However the recent Penn State child abuse scandal pans out, one thing is for certain: it has delivered a resounding wake up call to all child abuse mandated reporters to get a refresher on their reporting responsibilities.
Just who exactly is a mandated reporter? Basically any person paid to care for a child in any public or private facility, including educators, health care providers, day care providers, and social workers.
And what are mandated reporters required to report? Physical abuse, emotional abuse, or neglect. Specifically, mandated reporters are required to make a report to the Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) when, in the ordinary course of their employment or profession, they have reasonable cause to suspect or believe that a child under the age of 18 has been abused, neglected or is placed in imminent risk of serious harm.
Knowing when to report suspicious activity to DCF can be a difficult decision, but it is the law, and if you don’t, you could subject yourself to civil and possibly criminal liability.
Attorney Sherman and his staff of attorneys regularly present lectures, refresher courses and advice on mandated reporting to educators and health care providers. If you have a specific mandated reporting issue that you would like to discuss with one of our attorneys, or if you would like to have our firm present to your staff of professionals, please give us a call.