Law and the Church, #9

Describe the mandatory reporting laws in your area and how they affect you as a clergyperson. Explain the process you would go through to file a report if it were necessary.

Clergy do not have mandatory reporting laws outside of the IRS fundage.  We are not required to report child abuse that is reported during a confession to Clergy, but are also not held to the same regulation of confidentiality when it comes to child abuse.

If we were to report these types of abuse, however, Subchapter C gives an outline of the required documentation for child abuse claims:

(a) General rule.–Reports from persons required to report under section 6311 (relating to persons required to report suspected child abuse) shall be made immediately by telephone and in writing within 48 hours after the oral report.

(b) Oral Reports – Oral reports shall be made to the department pursuant to Subchapter C (relating to powers and duties of department) and may be made to the appropriate county agency. When oral reports of suspected child abuse are initially received at the county agency, the protective services staff shall, after seeing to the immediate safety of the child and other children in the home, immediately notify the department of the receipt of the report, which is to be held in the pending complaint file as provided in Subchapter C. The initial child abuse report summary shall be supplemented with a written report when a determination is made as to whether a report of suspected child abuse is a founded report, an unfounded report or an indicated report.

(c) Written Reports  – Written reports from persons required to report under section 6311 shall be made to the appropriate county agency in a manner and on forms the department prescribes by regulation. The written reports shall include the following information if available:

(1) The names and addresses of the child and the parents or other person responsible for the care of the child if known.
(2) Where the suspected abuse occurred.
(3) The age and sex of the subjects of the report.
(4) The nature and extent of the suspected child abuse, including any evidence of prior abuse to the child or siblings of the child.
(5) The name and relationship of the person or persons responsible for causing the suspected abuse, if known, and any evidence of prior abuse by that person or persons.
(6) Family composition.
(7) The source of the report.
(8) The person making the report and where that person can be reached.
(9) The actions taken by the reporting source, includingthe taking of photographs and X-rays, removal or keeping of the child or notifying the medical examiner or coroner.
(10) Any other information which the department may require by regulation (TITLE 23 DOMESTIC RELATIONS § 6313. Reporting procedure.).

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