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Senate Majority Leader

Bob Duff

Representing Norwalk & Darien

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Senate Democrats Lead Bipartisan Vote Strengthening Mandated Reporter Laws

Senate Democrats today led bipartisan passage of Senate Bill 244 to add licensed behavior analysts to the list of mandated reporters of suspected child abuse and neglect. Senate Bill 244 passed the Senate chamber on a unanimous vote.

“Across the country we are hearing truly tragic and horrifying stories from victims of abuse,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven). “Most notable the story of current and former member of the US women’s Gymnastics team came forth with heartbreaking stories of abuse by team doctor Larry Nassar. To change our culture of abuse, one of those victims recommended that we strengthen our mandatory reporting laws. Today in the State Senate, we did exactly that. This bill will help prevent abuse and punish who fail to live up to their responsibility.”

“Adding licensed behavior analysts to the list of mandated reporters of suspected child abuse and neglect is the right thing to do and is one more step that we can take to make sure our children are protected from abuse,” said Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk). “It is our hope that creating another mandated reporter will help disrupt any cycle of abuse that may be occurring.”

“Behavioral Analysts work with children in the community and those with disabilities who are most at risk for abuse and neglect. Adding them to the list of mandated reporters will help to ensure that no child falls through the cracks of abuse and neglect,” Human Services Committee Co-Chair Senator Marilyn Moore (D-Bridgeport) said. “Currently in Connecticut, we already require a variety of licensed and credentialed professionals to be mandated reporters including health care professionals, social workers, school employees, and child care staff. Our children need all the support they can get and this will only make that support system stronger.”

By law, people in certain professions and occupations who have contact with children or whose primary focus is children must report suspected child abuse or neglect (CGS § 17a-101). As mandated reporters they must make such a report when, in the ordinary course of their employment or profession, they have reasonable cause to believe or suspect that a child under age 18 has been abused, neglected, or placed in imminent risk of serious harm (CGS § 17a-101a). A mandated reporter who fails to report may be subject to criminal penalties.

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