Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Not reporting Child Abuse as Mandated Reporter OR False Allegations. What is worse??



Penalties for Failure to Report and False Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect:
Summary of State Laws
  • We must know Our Statutes, since Not Reporting an Abuse Allegation, in Our Current States, is a Responsibility for Mandated Reporter.
  • However, Falsely Reporting an Alleged Abuse, should be a issue for All of Us.
So, a very simple question.
What is worse for Our Families??

Fully, realizing all members in a Family have rights. If you answered quickly. Did you consider that each Family is as Unique as each member within the Family??
Just a Thought,
Granpa Chuck,
Keeper of the web files for http://nfpcar.org
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(Link: http://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/report.cfm )
Series: State Statutes
Author(s): Child Welfare Information Gateway
Year Published: 2009
Current through December 2009
This brief introduction summarizes how States address this topic in statute. To access the statutes for a specific State or territory, visit the State Statutes Search.
Many cases of child abuse and neglect are not reported, even when mandated by law. Therefore, nearly every State and U.S. territory imposes penalties, often in the form of a fine or imprisonment, on mandatory reporters who fail to report suspected child abuse or neglect as required by law.1 In addition, to prevent malicious or intentional reporting of cases that are not founded, many States and the U.S. Virgin Islands impose penalties against any person who files a report known to be false.
Penalties for Failure to Report
Approximately 47 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands impose penalties on mandatory reporters who knowingly or willfully fail to make a report when they suspect that a child is being abused or neglected.2 Failure to report is classified as a misdemeanor in 39 States and American Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.3 In Arizona, Florida, and Minnesota, misdemeanors are upgraded to felonies for failure to report more serious situations, while in Illinois and Guam, second or subsequent violations are classified as felonies.
Twenty States and the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands specify in the reporting laws the penalties for failure to report.4 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 seven States and American Samoa, in addition to any criminal penalties, the reporter may be civilly liable for any damages caused by the failure to report.5
Penalties for False Reporting
Approximately 28 States carry penalties in their civil child protection laws for any person who willfully or intentionally makes a report of child abuse or neglect that the reporter knows to be false.6 In New York, Ohio, and the Virgin Islands, making false reports of child maltreatment is made illegal in criminal sections of State code.
Twenty States and the Virgin Islands classify false reporting as a misdemeanor or similar charge.7 In Florida, Tennessee, and Texas, false reporting is a felony, while in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Virginia, second or subsequent offenses are upgraded to felonies. In Michigan, false reporting can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the seriousness of the alleged abuse in the report. No criminal penalties are imposed in California, Maine, Montana, Minnesota, and Nebraska; 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.
Eleven States and the Virgin Islands specify the penalties for making a false report.8 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. In six States the reporter may be civilly liable for any damages caused by the report.9
To access the statutes for a specific State or territory, visit the State Statutes Search.
1 See Child Welfare Information Gateway's Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect. Back
2The word approximately is used to stress the fact that the States frequently amend their laws. This information is current through December 2009. Maryland, North Carolina, Wyoming, and Puerto Rico currently do not have statutes imposing penalties for failure to report. Back
3The States that do not use the misdemeanor classification for failure to report include Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.Back
4Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Back
5Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, New York, and Rhode Island. Back
6Arizona, 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. Back
7Arizona, 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. Back
8Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. Back
9California, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, and North Dakota. Back
This publication is a product of the State Statutes Series prepared by Child Welfare Information Gateway. While every attempt has been made to be as complete as possible, additional information on these topics may be in other sections of a State's code as well as agency regulations, case law, and informal practices and procedures.

This material may be freely reproduced and distributed. However, when doing so, please credit Child Welfare Information Gateway