Amended in Senate June 1, 2015

Senate BillNo. 478


Introduced by Senator Huff

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(Coauthor: Assembly Member Chang)

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(Coauthors: Assembly Members Chang and Dababneh)

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February 26, 2015


An act to add and repeal Section 11166.02 of the Penal Code, and to add and repeal Section 10612.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to child abuse.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SB 478, as amended, Huff. Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act: mandated reporters: pilot program.

The Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act requires a mandated reporter, as defined, to make a report to a specified agency whenever the mandated reporter, in his or her professional capacity or within the scope of his or her employment, has knowledge of or observes a child whom the mandated reporter knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect. Existing law further requires the mandated reporter to make an initial report by telephone to the agency immediately or as soon as is practicably possible, and to prepare and send, fax, or electronically transmit a written followup report within 36 hours of receiving the information concerning the incident.

This bill, until January 1, 2021, would authorize certain county welfare agencies to develop a pilot program for Internet-based reporting of child abuse and neglect, as specified. The bill would also require the State Department of Social Services to consult with the County Welfare Directors Associationbegin insert of Californiaend insert and the county welfare agencies of the individual counties to determine which counties may be involved in the pilot program.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

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SECTION 1.  

Section 11166.02 is added to the Penal Code, to
2read:

3

11166.02.  

(a) A county welfare agency, as determined in
4Section 10612.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, may develop
5a pilot program for Internet-based reporting of child abuse and
6neglect. The pilot program maybegin delete operate in a specific region toend delete
7 receive reports of suspected child abuse or neglect and shall meet
8all of the following conditions:

9(1) The suspected child abuse or neglect does not indicate that
10the child is subject to an immediate risk of abuse, neglect, or
11exploitation or that the child is in imminent danger of severe harm
12or death.

13(2) The agency provides an Internet form that includes
14qualifying questions in order to obtain necessary information
15required to assess the need for child welfare services and a
16response.

17(3) The mandated reporter is required to complete all required
18fields, including identity and contact information of the mandated
19reporter, in order to submit the report.

20(4) The mandated reporter is required to cooperate with any
21requests by the agency for additional information, if needed, to
22investigate thebegin delete report.end deletebegin insert report, subject to applicable confidentiality
23requirements.end insert

24(5) The system can only be used by mandated reporters who
25are any of the following:

26(A) A peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing
27with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2.

28(B) A probation officer.

29(C) A school teacher, counselor, or administrator.

30(D) A physician andbegin delete surgeon, psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed
31nurse, marriage and family therapist, or clinical social worker
32licensed pursuant to Division 2 (commencing with Section 500)
33of the Business and Professions Code.end delete
begin insert surgeon, or licensed nurse.end insert

P3    1(E) A coroner.

2(b) Inbegin delete an areaend deletebegin insert a countyend insert where the pilot program is active, a
3mandated reporter listed in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) may
4use the Internet-based reporting tool in lieu ofbegin delete or in addition toend delete the
5required initial telephone report required by subdivision (a) of
6Section 11166.

7(c) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2021,
8and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that
9is enacted before January 1, 2021, deletes or extends that date.

10

SEC. 2.  

Section 10612.5 is added to the Welfare and
11Institutions Code
, to read:

12

10612.5.  

(a) The department shall consult with the County
13Welfare Directors Associationbegin insert of Californiaend insert and any interested
14county welfare agencies to determine which counties may be
15involved in the pilot program established pursuant to Section
1611166.02 of the Penal Code.begin insert The pilot program may operate in up
17to 10 counties.end insert

18(b) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2021,
19and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that
20is enacted before January 1, 2021, deletes or extends that date.



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