Reporting the abuse and neglect of children and adults is everyone's responsibility
Who has a duty to report?
Any person who knows or has reasonable cause to believe that a child or adult is dependent, neglected or abused shall immediately cause an oral or written report to be made. [§625.030 (1), §209.030 (2)]
In addition, any person, including, but not limited to, a physician, nurse, teacher, school personnel, social worker, coroner, medical examiner, police personnel, or other health professionals, shall if requested file a written report with the local law enforcement office. [§625.030 (2), §209.030 (2)]
What must be reported?
A dependent child is one who is under improper care, custody and control due to no fault on the part of the parent. An abused child is one who is physically, sexually, or emotionally abused or exploited or is at risk of being physically, sexually, or emotionally abused or exploited. A neglected child is one who is not provided with adequate care, supervision, food, clothing, shelter, education and medical care necessary for his or her well-being. [§600.020 (1) (15)]
What protection is afforded the one who makes the report?
Anyone acting upon reasonable cause in the making of a report in good faith shall have immunity from civil or criminal liability.[§620.050 (1)]. No Privilege, except for attorney-client or clergy-penitent privilege, is grounds for failing to report. Physician-patient and husband-wife privilege is not grounds for failing to report. [§620.050 (2), §209.050].
What is the penalty for failure to report?
Failing to report child or adult abuse is a class B misdemeanor. [§620.050 (2), §209.990]