What is a mandated reporter?

In New York State, the Office of Children and Family Services has appointed individuals who work in certain professions to report any suspicions of child abuse or neglect to the state’s Child Protected Services system. These individuals are known as mandated reporters and they are granted this responsibility because New York State believes these professions equip them to notice any signs of maltreatment.

The professions that are listed as mandated reporters include all law enforcement officials, mental health professionals, child care workers such as summer camp or day care employees, any school officials such as social workers, teachers, nurses, and administrators, all medical professionals, and more. So, for example, if a school nurse notices that there are signs of maltreatment, neglect, or abuse present in a child, they are legally obligated to report these suspicions to Child Protective Services.

It is important to note that if a mandated reporter fails to report suspected child abuse or maltreatment, they may be subject to criminal penalties. These penalties may include, but are not limited to, a Class A misdemeanor. In addition, they may be subject to civil penalties such as monetary damages if they fail to report suspected child abuse. Child Protective Services relies heavily on these mandated reporters to help get children out of dangerous situations. If you have questions about CPS matters, contact our firm today.

If you are in need of experienced and dedicated legal counsel, please contact The Penichet Firm today and we will be happy to assist you in all of your divorce, family, and criminal law matters.