Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect - Maine

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Professionals Required to Report
Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 22, § 4011-A

Mandatory reporters include the following:

  • The following persons, when acting in a professional capacity:
    • Allopathic or osteopathic physicians, residents, interns, emergency medical services persons, medical examiners, physician's assistants, dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, chiropractors, podiatrists, or registered or licensed practical nurses
    • Teachers, guidance counselors, school officials, youth camp administrators or counselors, or social workers
    • Court-appointed special advocates or guardians ad litem
    • Homemakers, home health aides, medical or social service workers, psychologists, child care personnel, or mental health professionals 
    • Law enforcement officials, State or municipal fire inspectors, or municipal code enforcement officials
    • Commercial film and photographic print processors 
    • Clergy members
    • Chairs of professional licensing boards that have jurisdiction over mandated reporters
    • Humane agents employed by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
    • Sexual assault counselors or family or domestic violence victim advocates
    • School bus drivers or attendants
  • Any person who has assumed full, intermittent, or occasional responsibility for the care or custody of the child, regardless of whether the person receives compensation
  • Any person affiliated with a church or religious institution who serves in an administrative capacity or has otherwise assumed a position of trust or responsibility to the members of that church or religious institution, while acting in that capacity, regardless of whether the person receives compensation

Training Requirements for Mandatory Reporters

Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 22, § 4011-A

A mandatory reporter shall complete mandated reporter training approved by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services at least once every 4 years.

The department offers guidance on reporting suspected child abuse and neglect on its webpage Mandated Reporter Information. Links to online training and other resources are included.

Reporting by Other Persons
Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 22, § 4011-A

Any person may make a report if that person knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been or is likely to be abused or neglected or that there has been a suspicious child death.

An animal control officer may report to the State Department of Health and Human Services when that person knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been or is likely to be abused or neglected. 

Institutional Responsibility to Report
Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 22, § 4011-A

Whenever a person is required to report in a capacity as a member of the staff of a medical or public or private institution, agency, or facility, that person immediately shall notify either the person in charge of the institution, agency, or facility or a designated agent who then shall cause a report to be made. The staff may also make a report directly to the department.

If a person required to report notifies either the person in charge of the institution, agency, or facility, or the designated agent, the notifying person shall acknowledge in writing that the institution, agency, or facility has provided confirmation to the notifying person that another individual from the institution, agency, or facility has made a report to the department. The confirmation must include, at a minimum, the name of the individual making the report to the department, the date and time of the report, and a summary of the information conveyed. If the notifying person does not receive the confirmation from the institution, agency, or facility within 24 hours of the notification, the notifying person immediately shall make a report directly to the department.

An employer may not take any action to prevent or discourage an employee from making a report. 

Standards for Making a Report
Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 22, §§ 4011-A; 4011-B

A report is required when any of the following apply:

  • The person knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is or is likely to be abused or neglected or that a suspicious death has occurred. 
  • A child who is under 6 months of age or otherwise nonambulatory exhibits evidence of the following:
    • Fracture of a bone
    • Substantial bruising or multiple bruises
    • Subdural hematoma
    • Burns
    • Poisoning
    • Injury resulting in substantial bleeding, soft tissue swelling, or impairment of an organ
  • A health-care provider involved in the delivery or care of an infant knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that the infant has been born affected by illegal substance use or is demonstrating withdrawal symptoms that have resulted from or have likely resulted from prenatal drug exposure that require medical monitoring or care beyond standard newborn care, whether the prenatal exposure was to legal or illegal drugs, or the infant has fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

A mandatory reporter shall report to the department if the person knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is not living with the child's family. Although a report may be made at any time, a report must be made immediately if there is reason to suspect that a child has been living with someone other than the child's family for more than 6 months or if there is reason to suspect that a child has been living with someone other than the child's family for more than 12 months pursuant to a power of attorney or other nonjudicial authorization. 

Privileged Communications
Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 22, §§ 4011-A; 4015

A member of the clergy may claim privilege when information is received during a confidential communication. 

The spousal and physician- and psychotherapist-patient privileges under the Maine Rules of Evidence and the confidential quality of communication under State and applicable Federal law are abrogated in relation to required reporting, cooperating with the department or a guardian ad litem in an investigation or other child protective activity, or giving evidence in a child protection proceeding. 

Inclusion of the Reporter's Name in the Report
Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 22, § 4012

The report shall include the name, occupation, and contact information for the person making the report. 

Disclosure of the Reporter's Identity
Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 22, § 4008

The department will protect the identity of reporters and other persons as appropriate when disclosing information in the records to a child named in a report, the child's parent, custodian, or caregiver, or a party to a child protection proceeding.