Clergy as Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect
Citation: La. Children's Code Art. 603(17)(b)-(c)'Mental health/social service practitioner' is any individual who provides mental health or social service diagnosis, assessment, counseling, or treatment, including a psychiatrist, psychologist, marriage or family counselor, social worker, member of the clergy, aide, or other individual who provides counseling services to a child or his or her family.
'Member of the clergy' is any priest, rabbi, duly ordained deacon or minister, Christian Science practitioner, or other similarly situated functionary of a religious organization.
A member of the clergy is not required to report a confidential communication, as defined in Code of Evidence article 511(A)(2), from a person to a member of the clergy who in the course of the discipline or practice of that church, denomination, or organization is authorized and accustomed to hearing confidential communication and, under the discipline or tenets of that church, denomination, or organization, has a duty to keep such communication confidential. In that instance, the member of the clergy shall encourage that person to report the allegations to the appropriate authorities.
Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect
Professionals Required to Report
Citation: Children's Code Art. 603(17)
Mandatory reporters include any of the following individuals:
Health practitioners, including physicians, surgeons, physical therapists, dentists, residents, interns, hospital staff, podiatrists, chiropractors, nurses, nursing aides, dental hygienists, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, optometrists, medical examiners, or coroners
Mental health/social service practitioners, including psychiatrists, psychologists, marriage or family counselors, social workers, members of the clergy, or aides
Members of the clergy, including priests, rabbis, duly ordained clerical deacons or ministers, Christian Science practitioners, or other similarly situated functionaries of a religious organization
Teaching or child care providers, including public or private teachers, teacher's aides, instructional aides, school principals, school staff members, bus drivers, coaches, professors, technical or vocational instructors, technical or vocational school staff members, college or university administrators, college or university staff members, social workers, probation officers, foster home parents, group home or other child care institutional staff members, personnel of residential home facilities, daycare providers, or any individual who provides such services to a child in a voluntary or professional capacity
Police officers or law enforcement officials
Commercial film and photographic print processors
Court-appointed special advocates
Organizational or youth activity providers, including administrators, employees, or volunteers of any day camp, summer camp, youth center, or youth recreation programs or any other organization that provides organized activities for children
School coaches, including, but not limited to, public technical or vocational school, community college, college, or university coaches and coaches of intramural or interscholastic athletics
Reporting by Other Persons
Citation: Children's Code Art. 609
Any other person who has cause to believe that a child's health is endangered as a result of abuse or neglect may report.
Institutional Responsibility to Report
Not addressed in statutes reviewed.
Standards for Making a Report
Citation: Children's Code Art. 609; 610
A report is required when:
A reporter has cause to believe that a child's physical or mental health or welfare is endangered as a result of abuse or neglect.
A commercial film or photographic print processor has knowledge of or observes any film, photograph, videotape, negative, or slide depicting a child, whom he or she knows or should know is under age 17, that constitutes child pornography.
A physician has cause to believe that a newborn was exposed in utero to an unlawfully used controlled dangerous substance, as determined by a toxicology test upon the newborn, without the consent of the newborn's parents or guardian. Positive test results shall not be admissible in a criminal prosecution.
A physician observes symptoms of withdrawal in a newborn or other observable and harmful effects in his or her physical appearance or functioning that the physician has cause to believe are due to the chronic or severe use of alcohol by the mother during pregnancy.
Citation: Children's Code Art. 603(17); 609
A clergy member is not required to report a confidential communication from a person to a member of the clergy who, in the course of the discipline or practice of that church, denomination, or organization, is authorized or accustomed to hearing confidential communications and, under the discipline or tenets of the church, denomination, or organization, has a duty to keep such communications confidential.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, when representing a child in a case arising out of this code, a mental health or social service practitioner shall not be considered a mandatory reporter under the following limited circumstances:
When the practitioner is engaged by an attorney to assist in the rendition of professional legal services to that child
When the information that would serve as the basis for reporting arises in furtherance of facilitating the rendition of those professional legal services to that child
When the information that would serve as the basis for reporting is documented by the mental health/social service practitioner
The documentation shall be retained by the mental health/social service practitioner until 1 year after the child has reached the age of majority.
Notwithstanding any claim of privileged communication, any mandatory reporter who has cause to believe that a child's physical or mental health or welfare is endangered as a result of abuse or neglect, or that abuse or neglect was a contributing factor in a child's death, shall report.
Inclusion of Reporter's Name in Report
Citation: Children's Code Art. 610
The report must include the name and address of the reporter.
Disclosure of Reporter Identity
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 46:56(F)(8)(b)
The identity of the reporter shall not be released unless a court finds that the reporter knowingly made a false report.
Return to State List
Child Abuse Reporting
The following excerpts from the statutes of states within the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver delineate when local authorities must be contacted in accordance with the law in cases of known or suspected child abuse.
Click the following link for statutes pertinent to each state: