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House Bill 2459 would require every employee or volunteer in a private or religious organizations that has contact with children to the list of those required to make a report of suspected child abuse or neglect. If a volunteer failed to make a report they could be subject to a criminal Class A violation charge.
If House Bill 2459 passes, volunteers in a church, youth group or with any charitable organization that works with children would become mandatory reporters. This would be the first time that volunteers in Oregon would be subjected to possible criminal charges if they failed to make child abuse and neglect reports.
While any one can make a report if they suspect child abuse or neglect is occurring, if House Bill 2459 passes private and religious organizations would have a responsibility to train volunteers that they should report all suspected instances of abuse or neglect. This could cause many innocent families to be investigated just so volunteers don’t miss the one true case of abuse or neglect. Additionally, private groups that rely heavily on volunteers to provide needed programs involving children may find fewer people willing to help once they realize they could be subjected to criminal charges if they miss a possible situation of abuse or neglect.
House Bill 2459 is scheduled to be heard by the Human Service Committee at 8 a.m. on April 6. Please contact the committee members listed below and urge them do opposed the bill.
01/11/2011 First reading. Referred to Speaker's desk.
01/21/2011 Referred to Human Services.
04/06/2011 Public Hearing scheduled.
04/11/2011 Bill died in Committee.
House Bill 2459 would add the following individuals to already large list of mandatory reporters:
Employees or volunteers of any public or private organization providing child-related services or activities that allow the employee or volunteer temporary care and control of a child, including but not limited to youth groups or centers, scout groups or camps, summer or day camps, survival camps and groups, centers or camps that are operated under the guidance, supervision or auspices of religious, public or private educational systems or community service organizations.
Employees or volunteers of any public or private entity or organization providing prenatal or pregnancy care to a child who is pregnant.
A Class A violation is a criminal charge which, if convicted, would subject the individual to a fine of $720 per violation.
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