California recently amended the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (“CANRA”), the state law governing the mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect. The amendments expand the persons defined as “mandatory reporters” to include both human resource employees and adults who have direct contact with and supervise minors. Furthermore, employers must now provide training to those employees on their obligations as mandatory reporters. Those employers subject to CANRA – i.e., those that work with minors – should take notice and begin the training immediately.
Under CANRA, “mandatory reporters” are required to make formal reports of suspected child abuse or neglect. The law lists a whopping forty-nine (49) different occupations that qualify as mandatory reporters and are subject to the reporting obligations. Such occupations include the following, among others:
- Clergy Members
- Child Care Providers
- Law Enforcement
- Medical Professionals
- Mental Health Professionals
- Commercial Film and Photographic Print Processors
Effective January 1, 2021, AB 1963 amended CANRA by adding the following persons to the list of mandatory reporters:
- Human resource employees working for businesses that employ minors and have at least five (5) employees; and
- Adults working for businesses that have at least five (5) employees and whose duties require direct contact with and supervision of minors in the performance of the minors’ duties in the workplace.
Human resource employees are defined as those employee(s) designated by the employer to accept complaints of misconduct. Also note that adults who have direct contact with and supervise minors are only mandatory reporters with respect to sexual abuse, not anything else.
Additionally, employers must provide training to the employees described above on their obligations as mandatory reporters. The training requirement is satisfied by completing the online training program offered by the Office of Child Abuse Prevention in the State Department of Social Services, available here. Other occupations that qualify as mandatory reporters are strongly encouraged to undergo training but are not required.
If you have any questions about the matters discussed in this issue of Compliance Matters, please call your firm contact or visit us online at www.brgslaw.com.
Richard S. Rosenberg
Katherine A. Hren
Charles H.W. Foster
Ballard Rosenberg Golper & Savitt, LLP