Clergy as Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect - Idaho

Date: May 2023

The Requirement for Clergy to Report 

Citation: Ann. Code § 16-1605

Any person who has reason to believe that a child under age 18 has been abused, abandoned, or neglected shall report or cause a report to be made to the Department of Health and Welfare within 24 hours.

The term 'duly ordained minister of religion' means a person who has been ordained or set apart, in accordance with the ceremony, ritual, or discipline of a church or religious organization that has been established based on a community of religious faith, belief, doctrines, and practices, to hear confessions and confidential communications in accordance with the bona fide doctrines or discipline of that church or religious organization.

Privileged Communications

Citation: Ann. Code § 16-1605

The notification requirements do not apply to a duly ordained minister of religion regarding any confession or confidential communication made to them in their ecclesiastical capacity in the course of discipline enjoined by the church to which they belong if any of the following apply:

  • The church qualifies as tax-exempt under Federal law.
  • The confession or confidential communication was made directly to the duly ordained minister of religion.
  • The confession or confidential communication was made in the manner and context that places the duly ordained minister specifically and strictly under a level of confidentiality that is considered inviolate by canon law or church doctrine. 

A confession or confidential communication made under any other circumstances does not fall under this exemption.