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Law for reporting child abuse

 

Mandatory reporting of child abuse is governed by ORC 2151.421.  It can be summarized as follows:

 Professionals Required to Report Rev. Code § 2151.421

Mandatory reporters include:

  • Attorneys
  • Physicians, interns, residents, dentists, podiatrists, nurses, or other health-care professionals
  • Licensed psychologists, school psychologists, or marriage and family therapists
  • Speech pathologists or audiologists
  • Coroners
  • Administrators or employees of child daycare centers, residential camps, child day camps, certified child care agencies, or other public or private children services agencies
  • Teachers, school employees, or school authorities
  • Persons engaged in social work or the practice of professional counseling
  • Agents of county humane societies
  • Persons, other than clerics, rendering spiritual treatment through prayer in accordance with the tenets of a well-recognized religion
  • Superintendents, board members, or employees of county boards of mental retardation; investigative agents contracted with by a county board of mental retardation; employees of the Department of
    Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities; employees of a facility or home that provides respite care; employees of a home health agency; employees of an entity that provides homemaker 
    services
  • Persons performing the duties of an assessor or third party employed by a public children services agency to assist in providing child or family-related services

 Reporting by Other Persons Rev. Code § 2151.421

Any other person who suspects that a child has suffered or faces a threat of suffering from abuse or neglect may report.

 Standards for Making a Report Rev. Code § 2151.421

A report is required when a mandated person is acting in an official or professional capacity and knows or suspects that a child has suffered or faces a threat of suffering any physical or mental wound, injury, disability, or condition of a nature that reasonably indicates abuse or neglect of the child.

 Privileged Communications Rev. Code § 2151.421

An attorney, physician, or cleric is not required to make a report concerning any communication the attorney, physician, or cleric receives from a client, patient, or penitent in a professional relationship, if, in accordance § 2317.02, the attorney, physician, or cleric could not testify with respect to that communication in a civil or criminal proceeding.

The client, patient, or penitent in the relationship is deemed to have waived any testimonial privilege with respect to any communication the attorney, physician, or cleric receives, and the attorney, physician, or cleric shall make a report with respect to that communication if all of the following apply:

  • The client, patient, or penitent, at the time of the communication, is either a child under age 18 or a mentally retarded, developmentally disabled, or physically impaired person under age 21.
  • The attorney, physician, or cleric knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect based on facts that would causea reasonable person in similar position to suspect, as a result of the communication or 
    any observations made during that communication, that the client, patient, or penitent has suffered or faces a threat of suffering any physical or mental wound, injury, disability, or condition of a nature 
    that reasonably indicates abuse or neglect of the person.
  • The abuse or neglect does not arise out of the person's attempt to have an abortion without the notification of her parents, guardian, or custodian in accordance with § 2151.85.

 Inclusion of Reporter's Name in Report Rev. Code § 2151.421

The reporter is not required to provide his or her name in the report, but if he or she wants to receive information on the outcome of the investigation, he or she must provide his or her name, address, and telephone number to the person who receives the report.

 Disclosure of Reporter Identity Rev. Code § 2151.421

The information provided in a report made pursuant to this section and the name of the person who made the report shall not be released for use and shall not be used as evidence in any civil action or proceeding brought against the person who made the report.

 Some helpful resources:

 Specific to Ohio laws: http://law.findlaw.com/state-laws/child-abuse/ohio/

 A summary of all states mandatory reporting laws can be found at www.childwelfare.gov .