Are You Legally Required To Report Child Abuse In Colorado?

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State law requires people in a number of different occupations to report child abuse in Colorado. This protects children from neglect and abuse by making it more difficult for adults to hide mistreatment from the authorities. You may be required to report abusive behavior if you work in one of the following fields:

Education Professionals

This law applies to all employees and officials who work for schools. Affected staff members include teachers, principals, cafeteria personnel, school nurses, guidance counselors and others. Employees of private and public educational institutions must obey this rule.

Medical Professionals

A wide range of health care workers are required to tell local or county authorities about abuse and neglect. The law applies to surgeons, doctors, trainee physicians, health associates, counselors, dietitians, pharmacists, examiners, mental health workers and all hospital staff. It also affects specialists, such as chiropractors, dentists, hygienists, optometrists, podiatrists, chiropodists, therapists and even veterinarians.

Government Professionals

Colorado law asserts that several types of government officials and employees must report mistreatment. They include coroners, victims’ advocates, social workers, family or child investigators, animal control officials, juvenile probation officers and parole officers. The law also applies to all Department of Human Services and Bureau of Animal Protection staff.

Emergency Professionals

Most people who respond to emergencies are affected by this requirement. Peace officers and firefighters need to report evidence of neglect or abuse. The same goes for Colorado ambulance personnel.

Religion Professionals

This state law applies to members of the clergy and practitioners of Christian science. The clergy includes rabbis, priests, ministers, religious leaders and members of religious orders. They must tell government officials about abuse committed by parents, co-workers or other individuals.

Photo Professionals

Colorado enforces special requirements for people who work in businesses that produce photo prints or process film. If video or photographic materials contain child sexual activity, the law mandates that they contact police by phone as quickly as possible. After no more than 36 hours, they must also copy and send the material to local authorities.

Individuals who fail to notify the police may be found guilty of a misdemeanor. Regardless of your occupation, it is always best to report child abuse in Colorado. This discourages such behavior and helps to ensure the safety of children.

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