Thursday, April 12, 2012

Your volunteer nursery worker may get arrested...

...for failing to report suspected child abuse, if you are at a church here in Georgia.

State laws at the present here in Georgia require doctors, teachers, and certain other professionals to report suspected child abuse. Failure by these mandatory reporters is a serious crime.

Volunteer church workers like children or preschool Sunday School teachers, nursery workers, and others are not mandatory reporters but will be when new laws go into effect in July.

The state legislature amended present law in this area so broadly that virtually anyone who comes into contact with children will be mandatory reporters when the law goes into effect.

It is unknown exactly what effect this change will have. Some predict a flood of abuse reporting while others think little will change.

If a child in the church nursery has a bruise and the volunteer nursery worker fails to officially report this to law enforcement, will that worker be committing a crime?


As a former pastor, I always did annual training in this area with all volunteers in my church who worked with children. Our state convention has people who will look at this and try and inform the churches what they should do in response to this change in law.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution has a good article on the matter.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Abuse of any kind is never easy to deal with. Only had to deal with it once. I found out when the police showed up to ask me questions about a member of the church.

It was dealt with swiftly and we followed everything the police told us to do. No more, no less.

Jon Estes