CHA News Article

Hospitals Should Review Child Abuse Reporting Policies

Effective Jan. 1, a hospital’s internal child abuse reporting policy may not direct employees to allow their supervisor to file or process a mandated report under any circumstances. The law was enacted because of concerns that supervisors at private foster family agencies had impeded social workers and teachers from making reports when they suspected child abuse.

State law continues to permit a single report to be made when multiple members of a health care team determine that a suspicion of child abuse or neglect should be reported. The team members should agree which member of the team will report, and if a team member later learns that the report wasn’t made by the designated reporter, that team member must thereafter make the report. Hospitals should check their policies and procedures to ensure they are compliant with this new law.

CHA offers two publications that explain child abuse and report laws in detail for health care workers.

The Consent Manual – A Reference for Consent and Related Health Care Law also explains elder and dependent adult abuse reporting, suspicious injury reporting (such as knife and gunshot wounds) and all other types of patient reporting requirements. CHA’s Minors & Health Care Law covers consent for minors’ health care treatment, minors’ privacy rights, maternity and newborn issues, and other topics concerning minors’ health care. For more information, visit www.calhospital.org/publications.

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