LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- It was a story that swept the nation and now a report from an internal investigation in the Jerry Sandusky scandal found that senior Penn State leaders knew of the abuse and did not report it.
Those leaders could face legal trouble which is why we are asking who in Arkansas is required by law to report child abuse and neglect?
The list of those required by state law to report any type of child abuse and neglect is a lengthy one and includes just about any professional that comes in contact with children. According to the Arkansas Department of Human Services, the following professionals are required to report any sign of child abuse and neglect.
- AR State Police Crimes Against Children (CACD) employee
- Attorney ad litem in the course of his or her duties as an attorney ad litem
- Child abuse advocate or volunteer
- Child advocacy center employee
- Child care center worker
- Child care worker
- Child safety center employee
- Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program staff or volunteer
- Dental hygienist
- Department of Human Services employee
- Domestic abuse advocate
- Domestic violence shelter employee
- Domestic violence volunteer
- Employee working under contract for the Division of Juvenile Services
- Foster care worker
- Foster parent
- Juvenile intake or probation officer
- Law enforcement official
- Licensed nurse
- Medical personnel who may be engaged in admission, examination, care or treatment of persons
- Mental health professional
- Peace Officer
- Prosecuting attorney
- Rape crisis advocate or volunteer
- Resident intern
- School counselor
- School official
- Sexual abuse advocate or volunteer
- Social worker
- Victim assistance professional or volunteer
- Victim/witness coordinator
"It's a long list because we want to protect children. They are defenseless and we want to have adults obligated to report these things," says UALR law professor, Felecia Epps.
Epps says the legal ramifications for not reporting the abuse of a minor could include fines or jail time and depending on the case, you could be charged as an accomplice to the abuse.
"Because you encouraged someone by not reporting this type of offense, then that offense happened. You are on the hook with the one who actually committed it for the same offense and that could be a very serious felony," says Epps.
You can report suspected child abuse by simply calling your local police department or by calling the Arkansas Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-482-5964. If you happen to be a mandated reporter, you can download the Suspected Child Abuse Report Form and fax it to the hotline at 1-501-618-8952.