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SB465 SUB2 Senate Bill 465 History

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WEST virginia legislature

2018 regular session

Committee Substitute

for

Committee Substitute

for

Senate Bill 465

By Senators Trump, Boso, Ferns, Baldwin, and Cline

[Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary; reported on February 22, 2018]

 

 

A BILL to amend and reenact §49-2-803 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating generally to mandated reporting of child abuse and neglect; clarifying that sexual abuse and sexual assault constitute abuse of a child for reporting purposes; reducing the time period in which a mandated reporter is required to report suspected abuse or neglect; requiring mandated reporters to directly report known or suspected abuse or neglect; eliminating certain broad reporting requirements applicable to any person over the age of 18; clarifying that minors are not mandated reporters; eliminating certain exceptions to the reporting time limit; eliminating particularized reporting requirements for education employees; and eliminating provisions pertaining to conduct involving students or students and school personnel.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:


ARTICLE 2. STATE RESPONSIBILITIES FOR CHILDREN.


§49-2-803. Persons mandated to report suspected abuse and neglect; requirements.

(a) Any medical, dental, or mental health professional, Christian Science practitioner, religious healer, school teacher or other school personnel, social service worker, child care or foster care worker, emergency medical services personnel, peace officer or law-enforcement official, humane officer, member of the clergy, circuit court judge, family court judge, employee of the Division of Juvenile Services, magistrate, youth camp administrator or counselor, employee, coach or volunteer of an entity that provides organized activities for children, or commercial film or photographic print processor who has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is neglected or abused, including sexual abuse or sexual assault, or observes the child being subjected to conditions that are likely to result in abuse or neglect shall immediately, and not more than forty-eight 24 hours after suspecting this abuse or neglect, report the circumstances or cause a report to be made to the Department of Health and Human Resources. In any case where the reporter believes that the child suffered serious physical abuse or sexual abuse or sexual assault, the reporter shall also immediately report, or cause a report to be made, to the State Police and any law-enforcement agency having jurisdiction to investigate the complaint. Any person required to report under this article who is a member of the staff or volunteer of a public or private institution, school, entity that provides organized activities for children, facility, or agency shall also immediately notify the person in charge of the institution, school, entity that provides organized activities for children, facility, or agency, or a designated agent thereof, who may supplement the report or cause an additional report to be made: Provided, That notifying a person in charge, supervisor, or superior does not exempt a person from his or her mandate to report suspected abuse or neglect.

(b) Any person over the age of eighteen who receives a disclosure from a credible witness or observes any sexual abuse or sexual assault of a child, shall immediately, and not more than forty-eight hours after receiving that disclosure or observing the sexual abuse or sexual assault, report the circumstances or cause a report to be made to the Department of Health and Human Resources or the State Police or other law-enforcement agency having jurisdiction to investigate the report. In the event that the individual receiving the disclosure or observing the sexual abuse or sexual assault has a good faith belief that the reporting of the event to the police would expose either the reporter, the subject child, the reporter's children or other children in the subject child's household to an increased threat of serious bodily injury, the individual may delay making the report while he or she undertakes measures to remove themselves or the affected children from the perceived threat of additional harm and the individual makes the report as soon as practicable after the threat of harm has been reduced. The law-enforcement agency that receives a report under this subsection shall report the allegations to the Department of Health and Human Resources and coordinate with any other law-enforcement agency, as necessary to investigate the report.

(c) Any school teacher or other school personnel who receives a disclosure from a witness, which a reasonable prudent person would deem credible, or personally observes any sexual contact, sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion, as those terms are defined in article eight-b, chapter sixty-one, of a child on school premises or on school buses or on transportation used in furtherance of a school purpose shall immediately, but not more than 24 hours, report the circumstances or cause a report to be made to the State Police or other law-enforcement agency having jurisdiction to investigate the report: Provided, That this subsection will not impose any reporting duty upon school teachers or other school personnel who observe, or receive a disclosure of any consensual sexual contact, intercourse, or intrusion occurring between students who would not otherwise be subject to section three, five, seven or nine of article eight-8, chapter sixty-one of this code: Provided, however, That any teacher or other school personnel shall not be in violation of this section if he or she makes known immediately, but not more than 24 hours. to the principal, assistant principal or similar person in charge, a disclosure from a witness, which a reasonable prudent person would deem credible, or personal observation of conduct described in this section: Provided further, That a principal, assistant principal or similar person in charge made aware of such disclosure or observation from a teacher or other school personnel shall be responsible for immediately, but not more than 24 hours, reporting such conduct to law enforcement

(d) (b) County boards of education and private school administrators shall provide all employees with a written statement setting forth the requirement requirements contained in this subsection section and shall obtain and preserve a signed acknowledgment from school employees that they have received and understand the reporting requirement.

(e) The reporting requirements contained in this section specifically include reported, disclosed or observed conduct involving or between students enrolled in a public or private institution of education, or involving a student and school teacher or personnel. When the alleged conduct is between two students or between a student and school teacher or personnel, the law enforcement body that received the report under this section is required to make such a report under this section shall additionally immediately, but not more than 24 hours, notify the students' parents, guardians, and custodians about the allegations

(f) (c) Nothing in this article is intended to prevent individuals from reporting suspected abuse or neglect on their own behalf. In addition to those persons and officials specifically required to report situations involving suspected abuse or neglect of children, any other person may make a report if that person has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been abused or neglected in a home or institution or observes the child being subjected to conditions or circumstances that would reasonably result in abuse or neglect.

(d) The provisions of this section are not applicable to persons under the age of 18.

 

 

 

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