Mandated Reporter Training - Unit 2
To describe reporting responsibilities under Maine Law.
Directions: To prepare for this section of the training, click on the link below and read Maine’s Law on Child and Family Services and the Child Protective Act.
The purpose of the law is to:
- Protect children who are abused/neglected.
- Provide assistance to families to enable them to safely parent their children.
Child and Family Services (page will open in a separate window - this content is located on another site): http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/ocfs/cw/policy.shtml
All laws relating to child abuse and neglect can be found in this document including information on mandated reporting.
- Often an organization will have a protocol that they follow for reporting. Although you may not be the one to make the call, you do have a responsibility to make sure that the report is made. Whoever the designated person is must report all of the information you have given him/her, and must report your suspicion even if he/she doesn't agree with you. You may also be required to fill out an agency form for your records.
- You cannot be disciplined in your job if you make a report.
- The law requires mandated reporters to identify themselves when they call, however, they can request confidentiality.
- Confidentiality means that the caseworker will not reveal your identity unless the case goes to court. (Please keep in mind that only about 10% of all cases goes to court.)
- Sometimes the specific information you are reporting will identify you to the caregivers but this does not mean the Department gave them your name.
- Some agencies have a policy to tell the parents that they are making a report. This can be tricky and you should use discretion in deciding when to tell parents. Sometimes it may put the child in more danger and other times it may help empower the family to make changes.
- We don't recommend telling a child that you are making a report on his/her behalf without telling the parents.
- All reporters who make a report in good faith are immune from liability under the law. This does not mean that you can't be sued. In our world today, people sue other people all the time. What it does mean is that you protected under the law from liability as long as you are reporting in good faith.
- You are also protected from discriminatory action by your employer for filing a report.
- If you knowingly fail to report a situation where you have reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or neglect, you will be committing a civil violation for which you may be prosecuted and fined up to $500, However, the sadder outcome is that a child may continue to be seriously abused or neglected without intervention.
- If you fail to report, this could affect your licensure.
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