Complete Your CE Test Online - Click Here If they suspect abuse, mandated reporters are required to immediately report the abuse to ChildLine electronically or by phone. They are not required to conduct an investigation, that is the responsibility of the county agency that the report is assigned to. Staff members of public or private agencies, institutions, and facilities. Licensees who are staff members of a medical or other public or private institution, school, facility, or agency, and who, in the course of their employment, occupation, or practice of their profession, come into contact with children shall immediately report the suspected abuse or neglect. There is no longer a “chain of command”. Whereas employees of institutions and facilities including school employees were previously directed to report the concern to the ‘person in charge’, such mandated reporters are now required to report the concern immediately to ChildLine and then inform the ‘person in charge’ of their report and concerns. Please note: As a mandated reporter, you do not have to determine whether or not the person meets the definition of perpetrator to make the report. A mandated reporter shall report information if they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse under any of the following circumstances: ● ● The mandated reporter comes into contact with the child in the course of employment, occupation and practice of a profession or through a regularly scheduled program, activity or service. (Information obtained through your professional role.) ● ● The mandated reporter is directly responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or training of the child, or is affiliated with an agency, institution, organization, school, regularly established church or religious organization or other entity that is directly responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or training of the child. (Information obtained through your professional role.) ● ● A person makes a specific disclosure to the mandated reporter that an identifiable child is the victim of child abuse. (Information obtained through professional role or outside of professional role.) ● ● An individual 14 years of age or older makes a specific disclosure to the mandated reporter that the individual has committed child abuse. (Information obtained through professional role or outside of professional role.) The circumstances above all pertain to abuse information obtained through your professional role but the last two bulleted items can be obtained from information outside your professional role, as well. Protections for mandated reporters As a mandated reporter, and you make a report of suspected child abuse in good faith, you are protected. You are protected as a mandated reporter when you: ● ● Make a report of suspected child abuse or making a referral for general protective services, regardless of whether the report is required to be made. ● ● Cooperating or consulting with an investigation. ● ● Testify in a proceeding arising out of an instance of suspected child abuse or general protective services. ● ● Engaging in any action authorized as a result of suspected child abuse such as taking photographs, medical tests and X-rays of child subject to report, taking a child into protective custody, admission to private and public hospitals or mandatory reporting and postmortem investigation of deaths. An official or employee of the department or county agency who refers a report of suspected child abuse for general protective services to law enforcement authorities or provides services as authorized by this chapter shall have immunity from civil and criminal liability that might otherwise result from the action. Penalties for failure to report suspected child abuse Section 6319 of the Child Protective Services Law. Penalties for failure to report or to refer. If you are a mandated reporter and you willfully fail to report suspected child abuse, you could be charged with a second degree misdemeanor up to a second degree felony. Failing to report multiple times, increases the level of the penalty. The statute of limitations for reporting generally mirrors that of the crime. An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree if: ● ● The person or official willfully fails to report. ● ● The child abuse constitutes a felony of the first degree or higher. ● ● The person or official has direct knowledge of the nature of the abuse. An offense not otherwise specified above is a misdemeanor of the second degree. A report of suspected child abuse to law enforcement or the appropriate county agency by a mandated reporter, made in lieu of a report to the department, shall not constitute an offense under this subsection, provided the report was made in a good faith effort to comply with the requirements of this chapter. Continuing course of action: If a person’s willful failure continues while the person knows or has reasonable cause to believe the child is actively being subjected to child abuse, the person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, unless the child abuse constitutes a felony of the first degree or higher, then the person commits a felony of the third degree. Multiple offenses: A person who commits a second or subsequent offense under subsection commits a felony of the third degree, unless the child abuse constitutes a felony of the first degree or higher, then the penalty for the second or subsequent offenses is a felony of the second degree. Statute of limitations: The statute of limitations for an offense of failing to report or refer shall be either the statute of limitations for the crime committed against the minor child or 5 years, whichever is greater. Privileged and confidential communications Section 6311.1 of the Child Protective Services Law. Privileged communications states that the privileged communications between a mandated reporter and a patient or client of the mandated reporter shall not: ● ● Apply to a situation involving child abuse. ● ● Relieve the mandated reporter of the duty to make a report of suspected child abuse. nursing.elitecme.com Page 9