Clergy as Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect - Missouri

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The Requirement for Clergy to Report 

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 210.115; 352.400

When any minister, as provided by § 352.400, has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been or may be subjected to abuse or neglect or observes a child being subjected to conditions or circumstances that would reasonably result in abuse or neglect, that person shall immediately report or cause a report to be made to the Children's Division.

'Minister' means any person who while practicing as a minister of the gospel, clergy member, priest, rabbi, Christian Science practitioner, or other person serving in a similar capacity for any religious organization is responsible for or who has supervisory authority over one who is responsible for the care, custody, and control of a child or who has access to a child.

When a minister or designated agent has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been or may be subjected to abuse or neglect under circumstances required to be reported, the minister or designated agent shall immediately report or cause a report to be made.

Privileged Communications

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 210.140; 352.400

Any legally recognized privileged communication, except that between an attorney and client or involving communications made to a minister or clergy member, shall not apply to situations involving known or suspected child abuse or neglect and shall not constitute grounds for failure to report as required or permitted, to cooperate with the division in any of its activities, or to give or accept evidence in any judicial proceeding relating to child abuse or neglect.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this section or any section of the reporting laws, a minister shall not be required to report concerning privileged communication made to them in their professional capacity.