Clergy as Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect - Washington

Date: May 2023

The Requirement for Clergy to Report 

Citation: Rev. Code § 26.44.030

Mandatory reporters include duly accredited Christian Science practitioners.

Any person who has reasonable cause to believe that a child has suffered abuse or neglect may report.

Privileged Communications

Citation: Rev. Code §§ 26.44.030; 26.44.060; 5.6.060

No one shall be required to report when they obtain the information solely from a privileged communication, as provided in § 5.6.060.

Conduct conforming with reporting requirements shall not be deemed a violation of the confidential communication privilege of § 5.60.060(3) (regarding clergy-penitent privilege). 

Effective July 23, 2023: A member of the clergy, a Christian Science practitioner, or a priest shall not, without the consent of a person making the confession or sacred confidence, be examined as to any confession or sacred confidence made to them in their professional character, in the course of discipline enjoined by the church to which they belong.