MANDATORY REPORTING LAWS – ALL OF THEM

The National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse of the National District Attorneys Association updates periodically a document entitled State Laws Regarding Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse.  The latest version on their website is current through September 2016 and lists the statutes in effect in all fifty states.  This is very handy for church lawyers.

 Also, on the NDAA website is the Clergy Communications and Clergy as Mandated Reporters document last updated January 2012.  This is equally valuable for church lawyers considering clergy confidentiality, clergy privilege and penitent privilege.  A quick reading of this document well convinces that this is still a mine field, especially in light of the reporting statutes, which do not always expressly explain how these privileges should be weighed against the duty to report, or if they can be weighed at all under the law.

 These very valuable resources should be used with caution.  The march of time is relentless in these areas.  Also, these documents were created by lawyers for lawyers.  These issues are not simple and counsel should be engaged to assist if a church leader finds that such an issue has arisen.

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