Skip to main content

KNOXVILLE—In Tennessee, if you see or suspect child physical or sexual abuse, you’re legally required to report it.

As recent national headlines show, that’s not always the way it occurs.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Social Work is offering online training for the public that can serve as a refresher on how to address the situation. The course, which is free, was developed in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

To date, more than 100,000 users have visited the training website, which has been in existence for several years.

“Tennessee is making an effort to teach its educators what to do when they suspect that abuse is happening,” Betsy DeGeorge, assistant director for publications and media technology for the Social Work Office of Research and Public Service. “It’s not something every state has been doing.”

DeGeorge noted that the state mandates that it’s not good enough for those who are aware of child abuse to report it to their superiors. They must also be report it to children’s services.

They may do so anonymously, which “protects (child abuse) reporters and keeps the abuse from being shuffled under the rug,” she said. “It becomes a kind of action that keeps the interests of the child first.”

To view the training on child abuse reporting, visit

C O N T A C T :

Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,