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Posted on December 7, 2011

Changes to Georgia’s child abuse reporting law went into effect July 1. These changes have a direct impact on nonprofits, their employees, and their volunteers. The revisions increase the number of mandatory reporters, i.e., people who are required to report suspected child abuse. Previously only certain types of nonprofit employees were required to report. Now, both employees and volunteers at any nonprofit that works with or helps children are required to immediately report suspected child abuse. Neither the definition of child abuse in Georgia nor the reporting procedures have changed.

In addition to requiring volunteers to report, the changes clarify and expand several previously-existing categories of mandatory reporters:

Nurses’ aides are now required to report along with other medical personnel.

School teachers have always been mandatory reporters, but now this group is defined to include any teacher employed at public and private pre-kindergartens, elementary schools, secondary schools, technical schools, vocational schools, colleges, universities, or any institution of postsecondary education.

Reproductive health care facility or pregnancy resource center employees and volunteers are now required to report.

Child service organization personnel were already required to report. This category now includes anyone employed by or volunteering at any organization or business that provides care, treatment, education, training, supervision, coaching, counseling, recreational programs, or shelter to children.

Clergy must report any evidence of child abuse that they learn about outside of discussions, such as confessions, that are considered confidential under the organization’s religious doctrine.

Please see the attached article for additional information.