Bill expands list of occupations now required to report child abuse

Bill will protect kids by expanding list of mandatory reporters
— HB 4016 adds to the list of persons who are required to report child abuse
By Senate Majority Office,

The Oregon Senate approved legislation that will help protect children from abuse by expanding the list of people who are required to report child abuse, commonly known as “mandatory reporters.” House Bill 4016 will help protect children attending extracurricular activities hosted at universities and colleges, sports organizations, and other youth-based organizations.

“Kids today have busy lives, with sports, summer camp, and many other activities outside of school,” said Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward (D-NW Portland/Washington Co.), who carried the bill on the floor. “While in a perfect world, every adult would recognize his or her responsibility to report abuse when they see it, by expanding the list of mandatory reporters, we are closer to the goal of protecting all kids under all circumstances.”

House Bill 4016 adds to the mandatory reporting law in Oregon:

– Employees of higher education institutions, community colleges, public or private universities, and OHSU.
– Employees of public or private organizations providing child-related services or activities to youth, excluding nonprofit organizations whose primary purpose is to provide confidential services to victims of domestic or sexual violence.
– A paid coach or trainer of an amateur, semiprofessional, or professional athlete if the athlete is a child.

The bill also requires that a school board’s policy on abuse reporting specify an alternate person to receive abuse reports if the existing designee is the abuser.

“In 2010, nearly 75 percent of child abuse and neglect reports in Oregon were made by those required to report by law,” said Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson (D-Gresham). “It is clear that mandatory reporting is an important tool to keeping our kids safe. This bill will help all adults recognize their responsibility to protect our kids.”

Oregon law requires public or private officials to make a report to the Department of Human Services or law enforcement if they have reasonable cause to suspect abuse or neglect of a child. Mandatory reporters include medical professionals, school employees, many state employees who work with children, emergency services, legislators, clergy, and many others who have frequent contact with children.

HB 4016 now goes to the Governor for his signature.

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