San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced Tuesday that her office has created an educational outreach campaign designed to increase awareness among school and healthcare employees about their duties as “mandated reporters” when they see suspected abuse or neglect involving children, seniors or dependent adults.
“It is important that mandated reporters understand and comply with their responsibilities to report under the law,” Stephan said. “This allows law enforcement to investigate and to protect victims. Many professionals and caregivers in San Diego County are mandated reporters for suspected abuse and neglect but may not be aware of their specific duties under the law. We want to make sure the people in these positions know as much as possible about this important responsibility so victims of child abuse or elder abuse are protected.”
The District Attorney’s Family Protection Division is distributing materials to every school in San Diego County and coordinating with healthcare providers to offer training, along with printed materials that describe the role of mandated reporters.
The educational brochures and a pocket card remind individuals of the law, let them know where to report, and direct them to resources where they can learn more about their duties regarding certain abuse, injuries or neglect.
A new page on the District Attorney’s website outlines what mandated reporting is, who is mandated to report suspected abuse and how to go about making the report.
The law defines mandated reporters broadly and includes any person who has assumed full or intermittent responsibility for the care, custody or education of children, elders or dependent adults, whether or not he or she receives compensation.
This includes teachers, coaches, administrators, supervisors, and any licensed staff of a public or private facility as well as health practitioners, clergy members, or employees of a county adult protective services agency or a local law enforcement agency.
— City News Service
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