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A Guide for Mandated Reporters

A Guide for Mandated Reporters - A GUIDE FOR MANDATED...

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A GUIDE FOR MANDATED REPORTERS Alameda County Child Abuse Prevention Council Janette Bormann--Director 510-780-8989
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THE CALIFORNIA CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT REPORTING ACT (CANRA) Penal code 11164-11174 All fifty states have passed some form of legislation regarding mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect in response to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, federal legislation which originally passed in 1974. California has the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA) , which is part of the Penal Code. This act d efines what is meant by the terms “abuse” and “neglect,” and it requires certain categories of people who routinely work with children to report their suspicion that abuse has occurred. (The term "abuse" is at times used to encompass all types of child abuse and neglect.) CANRA designates the agencies that must receive and investigate reports of child abuse and neglect, generally social services and law enforcement agencies. State and local agencies are required to cross- report and set up mechanisms fo r sharing information. CANRA also states, “In any investigation of suspected child abuse, all persons participating in the investigation of the case shall consider the needs of the child victim and shall do whatever is necessary to prevent psychological harm to the child victim."(Penal Code 11164.b) The California Department of Justice maintains a statewide index called the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI), which contains information from all reports of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and severe neglect investigations in which the allegations were not determined to be unfounded. Mandated Reporters Professionals who work with or regularly come into contact with children have a crucial role in their protection. Mandated reporters are designated as such because they are in a position to receive information that a child is or may be at risk, and to pass this information on to the agencies that can intervene to protect the child. People who must make a Suspected Child Abuse Report include any child care custodian, health practitioner, employee of a child protective agency, child visitation monitor, firefighter, animal control officer, humane society officer, commercial film and photographic print processor, or clergy member, "who has knowledge of or observes a child, in his or her professional capacity or within the scope of his or her employment, whom he or she knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse." CANRA describes the process of submitting a report and sets penalties for mandated reporters who fail to report. It also protects the confidentiality of the information in the report and protects mandated reporters from civil and criminal liability. In addition, CANRA states that reporting duties are "individual, and no supervisor or administrator may impede or inhibit the reporting duties, and no person making a report shall be subject to any sanction for making the report." Agencies and schools may
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A Guide for Mandated Reporters - A GUIDE FOR MANDATED...

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