However, failure to report suspected abuse or neglect could result in fines or other sanctions, such as participation in a training program.
Failure to act may result in even stiffer penalties, such as civil litigation or criminal prosecution with the prospect of potential imprisonment.
Typically, minimum requirements for what must be reported include: Typically, reporters are encouraged to report their suspicions and not to investigate or wait for absolute proof, which can lead to further harm directed at the suspected victim, and allow for perpetrators to prepare their defence through intimidation.
The investigation of the abuse is then left to professionals.
Conflicts between a mandated reporter's duties and some privileged communication statutes are common but, in general, attorney-client privileges and clergy-penitent privileges are usually exempt from mandatory reporting. psychologists are also exempt from mandatory reporting.
"Clergy-penitent privilege" is privileged communication that protects communication between a member of the clergy and a communicant, who shares information in confidence.
Of those substantiated, over half are minor situations and many are situations where the worker thinks something may happen in the future.
Approximately 48 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands designate professions whose members are mandated by law to report child maltreatment.
which helped doctors identify child abuse, its effects, and the need to report serious physical abuse to legal authorities.
Its publication changed the prevalent views in the United States, where child abuse was previously seen as uncommon, and not a regular issue.
In 1974, the United States Congress passed the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), which provides funds to states for development of Child Protective Services (CPS) and hotlines to prevent serious injuries to children.
These laws and the media and advocacy coverage and research brought about a gradual change in societal expectations on reporting in the United States and, at different rates, in other western nations.