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What is required by California's mandatory reporting law?

California lawmakers passed the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA) in 1980.  Pursuant to CANRA and its subsequent amendments, certain professionals are required to report known or suspected cases of child abuse.

For example, in schools and classrooms across California, teachers and administrators have a duty to report abuse and neglect. These individuals, or mandatory reporters, are expected to acquire the training and tools needed to recognize signs of suspected abuse. Fortunately, the California Department of Social Services, Office of Child Abuse Prevention, offers online training for mandatory reporters.

However, mandatory reporters may not always come forward to report suspected child abuse. Perhaps the reporters do not want to believe there is a problem going on, or stir up a scandal in their own school. Perhaps they want to give the abuser the benefit of the doubt, or even a second chance.

Although the rationale may not be malicious, mandatory reporters who remain silent commit a grave injustice. Fortunately, the law offers a means to hold these individuals accountable for failing to take timely, appropriate actions. Notably, there are also no liability damage limits on cases brought in California against a public school. That way, both teachers and school officials will have to answer in a court of law.

Lawyers who fight for victims of child sexual abuse must know how to handle these situations not only with legal experience, but also a commitment to helping victims achieve a sense of justice and dignity. Our law firm has the experience to handle these cases with skill and compassion.

Source: Orange County Register, “Trinity Broadcasting trial begins with accusations about sex, abuse,” Teri Sforza, May 8, 2017

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