Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting: Licensed Professionals & Liability in Illinois

Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting

Chicago IDFPR Attorney Michael V. Favia Highlights Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Liability and Professional License Defense

One in seven children experiences some form of child abuse or neglect in any given year. In Illinois, the law requires certain licensed professionals to report suspected child abuse and neglect. Making a report is not optional, rather it is mandatory. In Illinois, like in most states, mandatory child abuse reporting laws are taken seriously and the failure to make a mandatory report of suspected child abuse can result in the loss of your license.

Michael V. Favia is an experienced Chicago IDFPR attorney who can help Illinois professionals understand mandatory child abuse reporting and their liability for failure to report. Favia can help explain rights and duties in the Illinois Abused and Neglected Children’s Reporting Act.

After consulting with attorney Favia about mandatory child abuse reporting and the professional liability consequences for failure to report, you can go back to your professional office and share the information with others so they can help prevent child abuse and neglect.

Child abuse and neglect are under-reported. That is why we all need to understand consistent definitions of abuse and neglect. As a licensed professional you are in a much better spot if you make a report that turns out to be false, as opposed to a failure to act, by failing to make a report.

What are Child Abuse and Neglect? Professionals Subject to Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Laws Should be Aware of and be Able to Identify Child Abuse and Neglect: Acts of Commission and Acts of Omission

Child abuse and neglect are a series of acts of commission and omission by a parent, caregiver, or another person in a custodial role that results in the harm, threat thereof, or potential for harm to a child. Child abuse and neglect are also preventable acts.

  • Acts of commission include words or overt actions that cause harm, potential harm or threat of harm. For example, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and psychological abuse are acts of commission.
  • Acts of omission are the failure to provide basic needs or to protect from harm or potential harm. For example, acts of omission include physical neglect, emotional neglect, medical and dental neglect, educational neglect, inadequate supervision, and exposure to violent environments.

For More Information, You Can Reference the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services: Manual for Mandated Reporters

The DCFS Children’s Task Force published the August 2019 revised edition of their Manual for Mandated Reporters. This recent article shows what happened when a teacher in Aurora failed to report: Jury finds Aurora teacher guilty of failing to report suspected child abuse

Failure to report child abuse as a mandatory reporter is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. A teacher in District 131 was charged and found guilty of not reporting suspected child abuse. Reports show the teacher knew the child was being abused. Even though she knew, the teacher failed to report the abuse. Teachers are mandated reporters in Illinois.

The teacher faces jail time for being a mandated child abuse reporter who did not report child abuse. At sentencing, she faces up to 364 days in the Kane County Jail.

In a statement in the press release about this case the Kane County State’s Attorney, Joe McMahon said, “I hope this verdict sends a clear and strong message that there are consequences for those who do not take this

[mandatory child abuse reporting]

obligation seriously.” Further, he stated, “Mandated reporters who reasonably believe that a child may have been abused or neglected must immediately call DCFS at 800-252-2873 to make a report.[i]

Chicago IDFPR Attorney Michael V. Favia Resolves IDFPR Cases, Investigations, Prosecutions, and Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Legal and Licensing Issues

Attorney Favia wants to remind most medical and healthcare providers, like teachers, are mandated to report child abuse and neglect pursuant to the Illinois Abused and Neglected Children’s Reporting Act. Anyone who is a mandated reporter should be trained and prepared to spot the warning signs of abuse and neglect and call DCFS to make a report.

Failures of mandated reporters to contact DCFS about child abuse and neglect can lead to professional discipline and license issues when the IDFPR finds out. Licensees know that they have a duty to report to the IDFPR if they are charged with a crime. Failures in mandated child abuse reporting are crimes the IDFPR investigates. Investigations at the Department lead to informal hearings, formal hearings, and other disciplinary and regulatory actions.

You Need a Tough and Experienced Chicago IDFPR Attorney to Save Your License, Save Your Career

Mandatory child abuse reporting violations must be handled cautiously when your livelihood is at stake. Don’t lose your license by ignoring the IDFPR, trying to resolve an investigation on your own, or use a lawyer who isn’t specifically experienced in negotiating and working with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Responsibility.

Call Michael V. Favia & Associates With Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Questions (773) 631-4580

Michael V. Favia is a former Illinois Assistant Attorney General and a former IDFPR Chief of Prosecutions. Favia’s contacts and relationships with the IDFPR make him a strong advocate for you and your professional license. Favia and his team work to resolve your matter informally but are ready to suit up for formal hearings, trials, and appeals to courts when it is necessary. Contact Michael V. Favia today!

[i] Kane County Chronicle, Jury finds Aurora teacher guilty of failing to report suspected child abuse. Sentencing set for Nove 13 for Aurora teacher. By Kane County Chronicle, Sept. 11, 2019.