San Diego Law Review


Kim Boyer

Document Type



When a social worker receives a complaint of child abuse and determines that the situation is non-urgent, should the county welfare department be held liable for subsequent injury to the child? This Comment analyzes the four contexts in which a special relationship with a county welfare department may arise and concludes that a duty of care should not be imposed upon county welfare departments in these situations. The author concludes that if the social worker reasonably determines that the situation was non-urgent, the county welfare department should not be held liable. Alternatively, even if a duty of care is imposed, a county welfare department, as a governmental agency, should be immune from liability.