Protecting Our Children: Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect in the DMV: Part 2

Mandatory Reporting in Maryland

As part of the personal injury and family law practice here at the law firm of Hartel, DeSantis & Howie, LLP, our attorneys know and understand the law pertaining to any mandatory reporting requirements for potential child abuse and neglect in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Failure to report sexual misconduct may have significant consequences in the criminal and/or civil court system. In the event you have any concerns or wish to discuss any issues pertaining to potential sexual misconduct, reporting and serious ramifications, please contact us immediately for a confidential and privileged discussion.

In this second installment of our three part blog series on mandatory reporting of child abuse or neglect, we focus on Maryland’s requirements:

Health practitioners, police officers, educators, and human services workers have a special duty to report under Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law § 5-704. "Local department" means a department of social services for a county in Maryland.

In addition, “notwithstanding any other provision of law, including a law on privileged communications, a person in this State other than a health practitioner, police officer, or educator or human service worker, who has reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect shall notify the local department or the appropriate law enforcement agency. Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law § 5-705 (emphasis added).

However, “a minister of the gospel, clergyman, or priest of an established church of any denomination” is not required to provide notice if the notice would disclose information received from a i) communication made to the minister, clergyman, or priest in a professional character in the course of discipline enjoined by the church to which the minister, clergyman, or priest belongs; and (ii) the minister, clergyman, or priest is bound to maintain the confidentiality of that communication under canon law, church doctrine, or practice.” Id.

By Deborah E. Kane | Published May 13, 2013