WV Senate Bill 161 is signed into law requiring all care givers of children report abuse or neglect to officials.
Certain professions, like medical professionals and law enforcement, have always been required to report possible abuse or neglect. Senate Bill 161 expands the list of those required to report abuse and neglect of children. In short, anyone who cares for a child and suspects or knows of abuse or neglect is required to notify officials.
If the abuse is sexual, any adult over the age of 18 is required to notify officials within 48 hours.
Failure to report any abuse or neglect can result in criminal misdemeanor charges.
"The penalties now for failing to report child abuse and neglect will be from 10 days in jail to 30 days in jail and from a 100 dollar fine to a 1,000 dollar fine for those who fail to report," explains Capt. rick Woodyard of the Wood County Sheriff's Department.
Capt. Woodyard encourages anyone who knows or suspects that a child is being abused or neglected contact the Department of Health and Human Resources.
To read the entire bill click on the link below.