
  • Persons performing case management or assistant services for at-risk adults 
  • Staff of County Departments of Human Social Services 
  • Staff of Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS)
  • Staff of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)
  • Staff of Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF)
  • Staff of senior centers or senior outreach and research organizations 
  • Staff and staff of contracted providers of Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) (except the long-term care ombudsman)
  • Employees, consultants, or volunteers that provide transportation services for at-risk adults 
  • Court appointed guardians and conservators
  • School personnel at schools serving persons in preschool through 12th grade
  • Veterinarians 
  • Clergy (pursuant to Section 13-90-107(1)(C), C.R.S.)
  • Personnel of banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, and other lending or financial institutions

Training for mandatory reporters

An online training module for mandatory reporters is available. If you need proof that you completed this training, you will be able to print or capture a screenshot of your scores at the end of the training.

At-risk elders and at-risk adults with IDD

An at-risk elder is any person 70 years of age or older.

An at-risk adult with IDD is a person who is eighteen years of age or older who has an onset of an intellectual and developmental disability before the person is 22 years old. An adult with IDD has an I.Q. of 70 or below and/or has significant limitations in the ability to socialize, provide self-care, or communicate. IDD includes autism spectrum disorders, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, Down Syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, and other disorders.

Making a report to law enforcement

You should make the report to the law enforcement agency where the mistreatment occurred. Have as much information as possible about the at-risk elder or at-risk adult with IDD, the alleged perpetrator, and what is concerning you.  At a minimum, law enforcement will need the following information:

  • Name and address of the at-risk elder or at-risk adult with IDD. 
  • A description of the alleged mistreatment and the situation and what you observed.
  • The nature and extent of the injury.
  • The alleged perpetrator name and contact information, if possible.

Other information that will be helpful to provide when making the report includes:

  • When you last saw the adult.
  • Any medical or physical conditions that impairs the adult's ability to provide for day-to-day needs.
  • Any memory, decision making, or understanding deficits.
  • Any recent decline in the adult's ability to adequately cook, shop, or to manage their healthcare, medications, or hygiene needs.
  • Any service providers or family/friends already in place to help address the adult's needs.
  • Any other information that may be relevant to adult or the mistreatment concerns.