Colorado Mandatory Reporters
Under C.R.S. 19-3-304, there are numerous people that are required by law to report child abuse and neglect based on their profession. These individuals are commonly known as mandatory reporters. This includes many individuals which common-sense would say interact with children and know about abusive situations such as:
- medical doctors in almost all medical professions including MDs, ODs, chiropractors, and optometrists;
- dentists and orthodontists;
- nurses and others involved in the treatment of patients;
- most individuals that work with children such as daycare workers, teachers, school officers, and social workers;
- religious personnel, including Christian Science practitioners;
- therapists; and,
- peace officers, parole officers, and firefighters.
In addition to the above, there are a lot of others that many times may not be so obvious. This includes some film processors, dietitians, and individuals employed with an athletic program. For some, this was the result of widespread abuse being learned out (such as with the Penn State child abuse scandal) after the fact or in others because new technology was created that resulted in new areas where abuse could be discovered.
While many individuals that are employed through governmental agencies receive training on mandatory reporting and their obligations as mandatory reporters, for smaller businesses, training may be lacking and, in some cases, individuals may not even know they are mandatory reporters.
When to Report
For individuals who are mandatory reporters, if a mandatory reporter knows or suspects that a child has been abused or neglected (including reasonably suspecting that abuse or neglect is occurring based on what they observe then the mandatory reporter is required to report this to the proper authorities. In most cases, even if the mandatory reporter learns about this in what otherwise would be a privileged communication, the mandatory reporter is still required to report it.
There are special circumstances that apply in some cases if the abuse is learned after the person suspected of being abused has turned 18 since the abuse happened, the individual learns of the abuse through protected communication, or the person is no longer in a position of trust in regard to children under the age of 18.
For More Information
If your Colorado small business has employees that fall under any category that is required to be a mandatory reporter, as a business owner you should have rules and procedures in place to train your employees what to look out for and how to report it. If you need help with any policies and procedures for your Denver small business, including those for mandatory reporters, please contact me, your Denver small business lawyer, today at 720-258-6647 or schedule online today!
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