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Mandated Reporting Statutes

Who Must Report?

In Paragraph A of the mandatory reporting provisions twenty categories of persons who are legally required to “report or cause reports to be made” of a "reasonable belief" that abuse has occurred are listed:

The following persons are required to report (Rev. Stat. § 13-3620):
  • Physicians
  • Physician’s assistants
  • Optometrists
  • Dentists
  • Behavioral health professionals
  • Nurses
  • Psychologists
  • Counselors
  • Social workers
  • Peace officers
  • Members of the Clergy
  • Priests
  • Christian Science practitioners
  • Parents, stepparents, or guardians
  • School personnel, including:
  • School resource officers
  • Principals
  • Teachers
  • Guidance counselors
  • Aides
  • Nurses
  • Custodians
  • School secretaries
  • School bus drivers
  • Domestic violence victim advocates
  • Any other person who has responsibility for the care or treatment of minors

How Much Information is Needed to Mandate a Report?
The legal requirements begin with the rule that anyone who is required to report that reasonably believes that a minor is or has been the victim of one or more of the offenses listed must report.
  • Signs that trigger the mandate:
  • Clearly visible signs of abuse (e.g., bruising, broken bones).
  • An oral or a written disclosure by a child can also form the basis for reasonable belief.
“‘Reasonable grounds’ as used in A.R.S. § 13-3620 means that if there are any facts from which one could reasonably conclude that a child had been abused, the person knowing those facts is required to report those facts to the appropriate authorities. ‘Reasonable grounds’ is a low standard…. The statute does not contemplate that a person must fully investigate the suspected abuse before making a report. All the person must do is make the report. It is the responsibility of Child Protective Services and the police to investigate the allegations. . . . [W]e do not believe our legislature intended persons with knowledge of alleged child abuse to conduct their own investigation to decide whether enough evidence of abuse exists to warrant a report.”
What is the Penalty for Failure to Report?
As described in Paragraph O of the statute failure to make required reports of suspected child abuse yields serious criminal penalties. As written, “A person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor, except if the failure to report involves a reportable offense the person is guilty of a Class 6 felony.”

An educator or professional who fails to make a required report may receive a misdemeanor sentence of up to six months in jail, and a fine of as much as $4,000.00.

If the educator or professional fails to make a "reportable offense" may receive a felony sentence of up to one and a half years in jail and a fine of as much as $150,000.00. Furthermore, a felony in Arizona can be prosecuted up to seven years after its discovery by law enforcement personnel.
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