Frequently Asked Questions About Child Abuse and Neglect
- Page 12
Who must report known or suspected child abuse in California?
The list is big - and very important for purposes of bringing a claim on behalf of an abused child against a person, corporation or governmental agency who failed to report known or suspected abuse in time to prevent further abuse or death. People who are legally required to report known or suspected abuse - also known as "mandatory reporters" - include the following: These public employees and child-related professionals are mandatory reporters: (1) Teachers, (2) Instructional Aide, (3) Teacher's Aide, (4) Teacher's Assistant employed by any public or private school, (5) Classified employee of any public school, (6) Administrative Officer or Supervisor of child welfare and attendance, (7) Certificated employee of any public or private school, (8) Administrator of public or private day camp, (9) Administrator or employee of a public or private organization, (10) Administrator or Employee of a public or private organization whose duties require direct contact and supervision of children, (11) Employee of a county office of education or the California Department of Education whose duties bring the employee into contact with children on a regular basis, (12) Licensee and Administrator or an Employee of a licensed community care or child day care facility, (13) Headstart teacher, (14) Licensing worker, (15) Licensing evaluator, (16) Public assistance worker, (17) Employee of a child care institution including but not limited to, foster parents, group home personnel and personnel of residential care facilities, (18) Social worker, (19) Probation Officer, (20) Parole officer, (21) Employee of a school district police or security department, (22) Administrator or presenter of, or a counselor in, a child abuse prevention program in any public or private school, (23) District attorney investigator, inspector or family support officer, unless the investigator, inspector or family support officer is working with an attorney appointed pursuant to Section 317 of the Welfare and Institutions Code to represent a minor, or a peace officer as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of this code, who is not otherwise described in this section, and (24) Firefighters, except for volunteer firefighters (Penal Code 11165.7) These health care personnel are mandatory reporters: (1) Physician - including pediatricians, (2) Surgeon, (3) Psychiatrist, (4) Psychologist, (5) Dentist, (6) Resident, (7) Intern, (8) Podiatrist, (9) Chiropractor, (10) Licensed nurse, (11) Dental hygienist, (12) Optometrist, (13) Counselor (marriage, family and child), (14) Licensed clinical social worker or any other person who is currently licensed under Division 2 (commencing with Section 500) of the Business and Professions Code, (15) Emergency Medical Technician I and II, (16) Paramedic, (17) a Person certified pursuant to Division 2.5 (commencing with Section 1797) of the Health and Safety Code, (18) Psychological Assistant registered pursuant to Section 2913 of the Business and Professions Code, (19) Counselor trainee (marriage, family and child), as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 4980.03 of the Business and Professions Code, (20) Unlicensed marriage, family and child counselor intern registered under Section 4980.44 of the Business and Professions Code, (21) State or county public health employee who treats a minor with a venereal disease or any other sexually-transmitted condition, (22) Coroner, medical examiner or any other person who performs autopsies (P.C. 11165.7) These persons in public protection positions are mandatory reporters: (1) Any employee of any police department, (2) Any employee of any sheriff's department, (3) Any employee of any county probation department, (4) Any employee of any county welfare department, per P.C. 1165.7(a)(33) Film developers are mandatory reporters: (1) Commercial film and photographic film processors, meaning persons who develop exposed photographic film or negatives, slides or prints, or who make prints from negatives or slides, for compensation, including any employee of such a person, but does not include a person who develops film or makes prints for a public agency (P.C. 11165.7(a)(29) Commerical film and photographic print processors must report depictions of a child under 16 in an act of sexual contact (P.C. 11166(d). Clergy members are mandatory reporters: (1) Priests, (2) Minister, (3) Rabbi, (4) Similar functionary of a church, temple or recognized religious denomination or organization (P.C. 11166(c)), (5) Any custodian of records of a clergy member (specified in P.C. 11165.7(33) and 11166(3)(A), which requires that on or before January 1, 2004, a clergy member of any custodian of records for the clergy member may report to an agency specified in Section 11165.9 that the clergy member or any custodian of records for the clergy member, prior to January 1, 1997, in his or her professional capacity or within the scope of his or her employment, other than during a penintential communication, acquired knowledge or had a reasonable suspicion that a child had been the victim of sexual abuse that the clergy member or any custodian of records for the clergy member did not previously report the abuse to an agency specified in Section 11165.9. The provisions of Section 11172 shall apply to all reports made pursuant to this section. Also, unlike other mandated reporters, the custodian of records for clergy, Section 11166(3)(b) states: This paragraph shall apply even if the victim of the known or suspected abuse has reached the age of majority by the time the required report is made (i.e. the child is now an adult). These other persons are mandatory reporters, as well: (1) Child visitation monitor, meaning any person who for financial compensation acts as a monitor of a visit between a child and any other person when the monitoring of that visit has been ordered by a court of law (P.C. 11165.7(a)(30), (2) Employee or volunteer of a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program, as defined in Rule 1424 of the Rules of Court (P.C. 11165.7(a)(34), (3) Animal control officer, meaning any person employed by a city or county for the purpose of enforcing animal control laws or regulations (P.C. 11165.7(a)(31)(A), (4). If you know a child who was abused and severely injured or killed, it is possible that one or more of these mandated reporters witnessed something which they should have reported to child protective services before a severe injury or death occurred - but failed to do so. Many, if not most kids who are abused, circulate among these mandated reporters. At school. At a pediatrician's office. When a police officer responds to a domestic violence call. And the list goes on. But protective services can only help a child if they are called - and it is up to these mandated reporters to do what they are required to do. Call protective services. Sometimes one call is all it takes to prevent a baby from being shaken, or a child from being hit, or from not getting medical care which he or she needs. And, often, an overstressed parent, or one with insufficient family support or money to raise children, will be given or directed to help once a mandated reporter calls protective services. Even if you do not know right now whether a mandated reporter was involved in a child's life before severe abuse occurred, or whether a mandated reporter had reason to report known or suspected abuse, call The Keane Law Firm anyways. We will have our investigators do an investigation and uncover whether a mandated reporter was involved, and whether they should have reported known or suspected abuse. The Keane Law Firm will help you help the abused child with his or her claim or lawsuit against a mandated reporter who fails to do what the law requires them to do. Do you part to help the child. They can't call. You can. So won't you please call or e-mail us now? It won't cost you anything, and it may provide needed money for a severely abused child's future care.
What factors place children at risk for being victims of child abuse?
There is no single factor which has been identified as the cause of child abuse. In general, there is an interaction of multiple risk factors in the environment that place children at risk to be victims of abuse. Researchers have identified abusive parents or caregivers as having risk factors such as substance abuse, low self-esteem, mental or physical disability, depression, history of abuse as a child, poor coping skills, poor impulse control, history of violent behavior or history of being raised in a group setting with no positive parental role.
All children are potential victims of child abuse, but some factors increase the risk for a child to be abused. Children with disabilities are twice as likely to be emotionally, physically or sexually abused. Children with behavioral disorders that manifest as aggression or temper tantrums are at an increased risk to be abused. Males with mental disabilities tend to be victims of sexual assault at an older age then other children.