Clergy as Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect - Utah

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The Requirement for Clergy to Report 

Citation: Ann. Code § 80-2-602

When any individual has reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect, or observes a child being subjected to conditions or circumstances that reasonably would result in abuse or neglect, that individual shall immediately report the alleged abuse or neglect to the nearest peace officer, law enforcement agency, or office of the Division of Child and Family Services. 

Privileged Communications

Citation: Ann. Code § 80-2-602

The reporting requirement does not apply to a member of the clergy regarding any confession made to them while functioning in their ministerial capacity and without the consent of the individual making the confession, if the following apply:

  • The perpetrator made the confession directly to the member of the clergy.
  • The member of the clergy is, under canon law or church doctrine or practice, bound to maintain the confidentiality of the confession.

When a member of the clergy receives information about abuse or neglect from any source other than confession of the perpetrator, the member of the clergy is required to report the information even if the member of the clergy also received information about the abuse or neglect from the confession of the perpetrator.

Exemption of the reporting requirement for a clergy member does not exempt the individual from any other efforts required by law to prevent further abuse or neglect by the perpetrator.