(a) Reports of child abuse and neglect pursuant to this article shall be made immediately to the department of child protective services by a method established by the department: Provided, That if the method for reporting is web-based, the Department of Health and Human Resources shall maintain a system for addressing emergency situations that require immediate attention and shall be followed by a written report within 48 hours if so requested by the receiving agency. The state department shall establish and maintain a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week telephone number to receive calls reporting suspected or known child abuse or neglect.
(b) A copy of any report of serious physical abuse, sexual abuse, or assault shall be forwarded by the department to the appropriate law-enforcement agency, the prosecuting attorney, or the coroner or medical examiner’s office. All reports under this article are confidential. Reports of known or suspected institutional child abuse or neglect shall be made and received as all other reports made pursuant to this article.