Full Statute Name:  West's Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated. Title 19. Children's Code. Article 3. Dependency and Neglect. Part 3. Child Abuse or Neglect. § 19-3-304. Persons required to report child abuse or neglect

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Primary Citation:  C. R. S. A. § 19-3-304 Country of Origin:  United States Last Checked:  October, 2021 Alternate Citation:  CO ST § 19-3-304 Date Adopted:  1987 Historical: 
Summary: This Colorado statute relates to mandatory reporting for child abuse or neglect. With respect to animal-related issues, the statute requires veterinarians, officers and agents of the state bureau of animal protection, and animal control officers to report suspected abuse or neglect as described in the law.

(1)(a) Except as otherwise provided by section 19-3-307, section 25-1-122(4)(d), C.R.S., and paragraph (b) of this subsection (1), any person specified in subsection (2) of this section who has reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect or who has observed the child being subjected to circumstances or conditions that would reasonably result in abuse or neglect shall immediately upon receiving such information report or cause a report to be made of such fact to the county department, the local law enforcement agency, or through the child abuse reporting hotline system as set forth in section 26-5-111, C.R.S.

(b) The reporting requirement described in paragraph (a) of this subsection (1) shall not apply if the person who is otherwise required to report does not:

(I) Learn of the suspected abuse or neglect until after the alleged victim of the suspected abuse or neglect is eighteen years of age or older; and

(II) Have reasonable cause to know or suspect that the perpetrator of the suspected abuse or neglect:

(A) Has subjected any other child currently under eighteen years of age to abuse or neglect or to circumstances or conditions that would likely result in abuse or neglect; or

(B) Is currently in a position of trust, as defined in section 18-3-401(3.5), C.R.S., with regard to any child currently under eighteen years of age.

(2) Persons required to report such abuse or neglect or circumstances or conditions include any:

(a) Physician or surgeon, including a physician in training;

(b) Child health associate;

(c) Medical examiner or coroner;

(d) Dentist;

(e) Osteopath;

(f) Optometrist;

(g) Chiropractor;

(h) Podiatrist;

(i) Registered nurse or licensed practical nurse;

(j) Hospital personnel engaged in the admission, care, or treatment of patients;

(k) Christian science practitioner;

(l) Public or private school official or employee;

(m) Social worker or worker in any facility or agency that is licensed or certified pursuant to part 1 of article 6 of title 26, C.R.S.;

(n) Mental health professional;

(o) Dental hygienist;

(p) Psychologist;

(q) Physical therapist;

(r) Veterinarian;

(s) Peace officer as described in section 16-2.5-101, C.R.S.;

(t) Pharmacist;

(u) Commercial film and photographic print processor as provided in subsection (2.5) of this section;

(v) Firefighter as defined in section 18-3-201(1.5), C.R.S.;

(w) Victim's advocate, as defined in section 13-90-107(1)(k)(II), C.R.S.;

(x) Licensed professional counselors;

(y) Licensed marriage and family therapists;

(z) Unlicensed psychotherapists;

(aa)(I) Clergy member.

(II) The provisions of this paragraph (aa) shall not apply to a person who acquires reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect during a communication about which the person may not be examined as a witness pursuant to section 13-90-107(1)(c), C.R.S., unless the person also acquires such reasonable cause from a source other than such a communication.

(III) For purposes of this paragraph (aa), unless the context otherwise requires, “clergy member” means a priest, rabbi, duly ordained, commissioned, or licensed minister of a church, member of a religious order, or recognized leader of any religious body.

(bb) Registered dietitian who holds a certificate through the commission on dietetic registration and who is otherwise prohibited by 7 CFR 246.26 from making a report absent a state law requiring the release of this information;

(cc) Worker in the state department of human services;

(dd) Juvenile parole and probation officers;

(ee) Child and family investigators, as described in section 14-10-116.5, C.R.S.;

(ff) Officers and agents of the state bureau of animal protection, and animal control officers;

(gg) The child protection ombudsman as created in article 3.3 of this title;

(hh) Educator providing services through a federal special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children, as provided for in 42 U.S.C. sec. 1786;

(ii) Director, coach, assistant coach, or athletic program personnel employed by a private sports organization or program. For purposes of this paragraph (ii), “employed” means that an individual is compensated beyond reimbursement for his or her expenses related to the private sports organization or program.

(jj) Person who is registered as a psychologist candidate pursuant to section 12-245-304(3), marriage and family therapist candidate pursuant to section 12-245-504(4), or licensed professional counselor candidate pursuant to section 12-245-604(4), or who is described in section 12-245-217;

(kk) Emergency medical service providers, as defined in sections 25-3.5-103(8) and 25-3.5-103(12) and certified or licensed pursuant to part 2 of article 3.5 of title 25;

(ll) Officials or employees of county departments of health, human services, or social services; and

(mm) Naturopathic doctor registered under article 250 of title 12.

(2.5) Any commercial film and photographic print processor who has knowledge of or observes, within the scope of his or her professional capacity or employment, any film, photograph, video tape, negative, or slide depicting a child engaged in an act of sexual conduct shall report such fact to a local law enforcement agency immediately or as soon as practically possible by telephone and shall prepare and send a written report of it with a copy of the film, photograph, video tape, negative, or slide attached within thirty-six hours of receiving the information concerning the incident.

(3) In addition to those persons specifically required by this section to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect and circumstances or conditions which might reasonably result in abuse or neglect, any other person may report known or suspected child abuse or neglect and circumstances or conditions which might reasonably result in child abuse or neglect to the local law enforcement agency, the county department, or through the child abuse reporting hotline system as set forth in section 26-5-111, C.R.S.

(3.5) No person, including a person specified in subsection (1) of this section, shall knowingly make a false report of abuse or neglect to a county department, a local law enforcement agency, or through the child abuse reporting hotline system as set forth in section 26-5-111, C.R.S.

(4) Any person who willfully violates the provisions of subsection (1) of this section or who violates the provisions of subsection (3.5) of this section:

<Text of (4)(a) effective until March 1, 2022>

(a) Commits a class 3 misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided in section 18-1.3-501, C.R.S.;

<Text of (4)(a) effective March 1, 2022>

(a) Commits a class 2 misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided in section 18-1.3-501; and

(b) Shall be liable for damages proximately caused thereby.

(5) No person shall be prosecuted, tried, or punished for an offense that pertains to a report of unlawful sexual behavior as defined in section 16-22-102(9) and under circumstances when a mandatory reporter has reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child has been subjected to unlawful sexual behavior as defined in section 16-22-102(9) or observed the child being subjected to circumstances or conditions that would reasonably result in unlawful sexual behavior as defined in section 16-22-102(9) unless the indictment, information, complaint, or action for the same is found or instituted within three years after the commission of the offense. The limitation for commencing criminal proceedings concerning acts of failure to report child abuse other than those involving acts described in this subsection (5) are governed by section 16-5-401.

Credits
Repealed and reenacted by Laws 1987, S.B.144, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1987. Amended by Laws 1990, H.B.90-1133, § 1, eff. July 1, 1990; Laws 1990, S.B.90-161, § 2, eff. May 24, 1990; Laws 1993, H.B.93-1088, § 29, eff. July 1, 1993; Laws 1993, S.B.93-225, § 1, eff. June 6, 1993; Laws 1995, S.B.95-153, § 5, eff. July 1, 1995; Laws 1996, H.B.96-1006, § 16, eff. July 1, 1996; Laws 1996, H.B.96-1019, § 8, eff. March 20, 1996; Laws 1997, H.B.97-1220, § 19, eff. Aug. 6, 1997; Laws 2001, Ch. 68, § 1, eff. July 1, 2001; Laws 2002, Ch. 177, § 2, eff. May 24, 2002; Laws 2002, Ch. 295, § 1, eff. June 3, 2002; Laws 2002, Ch. 318, § 231, eff. Oct. 1, 2002; Laws 2002, Ch. 322, § 30, eff. July 1, 2002; Laws 2003, Ch. 48, § 1, eff. March 20, 2003; Laws 2003, Ch. 51, § 1, eff. March 20, 2003; Laws 2003, Ch. 242, § 18, eff. Aug. 6, 2003; Laws 2005, Ch. 103, § 1, eff. April 22, 2005; Laws 2005, Ch. 244, § 9, eff. July 1, 2005; Laws 2010, Ch. 225, § 4, eff. May 14, 2010; Laws 2010, Ch. 418, § 1, eff. June 10, 2010; Laws 2010, Ch. 420, § 25, eff. July 1, 2010; Laws 2011, Ch. 125, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2012; Laws 2011, Ch. 285, § 71, eff. July 1, 2011; Laws 2013, Ch. 51, § 2, eff. March 22, 2013; Laws 2013, Ch. 77, § 6, eff. Aug. 7, 2013; Laws 2013, Ch. 219, § 2, eff. May 14, 2013; Laws 2013, Ch. 220, § 1, eff. July 1, 2014; Laws 2014, Ch. 336, § 11, eff. Aug. 6, 2014; Laws 2016, Ch. 230, § 13, eff. July 1, 2016; Laws 2017, Ch. 194, § 2, eff. Dec. 31, 2017; Laws 2017, Ch. 302, § 8, eff. Aug. 9, 2017; Laws 2019, Ch. 56 (S.B. 19-049), § 1, eff. March 28, 2019; Laws 2019, Ch. 136 (H.B. 19-1172), § 112, eff. Oct. 1, 2019; Laws 2019, Ch. 396 (S.B. 19-242), § 13, eff. May 31, 2019; Laws 2020, Ch. 304 (H.B. 20-1206), § 65, eff. July 14, 2020; Laws 2021, Ch. 462, § 389, eff. March 1, 2022.

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