California’s Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act requires that certain “mandated reporters” report whenever they, in their professional capacity or within the scope of their employment, have knowledge of or observe a child whom they know or reasonably suspect has been the victim of child abuse or neglect. Failure to report known or reasonably suspected child abuse or neglect is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in a county jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.
The list of mandated reporters (found at Cal. Penal Code § 11165.7) is lengthy, and includes, for example, teachers, social workers, firefighters, physicians, athletic coaches, coroners, and clergy members.
AB 1963 adds two new categories of mandated reporters effective January 1, 2021:
Employers with employees subject to either of these new mandated reporting requirements must provide those employees who are now mandated reporters with training on their duties. This training must include training in child abuse and neglect identification and training in child abuse and neglect reporting. This training requirement can be met by completing the general online training for mandated reporters offered by the Office of Child Abuse Prevention in the State Department of Social Services.