By enacting Session Law 2019-245, the North Carolina General Assembly imposed new broad-sweeping requirements to protect children, making failure to report certain criminal acts perpetrated against children a crime. The new law mandates that any individual over the age of 18 who knows or reasonably should know that a juvenile is the victim of child abuse, a violent offense, or a sexually violent offense report that information to law enforcement.
Prior to this law, individuals over the age of 18 were required to report child abuse, child neglect, and child dependency to the local Department of Social Services. This requirement remains in place, but now child abuse and other offenses must be reported to law enforcement as well. Notably, there is no exception if the violent offense or sexually violent offense is perpetrated by another child; nor is there an exemption for parents.
Brooks Pierce attorneys regularly counsel clients in compliance with mandatory reporting requirements. For assistance in ensuring that your organization and staff are complying with this new law or to discuss training for your organization, please contact Jill Wilson or Elizabeth Troutman, linked below.