Important Updates to Arizona's Child Abuse Mandated Reporting Law
SOURCE: LAW REVIEW, Arizona Revised Statute 13-3620:
Who? Any person...
What? Who has a reasonable belief that a child may be a victim of some kind of abuse...
When? Must immediately...
What? Report...to law enforcement or CPS...
Or else? Failure to report could be punishable as a FELONY OFFENSE
How? The Pima County Attorney's Office recommends reporting to both LAW ENFORCEMENT (911) and CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES (888-SOS-CHILD)
CHANGES TO THE LAW AS OF SEPTEMBER 18, 2003:
1. The law now specifies that in cases of abuse that DO NOT involve parents, guardians or custodians, mandated reporters are directed to report to LAW ENFORCEMENT ONLY -- HOWEVER, victims are best served when both law enforcement and CPS are involved.
2. CONSENSUAL SEXUAL BEHAVIOR involving parties between ages 14 and 17 is no longer reportable under the statute (however, this does not mean that the behavior is "legal").
3. Failure to report sexual abuse is punishable as a felony. (Violations of this statute were previously misdemeanors.)
"Reasonable belief" simply means that because of what you have seen or heard you think abuse may possibly explain the child's condition.
Interviewing children to make sure they are abused should be avoided -- all you need is reasonable belief to make a report.
1. RECOGNIZE possible abuse
2. MAKE a law enforcement report (911)
3. MAKE a CPS report (1-888-SOS-CHILD)
4. SHARE information with investigators