Every state and territory has its own mandated reporter laws, and they vary from area to area. Because of this, taking the proper training is the best way to make sure you understand your reporting duties and responsibilities. Is that training a requirement, however? The answer depends on where you live.
Am I Required to Take Mandated Reporter Training?
Depending on the state you live in, mandated reporter training may be required. Furthermore, even if your state doesn't necessarily require you to take mandated reporter training, it may require your employer to provide you with training.
For example, a California bill that went into effect on January 1st, CA AB 1963 requires that your employer provide you with training if you're an HR employee or supervisor who has become a mandated reporter under the new law.
Furthermore, other California bills require mandated reporters to take training if they're in certain professions. For example, CA AB 1432 requires educators and school personnel to take mandated reporter training annually with proof of completion. Similarly, licensed child care providers in the state must take mandated reporter training within 90 days of employment, and every two years thereafter, as a condition of licensure.
Illinois goes even further with IL SB 1778. The state requires ALL mandated reporters to take the appropriate training within three months of employment and every three years thereafter. This training must be provided by the appropriate, approved organization, which could include the Department of Children and Family Services, the State Board of Education, or the Law Enforcement Training Standards Board.
Each state has its own mandated reporter requirements and guidelines. Even if your state isn't one of the two listed above, the best way to know what's required of you as a reporter is to familiarize yourself with your state's local guidelines.
Should I Take Training Even if I Don't Think I Have to?
Even if you don't believe you're required to take training, it's still a wise idea to do so.
This is because most areas have steep consequences to failing to report. Depending on your state, failing to report suspected child abuse or neglect could be a misdemeanor or even a felony. Going through your state's training is the best way to ensure you understand how to perform your duties and avoid serious consequences.
Every state and territory offers a mandated reporter training course, and your employer may offer one as well.
Ready to get started on your mandated reporter training? Taking your state's course can help you gain a deeper understanding of your duties as a reporter, and meet any requirements. Find mandated reporter training in your state.