Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect - Arkansas

Date:

Professionals Required to Report
Citation: Ann. Code § 12-18-402

The following individuals are mandated reporters:

  • Child care, daycare, or foster care workers
  • Coroners
  • Dentists and dental hygienists
  • Domestic abuse advocates and domestic violence shelter employees or volunteers
  • Employees of the Department of Human Services
  • Employees working under contract for the Division of Youth Services of the Department of Human Services
  • Foster parents
  • Judges, law enforcement officials, peace officers, and prosecuting attorneys
  • Licensed nurses, physicians, mental health professionals or paraprofessionals, surgeons, resident interns, osteopaths, and medical personnel who may be engaged in the admission, examination, care, or treatment of persons
  • A full-time or part-time employee of a public school or private school, including, without limitation, the following:
    • A school counselor, official, or teacher
    • A coach or director of a public or private athletic organization, team, or club
    • A coach or director of a public or private nonathletic organization, team, or club
  • A person who is at least aged 21 and volunteers in a public school or private school as either of the following:
    • As a coach or director of a public or private athletic organization, team, or club
    • As a coach or director of a public or private nonathletic organization, team, or club
  • A person employed as a school official in an institution of higher education
  • Social workers and juvenile intake or probation officers
  • Court-appointed special advocate program staff members or volunteers
  • Attorneys ad litem
  • Clergy members, which includes ministers, priests, rabbis, accredited Christian Science practitioners, or other similar functionaries of a religious organization
  • Employees of a child advocacy center or a child safety center
  • Sexual abuse advocates or volunteers who work with victims of sexual abuse
  • Child abuse advocates or volunteers who work with child victims of abuse or maltreatment as employees of a community-based victim service or a mental health agency
  • Victim/witness coordinators
  • Victim assistance professionals or volunteers
  • Employees of the Crimes Against Children Division of the Department of Arkansas State Police
  • Employees or volunteers at reproductive health-care facilities
  • An individual not otherwise identified in this subsection who is engaged in performing their employment duties with a nonprofit charitable organization other than a nonprofit hospital
  • A child welfare ombudsman

Training Requirements for Mandatory Reporters

Training for mandatory reporters is not addressed in the laws and policies reviewed.

Information about reporting requirements is available from the Arkansas Department of Human Services at How To Report Child Abuse & Neglect.

Reporting by Other Persons
Citation: Ann. Code § 12-18-401

Any person who has reasonable cause to suspect child maltreatment may report. 

Institutional Responsibility to Report
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 12-18-402(c); 12-18-204

An employer or supervisor of an employee identified as a mandated reporter shall not prohibit an employee or a volunteer from directly reporting child maltreatment to the child abuse hotline.

An employer or supervisor of an employee identified as a mandated reporter shall not require an employee or a volunteer to obtain permission or notify any person, including an employee or a supervisor, before reporting child maltreatment to the child abuse hotline.

Nothing in the reporting laws shall prohibit any person or institution from requiring an employee or volunteer who is a mandatory reporter to inform a representative of that person or institution that the reporter has made a report to the child abuse hotline. 

Standards for Making a Report
Citation: Ann. Code § 12-18-402

An individual listed as a mandatory reporter shall immediately notify the child abuse hotline in the following circumstances:

  • They have reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been subjected to maltreatment, has died because of maltreatment, or died suddenly and unexpectedly.
  • They observe a child being subjected to conditions or circumstances that would reasonably result in maltreatment.

Privileged Communications
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 12-18-402(c); 12-18-803

A privilege or contract shall not prevent a person from reporting child maltreatment when they are a mandated reporter and required to report under this section.

No privilege, except that between a lawyer and a client and between a minister, including a Christian Science practitioner, and a person confessing to or being counseled by a minister, shall prevent anyone from testifying concerning child maltreatment.

When a physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, or therapist conducts interviews with or provides therapy to a subject of a report of suspected child maltreatment for purposes related to child maltreatment, the physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, licensed counselor, or therapist is deemed to be performing services on behalf of the child.

An adult subject of a report of suspected child maltreatment cannot invoke privilege on the child's behalf. 

Inclusion of the Reporter's Name in the Report
Citation: Ann. Code § 12-18-302

A mandated reporter may report child maltreatment or suspected child maltreatment by telephone call, facsimile transmission, or online reporting.

Facsimile transmission and online reporting may be used in nonemergency situations by an identified mandated reporter who provides the following contact information:

  • Name and phone number
  • In the case of online reporting, their email address 

A mandated reporter who wishes to remain anonymous shall make a report through the toll-free child abuse hotline telephone system. 

Disclosure of the Reporter's Identity
Citation: Ann. Code § 12-18-909

The identity of the reporter shall not be disclosed unless a court determines that the reporter knowingly made a false report.