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April 2013 Newsletter


Child Safety & Changes in Abuse Reporting Standards

Periodically we touch on the subject of child abuse and safety.  There can be no limit to the amount of awareness and education for an organization involving minors.  So, in light of April being National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we thought we would address emerging changes to reporting requirements, laws and consequences for those who interact with children.
With respect to acts of abuse, state laws and courts are beginning to hold those entrusted with a child’s care to a higher standard with the potential for greater consequences.  Previously, child abuse cases primarily affected the claimant and the person(s) directly involved with the allegation or abusive act.  However, we are seeing more cases and laws extend past those who are directly involved in an abuse claim to those who are indirectly connected to an abuse claim.
The broad overview of this new and emerging approach is simple.  Essentially, any business or organization and any person or volunteer with any interaction or connection to children may be criminally prosecuted and potentially charged for not properly reporting and attempting to stop a known abusive act.  In states adopting such laws, the indirect action of failing to do anything is becoming as serious a crime as the direct act of committing the abuse itself.
We highly recommend that you contact your legal counsel to find out what, if any, laws and standards are in place for your state.  Your legal council should be able to specifically address who is at risk and how your congregation may be implicated in the event of an abuse claim.  This information will help you formulate a more concise and updated abuse policy and plan to keep all members safe.
Other abuse related topics can be found at our website,




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