Duty to Report Abuse or Neglect of Child-2018 Oklahoma Laws #24

This change in law added new responsibilities for teachers and midwives in the reporting of child abuse.

New Teacher Responsibilities

oklahoma child abuseEvery teacher of any child under the age 18 having reason to believe that a child under the age of 18 is a victim of abuse or neglect must report the matter immediately to the Department of Human Services. Reports must be made to the Department’s hotline. Any allegation of abuse or neglect reported in any manner to a county office must immediately be referred to the hotline by the Department. However, in actions for custody by abandonment, there will be no reporting requirement. Every teacher of a student age 18 or older having reason to believe that a student age 18 or older is a victim of abuse or neglect must report the matter immediately to local law enforcement.

New Midwife Responsibilities

Every physician, surgeon, or other health care professional including doctors of medicine, licensed osteopathic physicians, residents and interns, or any other health care professional, or midwife involved in the prenatal care of expectant mothers or the delivery or care of infants must promptly report to the Department instances in which an infant tests positive for alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance. This includes infants who are diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Every physician, surgeon, other health care professional, or midwife making a report of abuse or neglect as required or examining a child to determine the likelihood of abuse or neglect and every hospital or related institution in which the child was examined or treated must provide, upon request, copies of the results of the examination or copies of the examination on which the report was based and any other clinical notes, x-rays, photographs, and other previous or current records relevant to the case to law enforcement officers conducting a criminal investigation into the case and to employees of the Department of Human Services conducting an investigation of alleged abuse or neglect in the case.

Penalty For Failure to Report Child Abuse or Neglect

It’s a misdemeanor to knowingly and willfully fail to promptly report suspected child abuse or neglect or  interferes with the prompt reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect. HB 3104 and HB 2259 amended 10A O.S. § 1-2-101. HB 3104 went into effect May 1, 2018. HB 2259 went into effect November 1, 2018. Sources: HB 3104, HB 2259, & 10A O.S. § 1-2-101

Arrested in Oklahoma for child abuse? Call Oklahoma child abuse lawyer Frank Urbanic in OKC at 405-633-3420.

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