Under Minnesota Statute 626.556, persons in designated professional occupations are mandated to report suspected child abuse or neglect.
People who must report
Anyone who is a professional or a professional's delegate engaged in the practice of the healing arts, social services, hospital administration, psychological or psychiatric treatment, child care, education, law enforcement, or employed as a member of the clergy.
What must be reported
When a mandated reporter knows or has reason to believe that a child is being neglected or physically or sexually abused by a person responsible for the child's care, or has been so within the previous three years, a report must be made. A person responsible for a child's care includes family members, teachers, day care providers, and coaches, and can include anyone lawfully entrusted with a child's care.
To complete a report, fill out the Child Maltreatment Reporting Form.
Reporting neglect and abuse
A mandated reporter must report to the local police department, the county sheriff, or the local county social services agency. These agencies cross report to one other.
Failure to report
If a mandated reporter fails to report, the person could be prosecuted. This crime ranges from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the harm suffered by the child. Also, depending upon the mandated reporter’s position, the person may be disqualified from having professional contact with vulnerable people in the course of their work.
Mandated reporters are immune from liability
Mandated reporters are immune from liability for any report made in good faith. An employer cannot retaliate against a mandated reporter for making a good faith report. Reporter’s identity is protected unless a court order releases the person’s identity upon a showing by the subject of the report that the report was in bad faith. For more information, see Voluntary Reports of Child Abuse or Neglect.
For more information on mandated reporters, see Mandatory and Voluntary Reports of Child Abuse or Neglect.