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Penalties for Failing to Report and False Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect in California

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Merit Career Development > Child Abuse Prevention Training > Penalties for Failing to Report and False Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect in California


Penalties for Failing to Report and False Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect in California


Failure to Report
Penal Code §§ 11166(c); 11166.01


Any mandated reporter who fails to report an incident of known or reasonably suspected child abuse or neglect is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in a county jail, by a fine of $1,000, or both. If a mandated reporter intentionally conceals his or her failure to report an incident known by the mandated reporter to be abuse or severe neglect, the failure to report is a continuing offense until an agency specified in § 11165.9 discovers the offense.


Any supervisor or administrator who violates § 11166(1) [that prohibits impeding others from making a report], shall be punished by no more than 6 months in a county jail, by a fine of no more than $1,000, or both.


Any mandated reporter who willfully fails to report abuse or neglect, or any person who impedes or inhibits a report of abuse or neglect, where that abuse or neglect results in death or great bodily injury, shall be punished by no more than 1 year in a county jail, by a fine of no more than $5,000, or both.


False Reporting
Penal Code § 11172(a)


Any person reporting a known or suspected instance of child abuse or neglect shall not incur civil or criminal liability as a result of any report unless it can be proven that a false report was made and the person knew that the report was false or was made with reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the report.


Any person who makes a report of child abuse or neglect known to be false or with reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the report is liable for any damages caused.


Click here to view basic information about Child Abuse, including definitions of terms as defined in California


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