Child Abuse Reporting Statutes: Maryland

Child Abuse Reporting Statutes

Maryland Child Abuse Reporting Statute

CODE OF MARYLAND

Family Law

Title 5. Children

Subtitle 7. Child Abuse and Neglect

  • 5-704. Reports of suspected abuse or neglect; health practitioners, police officers, educators, and human service workers

Persons required to notify authorities and report suspected instances of abuse or neglect

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including any law on privileged communications, each health practitioner, police officer, educator, or human service worker, acting in a professional capacity in this State:

(1)(i) who has reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse, shall notify the local department or the appropriate law enforcement agency; or

(ii) who has reason to believe that a child has been subjected to neglect, shall notify the local department; and

(2) if acting as a staff member of a hospital, public health agency, child care institution, juvenile detention center, school, or similar institution, shall immediately notify and give all information required by this section to the head of the institution or the designee of the head.

Oral and written reports

(b)(1) An individual who notifies the appropriate authorities under subsection (a) of this section shall make:

(i) an oral report, by telephone or direct communication, as soon as possible:

  1. to the local department or appropriate law enforcement agency if the person has reason to believe that the child has been subjected to abuse; or
  2. to the local department if the person has reason to believe that the child has been subjected to neglect; and

(ii) a written report:

  1. to the local department not later than 48 hours after the contact, examination, attention, or treatment that caused the individual to believe that the child had been subjected to abuse or neglect; and
  2. with a copy to the local State’s Attorney if the individual has reason to believe that the child has been subjected to abuse.

(2)(i) An agency to which an oral report of suspected abuse is made under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall immediately notify the other agency.

(ii) This paragraph does not prohibit a local department and an appropriate law enforcement agency from agreeing to cooperative arrangements.

Contents of report

(c) Insofar as is reasonably possible, an individual who makes a report under this section shall include in the report the following information:

(1) the name, age, and home address of the child;

(2) the name and home address of the child’s parent or other person who is responsible for the child’s care;

(3) the whereabouts of the child;

(4) the nature and extent of the abuse or neglect of the child, including any evidence or information available to the reporter concerning possible previous instances of abuse or neglect; and

(5) any other information that would help to determine:

(i) the cause of the suspected abuse or neglect; and

(ii) the identity of any individual responsible for the abuse or neglect.

Family Law

Title 5. Children

Subtitle 7. Child Abuse and Neglect

  • 5-705. Reports of suspected abuse or neglect; other persons

Persons required to notify authorities and report suspected instances of abuse or neglect; exceptions

(a)(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection, notwithstanding any other provision of law, including a law on privileged communications, a person in this State other than a health practitioner, police officer, or educator or human service worker who has reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect shall:

(i) if the person has reason to believe the child has been subjected to abuse, notify the local department or the appropriate law enforcement agency; or

(ii) if the person has reason to believe the child has been subjected to neglect, notify the local department.

(2) A person is not required to provide notice under paragraph (1) of this subsection:

(i) in violation of the privilege described under § 9-108 of the Courts Article;

(ii) if the notice would disclose matter communicated in confidence by a client to the client’s attorney or other information relating to the representation of the client; or

(iii) in violation of any constitutional right to assistance of counsel.

(3) A minister of the gospel, clergyman, or priest of an established church of any denomination is not required to provide notice under paragraph (1) of this subsection if the notice would disclose matter in relation to any communication described in § 9-111 of the Courts Article and:

(i) the communication was made to the minister, clergyman, or priest in a professional character in the course of discipline enjoined by the church to which the minister, clergyman, or priest belongs; and

(ii) the minister, clergyman, or priest is bound to maintain the confidentiality of that communication under canon law, church doctrine, or practice.

Agency to notify the other agency

(b)(1) An agency to which a report of suspected abuse is made under subsection (a) of this section shall immediately notify the other agency.

(2) This subsection does not prohibit a local department and an appropriate law enforcement agency from agreeing to cooperative arrangements.

Oral or written report

(c) A report made under subsection (a) of this section may be oral or in writing.

Contents of report

(d)(1) To the extent possible, a report made under subsection (a) of this section shall include the information required by § 5-704(c) of this subtitle.

(2) A report made under subsection (a) of this section shall be regarded as a report within the provisions of this subtitle, whether or not the report contains all of the information required by § 5-704(c) of this subtitle.