Penalties for Failure to Report and False Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect - Arkansas

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Failure to Report

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 12-18-201; 12-18-202; 12-18-206; 12-18-204

A mandated reporter commits the offense of failure to notify by a mandated reporter in the first degree if he or she has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been subjected to or has died as a result of child maltreatment or observes a child being subjected to conditions or circumstances that would reasonably result in child maltreatment, and he or she knowingly fails to notify the child abuse hotline of the child maltreatment or suspected child maltreatment.

Failure to notify by a mandated reporter in the first degree is a class A misdemeanor.

A mandated reporter commits the offense of failure to notify by a mandated reporter in the second degree if he or she has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been subjected to or has died as a result of child maltreatment or observes a child being subjected to conditions or circumstances that would reasonably result in child maltreatment, and he or she recklessly fails to notify the child abuse hotline of the child maltreatment or suspected child maltreatment.

Failure to notify by a mandated reporter in the second degree is a class C misdemeanor.

A mandated reporter who purposely fails to report as required is civilly liable for damages proximately caused by that failure.

An employer or supervisor of an employee who is a mandated reporter commits the offense of unlawful restriction of child abuse reporting if he or she does the following:

  • Prohibits a mandated reporter from making a report of child maltreatment or suspected child maltreatment
  • Requires that a mandated reporter receive permission or notify a person before the mandated reporter makes a report
  • Knowingly retaliates against a mandated reporter for reporting child maltreatment or suspected child maltreatment

Unlawful restriction of child abuse reporting is a class A misdemeanor.

False Reporting

Citation: Ann. Code § 12-18-203

A person commits the offense of making a false report under this chapter if he or she purposely and knowingly makes a report containing a false allegation to the child abuse hotline.

A first offense of making a false report under this chapter is a class A misdemeanor. A subsequent offense of making a false report under this chapter is a class D felony.