Currently, making a false claim to the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment is a Class A misdemeanor. This bill expands the law to include making a false claim to a mandated reporter. Mandated reporters are required by law to report suspected cases of child abuse which come before them in their professional capacity. Mandated reporters include, teachers, doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers and many other professionals.
“False reports of child abuse and maltreatment waste precious limited resources which could be used to investigate genuine cases of abuse,” said Senator Saland. “It is also unfortunately true that bogus child abuse claims are sometimes used in child custody proceedings in order for one party to gain the upper hand. These reprehensible actions can leave lasting scars on innocent parties and could cause them to lose custody of their children. A person who alleges child abuse to the child’s teacher or doctor, knowing it will be reported and knowing it is a false allegation can no longer hide behind the law, claiming they did not falsely report abuse.”
The new law will take effect in 180 days.