Clergy as Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect
Citation: Mo. Ann. Stat. § 352.400
'Minister' means any person who while practicing as a minister of the gospel, clergy member, priest, rabbi, Christian Science practitioner, or other person serving in a similar capacity for any religious organization is responsible for or who has supervisory authority over one who is responsible for the care, custody, and control of a child or who has access to a child.
When a minister or designated agent has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been or may be subjected to abuse or neglect under circumstances required to be reported, the minister or designated agent shall immediately report or cause a report to be made.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this section or any section of the reporting laws, a minister shall not be required to report concerning a privileged communication made to him or her in his or her professional capacity.
Citation: Mo. Ann. Stat. § 210.115
When any minister, as provided by § 352.400, has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been or may be subjected to abuse or neglect or observes a child being subjected to conditions or circumstances that would reasonably result in abuse or neglect, that person shall immediately report or cause a report to be made to the Children's Division.
Citation: Mo. Ann. Stat. § 210.140
Any legally recognized privileged communication, except that between an attorney and client or involving communications made to a minister or clergy member, shall not apply to situations involving known or suspected child abuse or neglect and shall not constitute grounds for failure to report as required or permitted, to cooperate with the division in any of its activities, or to give or accept evidence in any judicial proceeding relating to child abuse or neglect.
Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect
Professionals Required to Report
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 210.115; 352.400; 568.110
Professionals required to report include:
Physicians, medical examiners, coroners, dentists, chiropractors, optometrists, podiatrists, residents, interns, nurses, hospital and clinic personnel, or other health practitioners
Daycare center workers or other child care workers, teachers, principals, or other school officials
Psychologists, mental health professionals, or social workers
Ministers, including clergypersons, priests, rabbis, Christian Science practitioners, or other persons serving in a similar capacity for any religious organization
Juvenile officers, probation or parole officers, peace officers, law enforcement officials, or jail or detention center personnel
Other persons with responsibility for the care of children
Commercial film and photographic print processors; computer providers, installers, or repair persons; or Internet service providers
Reporting by Other Persons
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 210.115
Any other person who has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect may report.
Institutional Responsibility to Report
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 210.115
If two or more members of a medical institution who are required to report jointly have knowledge of a known or suspected instance of child abuse or neglect, a single report may be made by a designated member of that medical team. Any member who has knowledge that the member designated to report has failed to do so shall thereafter immediately make the report. Nothing in this section, however, is meant to preclude any person from reporting abuse or neglect.
The reporting requirements under this section are individual, and no supervisor or administrator may impede or inhibit any reporting under this section. No person making a report shall be subject to any sanction, including any adverse employment action, for making such report. Every employer shall ensure that any employee required to report has immediate and unrestricted access to the communications technology necessary to make an immediate report and is temporarily relieved of other work duties for such time as is required to make any report required by this section.
Standards for Making a Report
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 210.115; 568.110
A report is required when:
A reporter has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect.
A reporter observes a child being subjected to conditions or circumstances that would reasonably result in abuse or neglect.
A commercial film and photographic print processor has knowledge of or observes any film, photograph, videotape, negative, slide, or computer-generated image or picture depicting a child engaged in an act of sexual conduct.
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 210.140
Only the attorney-client or clergy-penitent privilege may be grounds for failure to report.
Inclusion of Reporter's Name in Report
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 210.130
The report must include the name, address, occupation, and contact information for the person making the report.
Disclosure of Reporter Identity
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 210.150
The names or other identifying information of reporters shall not be furnished to any child, parent, guardian, or alleged perpetrator named in the 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: