Reporting of certain abuse or neglect of children; persons reporting; reports, made to whom; penalties; immunity from liability
(a) Persons making reports. (1) When any of the following persons has reason to suspect that a child has been harmed as a result of physical, mental or emotional abuse or neglect or sexual abuse, the person shall report the matter promptly as provided in subsections (b) and (c);
(A) The following persons providing medical care or treatment: Persons licensed to practice the healing arts, dentistry and optometry, persons engaged in postgraduate training programs approved by the state board of healing arts, licensed professional or practical nurses and chief administrative officers of medical care facilities;
(B) the following persons licensed by the state to provide mental health services: Licensed psychologists, licensed masters level psychologists, licensed clinical psychotherapists, licensed social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical marriage and family therapists, licensed behavioral analysts, licensed assistant behavioral analysts, licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical professional counselors and registered alcohol and drug abuse counselors;
(C) teachers, school administrators or other employees of an educational institution which the child is attending and persons licensed by the secretary of health and environment to provide child care services or the employees of persons so licensed at the place where the child care services are being provided to the child;
(D) firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, law enforcement officers, juvenile intake and assessment workers, court services officers, community corrections officers, case managers appointed under K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 23-3508, and amendments thereto, and mediators appointed under K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 23-3502, and amendments thereto; and
(E) any person employed by or who works as a volunteer for any organization, whether for profit or not-for-profit, that provides social services to pregnant teenagers, including, but not limited to, counseling, adoption services and pregnancy education and maintenance.
(2) In addition to the reports required under subsection (a)(1), any person who has reason to suspect that a child may be a child in need of care may report the matter as provided in subsection (b) and (c).
(b) Form of report. (1) The report may be made orally and shall be followed by a written report if requested. Every report shall contain, if known: The names and addresses of the child and the child’s parents or other persons responsible for the child’s care; the location of the child if not at the child’s residence; the child’s gender, race and age; the reasons why the reporter suspects the child may be a child in need of care; if abuse or neglect or sexual abuse is suspected, the nature and extent of the harm to the child, including any evidence of previous harm; and any other information that the reporter believes might be helpful in establishing the cause of the harm and the identity of the persons responsible for the harm.
(2) When reporting a suspicion that a child may be in need of care, the reporter shall disclose protected health information freely and cooperate fully with the secretary and law enforcement throughout the investigation and any subsequent legal process.
(c) To whom made. Reports made pursuant to this section shall be made to the secretary, except as follows:
(1) When the Kansas department for children and families is not open for business, reports shall be made to the appropriate law enforcement agency. On the next day that the department is open for business, the law enforcement agency shall report to the department any report received and any investigation initiated pursuant to K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 38-2226, and amendments thereto. The reports may be made orally or, on request of the secretary, in writing.
(2) Reports of child abuse or neglect occurring in an institution operated by the Kansas department of corrections shall be made to the attorney general or the secretary of corrections. Reports of child abuse or neglect occurring in an institution operated by the Kansas department for aging and disability services shall be made to the appropriate law enforcement agency. All other reports of child abuse or neglect by persons employed by the Kansas department for aging and disability services or the Kansas department for children and families, or of children of persons employed by either department, shall be made to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
(d) Death of child. Any person who is required by this section to report a suspicion that a child is in need of care and who knows of information relating to the death of a child shall immediately notify the coroner as provided by K.S.A. 22a-242, and amendments thereto.
(e) Violations. (1) Willful and knowing failure to make a report required by this section is a class B misdemeanor. It is not a defense that another mandatory reporter made a report.
(2) Intentionally preventing or interfering with the making of a report required by this section is a class B misdemeanor.
(3) Any person who willfully and knowingly makes a false report pursuant to this section or makes a report that such person knows lacks factual foundation is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.
(f) Immunity from liability. Anyone who, without malice, participates in the making of a report to the secretary or a law enforcement agency relating to a suspicion a child may be a child in need of care or who participates in any activity or investigation relating to the report or who participates in any judicial proceeding resulting from the report shall have immunity from any civil liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed.
Year of enactment2006