A change in season, a change in law
In Virginia, beginning on July 1, 2012, the law is changing regarding mandated reporting of child abuse and neglect.
A mandated reporter is one who meets the following requirements:
- Any person, 18 years of age or older, associated with or employed by any public organization responsible for the care, custody or control of children
- Any athletic coach, director or other person 18 years of age or older employed by or volunteering with a private sports organization or team
- Administrators or employees 18 years of age or older of public or private day camps, youth centers and youth recreation programs
The time for a mandated reporter to make a report of suspected child abuse or neglect has been reduced from 72 hours to 24 hours. In addition, it will be considered a Class 1 misdemeanor for those knowingly and intentionally failing to make the required report. Another change from the current law refers to communication. If a mandated reporter makes a report to their supervisor (or person in charge of institution, department, etc.) then that person must notify the employee of when the report was made to child protective services (CPS) and any information about action taken. This ensures that all adults are included in the communication loop and that a situation of abuse will not fall through the cracks.
Under this new law, if you are unsure a call to CPS has been made, MAKE THE CALL (see local phone numbers here) before the 24-hour reporting period comes to an end. It is better that there are two reports than no report!
More questions on mandated reporting?