Can I find out who reported me and read the report?

Produced by an AmeriCorps Project of Western Massachusetts Legal Services updated and revised Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed May 2010

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is not allowed to tell you the name of the person who reported you. Sometimes the person who makes the report does not even give DCF their name.

Some people who work with children have to report to DCF when they think a child is being abused or neglected. These people are called "mandated reporters". They include:

  • doctors,
  • teachers,
  • day care workers, and
  • social workers.

Even though the DCF worker cannot tell you who reported you, the worker does have to tell you the details of what the person said. Sometimes you can figure out who made the report. If you think that the person who reported you to DCF is the same person who abused you, tell the social worker. Tell the social worker if you think he reported you because he is angry at you or he wants to hurt you

 Can I read the report?

You have the right to see a copy of the report. The report is called a "51A report". You also have the right to see DCF’s report about the investigation. The report about the investigation is called a "51B report.” The name "51B" comes from section 51B of Chapter 119 of the Massachusetts General Laws.

The steps for asking for a copy of these reports are:

  1. Write to the DCF Regional Director
    You can find the address on the Department of Children and Families website.
  2. In the letter, ask to see the 51A report and the 51B report.
  3. Make a copy of the letter for yourself before you mail it.

DCF will send you either a copy of the report(s) or a letter that explains why they are not sending you the reports. It takes some time to get a response. If you get the report, the name of the person who reported you to DCF will not be on it.

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