The Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act requires individuals that fall into the category of a “mandated reporter” to report suspected child abuse or neglect to Child Protective Services or Law Enforcement. The law has been amended several times over the years, including by identifying additional groups of persons as mandated reporters. Now, effective January 1, 2021, certain California human resources professionals and front-line supervisors will also be identified as mandated reporters.
California Assembly Bill 1963 now designates “human resources employees” working for businesses with at least five employees, that also employ minors, as mandated reporters of child abuse. A human resources employee, as defined, is any agent designated by the employer to accept complaints of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, etc., made under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act. In addition, the law also identifies front-line supervisors working for businesses with five or more employees, whose duties require direct contact with, and supervision of, minors as mandated reporters of sexual abuse.
As diocesan employees, you are designated as a mandated reporter and are expected to know how to recognize and report suspected child abuse or neglect, and must report any reasonable suspicion of such abuse to the proper authorities.
As mandated reporters, employees are required to receive training to understand reporting duties under California State law. The training must include training in both the identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect. The training requirement may be met by completing the general online training for mandated reporters offered by the Office of Child Abuse Prevention in the State Department of Social Services (CDSS).
- Mandated Reporter Training Opportunities for Your School or Deanery: Mandated Reporter Training must be renewed every two years in accordance with the California Department of Social Services. If your school or deanery would like to host a free private virtual Mandated Reporter Training session via ZOOM in English or Spanish, please contact Griselda Cervantez at Cervantez@dsj.org or call (408) 983-0225. The county asks for a minimum of 15 participants for this free training opportunity.
- The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and the Office of Child Abuse Prevention (OCAP) also provide free 24/7 self-paced Mandated Reporter training online in English and Spanish here. It provides additional, profession-specific modules as well.