Who is Required to Report Child Abuse or Neglect in Arizona?
It comes as a surprise to most people that not everyone is required to report reasonable concerns of the abuse or neglect of a child. Of course, we all have a moral obligation to take the necessary steps to protect children, but the law simply doesn't require everyone to report such concerns.
Individuals who are required by law to report a reasonable concern regarding the abuse or neglect of a child are referred to as "mandatory reporters". A mandatory reporter by is required by law to report, either to the law enforcement or Arizona Department of Child Safety, any reasonable beliefs that a child has been either abused or neglected.
The types of individuals who are mandatory reporters include police officers, medical professionals such as doctors and nurses, mental health professionals (counselors, social workers and psychologists), school personnel, parents of the child, step parents or guardians of children, or any person who is in a position of caring for a child such as a day care provider or step parent.
If you are a parent of a child and you believe the other parent is abusing or neglecting the children to the extent that such abuse or neglect places your child in imminent risk of serious harm, you may file an Emergency Petition to modify or suspend the other parent's parenting time with the child.
Legal Penalties for Failing to Report a Reasonable Concern of Child Abuse or Neglect in Arizona
The penalties for a mandatory reporter's failure to timely report a reasonable concern regarding the abuse or neglect of a child depend upon the nature of the abuse or neglect that was reported. A mandatory reporter can be charged with a criminal misdemeanor or a felony depending upon the seriousness of the abuse or neglect that was not timely reported.
How to Report Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect in Arizona
If you reasonably believe a child has been abused or neglected, you may report that concern either to law enforcement or the Arizona Department of Child Safety. Many people choose to report the concern to law enforcement who will very likely contact the Arizona Department of Child Safety as they deem necessary.
Confidential Reporting of Child Abuse or Neglect in Arizona
A person reporting a concern or child abuse to the Arizona Department of Child Safety will have information about them kept confidential. The reporters name or other information will not appear in any reports, even if the parents receive a copy of the report (the reporters name and other information will be redacted or blocked out of the reports).
However, if you happen to be a material witness to any of the actions of abuse that occurred, you may be called as a material witness to testify in any child abuse hearings that occur as a result in either a criminal court, juvenile court, or family law court.
Contact Our Scottsdale Child Abuse Attorneys
Contact us today or call us at 480-305-8300 to schedule your consultation with our Scottsdale Arizona Child Abuse Attorney regarding child abuse laws in Arizona or any other Arizona family law matter.