Reporting Child Abuse Becomes Mandatory in Georgia on July 1
On July 1, not reporting suspected child abuse will become a crime for most anyone who regularly comes in contact with children, because of an amendment recently passed by both houses of the Georgia Legislature.
According to an April 5 Atlanta Journal-Constitution story, when the change becomes law, employees or volunteers at agencies, businesses, nonprofits or other groups that work with children will be under mandate to report abuse. Melissa Carter, director of the Barton Child Law and Policy Center, was quoted in the story.
"If you volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club or volunteer with your church doing a children's service, that would make you a mandatory reporter," Carter said. "It's hard to imagine an exception to that very broad category. It's very inclusive."
The revision was written by Georgia Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver 72L, after the Penn State abuse scandal involving football coach Jerry Sandusky. Under current Georgia law, coaches who are not teachers are not required to report child abuse.
The bill now awaits Gov. Nathan Dealís signature. Spokesman Brian Robinson said the governor "definitely will sign" the bill, the AJC reports.
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