PA 13-297—HB 6342

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR FAILURE TO REPORT CHILD ABUSE

SUMMARY: This act makes it a form of risk of injury to a child for a person to intentionally and unreasonably interfere with or prevent a person who is required to report suspected child abuse and neglect (a mandated reporter) from carrying out this obligation. The act makes this a class D felony (see Table on Penalties).

The act also makes it a crime for mandated reporters (e. g. school employees, police officers, certain medical professionals, and Department of Children and Families (DCF) employees) to fail to report suspected child abuse or neglect to DCF. Under prior law, this inaction subjected them to fines of between $500 and $2,500. The act makes it a class A misdemeanor (see Table on Penalties). By law, such reporters must also participate in an educational and training program.

By law, a person is required to report suspected child abuse or neglect within certain specified timeframes if such person (1) is a mandated reporter and (2) in the ordinary course of his or her employment or profession, has reasonable cause to suspect a child under age 18 has:

1. been abused or neglected,

2. suffered a non-accidental physical injury or one that is inconsistent with the given history of such injury, or

3. been placed at imminent risk of serious harm.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2013

BACKGROUND

Related Acts

PA 13-53 (1) prohibits employers from attempting to prevent employees from reporting child abuse or neglect or testifying in hearings related to child abuse or neglect and (2) subjects employers to the whistleblower penalties, in addition to the current civil penalties, if they take adverse actions against employees who report child abuse or neglect.

OLR Tracking: MK: DC: PF: RO