Child Abuse Reporting Statutes: District of Columbia

Child Abuse Reporting Statutes

District of Columbia Child Abuse Reporting Statute

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OFFICIAL CODE

Division I. Government of District.

Title 4. Public Care Systems.

Chapter 13. Child Abuse and Neglect.

Subchapter II. Reports of Neglected Children.

  • 4-1321.02. Persons required to make reports; procedure.

(a) Notwithstanding § 14-307, any person specified in subsection (b) of this section who knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a child known to him or her in his or her professional or official capacity has been or is in immediate danger of being a mentally or physically abused or neglected child, as defined in § 16-2301(9), shall immediately report or have a report made of such knowledge or suspicion to either the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia or the Child and Family Services Agency.

(b) Persons required to report such abuse or neglect shall include Child and Family Services Agency employees, agents, and contractors, and every physician, psychologist, medical examiner, dentist, chiropractor, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, person involved in the care and treatment of patients, law-enforcement officer, humane officer of any agency charged with the enforcement of animal cruelty laws, school official, teacher, athletic coach, Department of Parks and Recreation employee, public housing resident manager, social service worker, day care worker, domestic violence counselor as defined in § 14-310(a)(2), and mental health professional as defined in § 7-1201.01(11). Such persons are not required to report when employed by a lawyer who is providing representation in a criminal, civil, including family law, or delinquency matter and the basis for the suspicion arises solely in the course of that representation. Whenever a person is required to report in his or her capacity as a member of the staff of a hospital, school, social agency or similar institution, he or she shall immediately notify the person in charge of the institution or his or her designated agent who shall then be required to make the report. The fact that such a notification has been made does not relieve the person who was originally required to report from his or her duty under subsection (a) of this section of having a report made promptly to the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia or the Child and Family Services Agency.

(c) In addition to those persons who are required to make a report, any other person may make a report to the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia or the Child and Family Services Agency.

(d) In addition to the requirements in subsections (a) and (b) of this section, any health professional licensed pursuant to Chapter 12 of Title 3, or a law enforcement officer, humane officer of any agency charged with the enforcement of animal cruelty laws, except an undercover officer whose identity or investigation might be jeopardized, shall report immediately, in writing, to the Child and Family Services Agency, that the law enforcement officer or health professional has reasonable cause to believe that a child is abused as a result of inadequate care, control, or subsistence in the home environment due to exposure to drug-related activity. The report shall be in accordance with the provisions of § 4-1321.03.

(e) Notwithstanding § 14-307, any person specified in subsection (b) of this section who knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a child known to him or her in his or her professional or official capacity has been, or is in immediate danger of being, the victim of “sexual abuse” or “attempted sexual abuse” prohibited by Chapter 30 of Title 22; or that the child was assisted, supported, caused, encouraged, commanded, enabled, induced, facilitated, or permitted to become a prostitute, as that term is defined in § 22-2701.01(3); or that the child has an injury caused by a bullet; or that the child has an injury caused by a knife or other sharp object which has been caused by other than accidental means, shall immediately report or have a report made of such knowledge, information, or suspicion to the Metropolitan Police Department or the Child and Family Services Agency.

Title 4. Public Care Systems.

Chapter 13. Child Abuse and Neglect.

Subchapter II. Reports of Neglected Children.

  • 4-1321.05. Privileges; waiver.

Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 14-306 and 14-307, neither the spouse or domestic partner privilege nor the physician-patient privilege shall be grounds for excluding evidence in any proceeding in the Family Division of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia concerning the welfare of a neglected child; provided, that a judge of the Family Division of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia determines such privilege should be waived in the interest of justice.