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Mandatory Reporting Abuse and Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult

Who Must Report - Mandated Reporters

Effective August 1, 2013 in North Dakota, these professionals and individuals are required to report abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults.

(See 2013 N.D. Senate Bill 2323)

Others Who May Report

  • Any other person may voluntarily report to the N.D. Department of Human Services or to law enforcement.

When to Report

  • A mandated reporter must report if in an official or professional capacity, he or she:
    • has knowledge that a vulnerable adult has been subjected to abuse or neglect; or
    • observes a vulnerable adult being subjected to conditions or circumstances that reasonably would result in abuse or neglect.
    • Important: A mandated reporter is required to report as soon as possible.

How to Report

  • NEW - Online Reporting System (NOTE: To add Victim or Perpetrator information, scroll down to the bottom of report and hit “Add.”)
  • Complete and submit a Reporting Form
  • Follow these reporting Guidelines (208 kb pdf) and Flow Charts (153 kb pdf) to file a report with the appropriate entity.
  • Contact one of the following offices to reach Vulnerable Adult Protective Services or contact law enforcement.
Contact Name

Bismarck Region (Burleigh, Emmons, Grant, Kidder, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Oliver, Sheridan, and Sioux counties)

Bill Willis





Devils Lake Region (Benson, Cavalier, Eddy, Nelson, Ramsey, Rolette and Towner counties)

Kim Helten





Dickinson Region (Adams, Billings, Bowman, Dunn, Hettinger, Golden Valley, Slope and Stark counties)

Rene Schmidt





Fargo Region (Cass, Ransom, Richland, Sargent, Steele, and Traill counties) Cass Co. Social Services 701-241-5747
Option #2

Grand Forks Region (Grand Forks, Pembina, and Walsh counties)

Bernie Hopman





Jamestown Region (Barnes, Dickey, Foster, Griggs, LaMoure, Logan, McIntosh, Stutsman, and Wells counties)

Hart Counseling





Minot Region (Bottineau, Burke, McHenry, Mountrail, Pierce, Renville, and Ward counties) Niels Anderson 701-629-5393
  701-628-3175 nanderson@co.mountrail.nd.us

Williston Region (Divide, McKenzie, and Williams counties)

Kayla Fenster





  • Urgent: If a vulnerable adult is in immediate danger, call law enforcement now and then one of the numbers listed above.

What to Include in the Report

To the extent reasonably possible:

  • Name, age, and residence address of the alleged vulnerable adult.
  • Name and residence address of the caregiver (if any).
  • Nature and extent of the alleged abuse or neglect or the conditions and circumstances that would reasonably be expected to result in abuse or neglect.
  • Any evidence of previous abuse or neglect.
  • Any other information that, in the reporter's opinion, may be helpful in establishing the cause of the alleged abuse or neglect and the identity of the individual responsible for the alleged abuse or neglect.


  • Any person required to report who willfully fails to do so is guilty of an infraction and subject to a fine up to $1,000.


  • Abuse” means any willful act or omission of a caregiver or any other person which results in physical injury, mental anguish, unreasonable confinement, sexual abuse or exploitation, or financial exploitation to or of a vulnerable adult.
  • Neglect” means the failure of a caregiver to provide essential services necessary to maintain the physical and mental health of a vulnerable adult, or the inability or lack of desire of the vulnerable adult to provide essential services necessary to maintain and safeguard the vulnerable adult’s own physical and mental health.
  • Vulnerable adult” means an adult who has a substantial mental or functional impairment.
    • "Substantial functional impairment" means a substantial incapability, because of physical limitations, of living independently or providing self-care as determined through observation, diagnosis, evaluation, or assessment.
    • "Substantial mental impairment" means a substantial disorder of thought, mood, perception, orientation, or memory that grossly impairs judgment, behavior, or ability to live independently or provide self-care as revealed by observation, diagnosis, evaluation, or assessment.

Additional definitions are found in North Dakota Century Code section 50-25.2-01 available at www.legis.nd.gov/cencode/t50c25-2.pdf?20130702181453.

Other Resources


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