An alleged murder confession to a counselor about suffocating the grandmother wasn’t considered legally protected and confidential. Although I’m not sure why it would fall under abuse since the described abuse was not ongoing and could not happen again. How is reporting the past abuse in this instance in any way preventative?

Judge rules woman's alleged confession to counselor about grandmother's death is admissible

Who are mandatory reporters in Iowa? Teachers, care givers, nurses [Since passage of a law in 2001, licensing boards require a person who regularly examines, attends, counsels, or treats dependent adults or children in Iowa to accurately document compliance with training requirements on abuse education and/or dependent adult abuse, upon renewal of licensure.]

Monk: I Helped Church Shield Priest Who Killed Parishioner

May 31, 2007 7:32 PM CDT

What acts must be reported? [Physical abuse, mental abuse, denial of critical care, child prostitution, presence of illegal drugs, manufacturing or possession of a dangerous substance, allowing access by a registered sex offender or allowing access to obscene material.]

In states with defined mandatory reporter lists, however, the following professions are frequently listed: Day care workers Dental assistants and hygienists Doctors' office staff persons Emergency medical technicians Family practitioners Foster care workers Hospital personnel Medical examiners Nurse practitioners Police officers Practical nurses Psychiatrists and psychologists Registered nurses School administrators, advisors, and paraprofessionals Social workers Teachers and teachers' aides -

See National Conference of State Legislatures

MANDATORY REPORTING OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT STATE STATUTE OVERVIEW

The following information was compiled from a series of statutory reports from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau, Child Welfare Information Gateway. Click here for the main link to the series.

All 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have laws and policies that specify procedures for making and responding to reports of suspected child abuse or neglect. Mandated reporters are required by most States to make an immediate report when they suspect or know of abusive or neglectful situations.

Click here for 2012 introduced state legislation related to the mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect. 

The following chart outlines the various steps in the process of reporting child abuse and neglect. Click on the Category title to go directly to the full report to see citations and an extensive summary of each State’s law from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Category

States

Professionals Mandated to Report

Current through April 2010

48 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, The Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands list groups of individuals who are required to report suspected child abuse or neglect. New Jersey and Wyoming do not list specific groups of professionals. 

Note: Such individuals may include: Social workers, teachers and other school personnel, physicians and other health-care workers, mental health professionals, child care providers, medical examiners or coroners, and law enforcement officers. California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Ohio, Vermont and Washington include coaches, camp/youth camp or residential camp personnel or owners, or recreational/sport program or facility personnel or administrators to report suspected child abuse or neglect (see each State for specific category of persons required to report).

Mandated Reporting by Other Persons

Current through April 2010

18 States and Puerto Rico: Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.

Note: Any person who suspects child abuse or neglect is required to report.

Reports are referred to law enforcement agencies when the alleged perpetrator is a person other than the parent or other caregiver

Current through January 2009

9 States: Alaska, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico, and Texas

Cases which the suspected abuse is caused by someone other than a family member, or in which the abuse involves sexual abuse or severe injury to the child, are considered crimes and must be cross-reported to law enforcement agencies for investigation

Current through January 2010

27 States: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin

Penalties on mandatory reporters who knowingly or willfully fail to make a report when they suspect that a child is being abused or neglected

Current through December 2009

47 States (Maryland, North Carolina, and Wyoming do not have statutes imposing penalties), the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands

Failure to report is classified as a misdemeanor

Current through December 2009

39 States (Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin do not use this classification), American Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin Islands

Specify in the reporting laws the penalties for failure to report

Current through December 2009

20 States (Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin), the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands.
Notes: Upon conviction, a mandated reporter who fails to report can face jail terms ranging from 10 days to 5 years or fines ranging from $100 to $5,000.

CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT MANDATORY REPORTING STATE STATUTE OVERVIEW (CHART I)

Examples of State Statute on Reporting By Witnesses of Child Sexual Abuse and Violence

The following charts outline the various mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect; the process for mandated reports to make and screen reports of child abuse and neglect; cross-reporting among responders to child abuse and neglect; immunity for reporters of child abuse and neglect; and penalties for failing to report and false reporting of child abuse and neglect. Click on the chart title to go directly to the full report to see citations and an extensive summary of each State’s law from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Child Welfare Information Gateway.

 

Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect
Current through April 2010

Category

States

Professionals Required to Report

48 States (New Jersey and Wyoming do not list specific groups of professionals), The District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, The Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Note: Such individuals may include: Social workers, teachers and other school personnel, physicians and other health-care workers, mental health professionals, child care providers, medical examiners or coroners, and law enforcement officers

Commercial film or photograph processors mandated to report

11 States, Guam, and Puerto Rico: Alaska, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Carolina

Substance abuse counselors mandated to report

14 States: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wisconsin

Probation or Parole Officers mandated to report

17 States: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington

Domestic Violence Workers mandated to report

7 States and the District of Columbia: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, and South Dakota

Animal Control or humane officers mandated to report

7 States and the District of Columbia: California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia

Court Appointed Special Advocates mandated to report

9 States: Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin

Members of the clergy mandated to report

26 States: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin

Reporting by Other Persons

18 States and Puerto Rico: Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.

Note: Any person who suspects child abuse or neglect is required to report.

Privileged Communication

47 States and Puerto Rico: (Connecticut, Mississippi, New Jersey do not address this issue in reporting laws but may address elsewhere in statutes such as rules of evidence)

Require mandatory reporters to provide their names and contact information

18 States, The District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin Islands: California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.

Note: These states address the issue of privileged communications within their reporting laws, either affirming the privilege or denying it.

Disclosure of the Reporter’s Identity

39 States, The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands: (Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Wyoming, and the Virgin Islands do not address this issue in statute.)

Note: The identity of the reporter is specifically protected from disclosure and maintained even when other information from the report may be disclosed.

Disclosure of the reporter’s identity can be ordered by the court when there is a compelling reason to disclose

4 States and Guam: California, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas

Disclosure of the reporter’s identity can be ordered by the court upon finding that the reporter knowingly made a false report

9 States: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Virginia

Making and Screening Reports of Child Abuse and Neglect
Current through January 2009

Mandated Reporter is required to submit a written report after he or she has made and oral report

20 States, American Samoa, Guam, and Puerto Rico: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington

A written report is required only when requested by the department
or agency that received the initial report

8 States, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands: Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, and West Virginia

Categorize reports based on the level of risk of harm to
the child and assign different response times

30 States and the District of Columbia: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and Utah

Use Differential Response Systems

11 States: Arizona, Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming.

Note: More serious cases are assigned to be investigated, and less serious cases are assigned to receive family assessments

Cases that involve physical or sexual abuse or possible criminal conduct may be investigated by a law enforcement agency

15 States and the Virgin Islands: Alaska, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming

Reports are referred to law enforcement agencies when the alleged perpetrator is a person other than the parent or other caregiver

9 States: Alaska, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico, and Texas

Cross-Reporting Among Responders to Child Abuse and Neglect
Current through January 2010

Cases which the suspected abuse is caused by someone other than a family member, or in which the abuse involves sexual abuse or severe injury to the child, are considered crimes and must be cross-reported to law enforcement agencies for investigation

27 States: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin

Child protective and law enforcement agencies are required to coordinate investigations and share information

9 States: Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota (in cases involving criminal abuse allegations), Ohio, Virginia, and Wyoming.

Note: In order to minimize the number of times individual children are interviewed

Require information sharing among multidisciplinary teams that conduct assessments and provide services to families

5 States: Delaware, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont

Immunity for Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect
Current through December 2008

To be eligible to receive Federal grants under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), States are required to establish provisions for immunity from liability for individuals making good faith reports of suspected or known instances of child abuse or neglect. Immunity statutes protect reporters from civil or criminal liability that they might otherwise incur. This protection is extended to both mandatory and voluntary reporters.

“Presumption of Good Faith”

17 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, and Guam: Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Note: Means that the good faith of the reporter is assumed unless it can be proven to the contrary

Provide immunity to a reporter who participates in any judicial proceedings that may arise

36 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, and Guam: Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming do not address the issue in statute

Provide immunity to a reporter for assisting with or participating in an investigation of allegations of maltreatment

26 States: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin

Deny immunity for any civil or criminal penalties for mandated reporters who fail to make required reports

2 States: Minnesota and North Dakota

Immunity is not provided in cases in which it can be shown that the person making a report acted with malice or in “bad faith”

10 States: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia

Immunity is denied for knowingly making a false report

10 States: California, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Utah, and Washington

No immunity for persons who knowingly make an “untimely report”

1 State: Alaska

Persons who are the alleged perpetrators of the suspected abuse or neglect are specifically not provided immunity from prosecution

16 States: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin

Penalties for Failure to Report and False Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect
Current through December 2009

Penalties on mandatory reporters who knowingly or willfully fail to make a report when they suspect that a child is being abused or neglected

47 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands: (Maryland, North Carolina, and Wyoming do not address in statute.)

Failure to report is classified as a misdemeanor

39 States, American Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin Islands:

(Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin do not address in statute.)

Misdemeanors are upgraded to felonies for failure to report more serious situations

3 States: Arizona, Florida, and Minnesota

Second or subsequent violations are classified as felonies

1 State: Illinois

Specify in the reporting laws the penalties for failure to report

20 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Note: Upon conviction, a mandated reporter who fails to report can face jail terms ranging from 10 days to 5 years or fines ranging from $100 to $5,000.

In addition to criminal penalties, the reporter may be civilly liable for any damages caused by the failure to report

7 States and American Samoa: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, New York, and Rhode Island

Penalties (in their civil child protection laws) for an person who willfully or intentionally makes a report of child abuse or neglect that the reporter knows to be false

28 States: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming

Making false reports of child maltreatment is made illegal in criminal sections of State Code

2 States: New York, Ohio

False reporting classified as a misdemeanor or similar charge

 

20 States and the Virgin Islands: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois (disorderly conduct), Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming

False reporting is a felony

3 States: Florida, Tennessee, and Texas

Second or subsequent offenses are upgraded to felonies

5 States: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Virginia

False reporting can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the seriousness of the alleged abuse in the report

1 State: Michigan

No criminal penalties are imposed

5 States: California, Maine, Montana, Minnesota, and Nebraska.

Note: However, immunity from civil or criminal action that is provided to reporters of abuse or neglect is not extended to those who make a false report

Specify the penalties for making a false report

11 States and the Virgin Islands: Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

Note: Upon conviction, the reporter can face jail terms ranging from 30 days to 5 years or fines ranging from $200 to $5,000.  Florida imposes the most severe penalties: in addition to a court sentence of 5 years and $5,000, the Department of Children and Family Services may fine the reporter up to $10,000. 

Reporter may be civilly liable for any damages caused by the report

6 States: California, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, and North Dakota

Steve Lombardi
Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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