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New Child Abuse Reporting Law Gets Tough

​“Any person who has cause to suspect that any juvenile is abused, neglected, or dependent, . . . , or has died as the result of maltreatment, shall report the case of the juvenile to the director of the department of social services.”  NCGS 7B-301.  That has been the law for a very long time.  But up until December 1, 2013, there has not been any penalty for failing to follow it.

Now the law has teeth.  Starting last December, any person or any institution that “knowingly or wantonly fails to report” a child who fits the statute is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.  So is any person or institution that “knowingly or wantonly prevents” another person from making the required report.

The risks to licensed providers from looking the other way when they suspect child abuse or neglect, dependency, or maltreatment causing death are now much more serious, because even a misdemeanor conviction can cost the provider a license, an appointment, a certification, or a job, not to mention time in jail.

© 2022 Poyner Spruill LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume IV, Number 69
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About this Author

Steven Mansfield Shaber, Poyner Spruill Law Firm, Health Law Attorney
Partner

Steve has spent his entire career in health law -- first with the North Carolina Attorney General's Office and, since 1985, in private practice. His clients range from large hospitals to sole practitioners. Most of his work focuses on Medicare and Medicaid fraud & abuse, false claims, hospital medical staff matters, and professional licensing board cases. His cases have involved patient deaths, million-dollar claims for recoupment, and other urgent matters. Steve has also helped providers with a number of innovative business transactions. He speaks frequently to various...

919-783-2906
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