Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect - Alaska

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Professionals Required to Report
Citation: Alaska Stat. §§ 47.17.020; 47.17.023; 47.17.024

The following persons are required to report:

  • Health practitioners or administrative officers of institutions
  • Teachers and school administrators, including athletic coaches, of public and private schools
  • Child care providers 
  • Paid employees of domestic violence and sexual assault programs, crisis intervention and prevention programs, or organizations that provide counseling or treatment to individuals seeking to control their use of drugs or alcohol 
  • Peace officers or officers of the Department of Corrections 
  • Persons who process or produce visual or printed matter, either privately or commercially
  • Members of a child fatality review team or the multidisciplinary child protection team
  • Volunteers who interact with children in a public or private school for more than 4 hours a week
  • Juvenile probation officers, juvenile probation office staff, and staff of juvenile detention facilities and juvenile treatment facilities
  • A practitioner of the healing arts involved in the delivery or care of an infant

Training Requirements for Mandatory Reporters

Citation: Alaska Stat. § 47.17.022

Each department of the State and school district that employs persons required to report abuse or neglect of children shall provide the following:

  • Initial training to each new employee within 45 days after the first day of employment and to any existing employee who has not received equivalent training
  • Appropriate in-service training as determined by the department or school district

Each department and school district shall develop a training curriculum that acquaints its employees with the following:

  • Laws relating to child abuse and neglect
  • Techniques for recognition and detection of child abuse and neglect
  • Agencies and organizations within the State that offer aid or shelter to victims and the families of victims of child abuse or neglect
  • Procedures for required notification of suspected abuse or neglect
  • The role of a person required to report child abuse or neglect and the employing agency after the report has been made
  • A brief description of the manner in which cases of child abuse or neglect are investigated by the department and law enforcement agencies after a report of suspected abuse or neglect

Each department and school district that must comply with this section shall file a current copy of its training curriculum and materials with the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. A department or school district may seek the technical assistance of the council or the Department of Family and Community Services in the development of its training program.

Each school district that provides training under this section shall provide notice to public and private schools located in the school district of the availability of the training and invite volunteers who are required to report abuse or neglect of children to participate in the training at no cost to the volunteer.

The Office of Children's Services provides information about reporting requirements at Report Child Abuse in Alaska.

Reporting by Other Persons
Citation: Alaska Stat. § 47.17.020

Mandated reporters may report cases that come to their attention in their nonoccupational capacities. Any other person may report when they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been harmed. 

Institutional Responsibility to Report
Citation: Alaska Stat. § 47.17.020(g)

A person required to report child abuse or neglect who makes the report to the person's job supervisor or to another individual working for the entity that employs the person is not relieved of the obligation to make the report to the Department of Family and Community Services as required by law. 

Standards for Making a Report
Citation: Alaska Stat. §§ 47.17.020; 47.17.023; 47.17.024

A report must be made when, in the performance of their occupational or appointed duties, a reporter has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has suffered harm resulting from abuse or neglect.

A person providing—either privately or commercially—film, photo, visual, printed-matter processing, production, or finishing services; or computer installation, repair, or other services; or internet or cellular telephone services; who in the process of providing those services observes a film, photo, picture, computer file, image, or other matter and has reasonable cause to suspect that the film, photo, picture, computer file, image, or other matter visually depicts a child engaged in conduct described in § 11.41.455(a) (sexual exploitation of a minor or child pornography) shall immediately report the observation to the nearest law enforcement agency. 

A practitioner of the healing arts involved in the delivery or care of an infant who the practitioner determines has been adversely affected by, or is withdrawing from exposure to, a controlled substance or alcohol shall immediately notify the nearest office of the department of the infant's condition.

Privileged Communications
Citation: Alaska Stat. § 47.17.060

Neither the physician-patient nor the spousal privilege is recognized. 

Inclusion of the Reporter's Name in the Report

The reporter is not specifically required by statute to provide their name in the report. 

Disclosure of the Reporter's Identity

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.