Child Abuse Reporting Laws for Idaho

State and Statute: Idaho, Stats. §§ 16-1605 et seq.

What Is Reportable “Abuse”: Physical, sexual, or mental abuse, abandonment, or neglect. “No child whose parent or guardian chooses for such child treatment by prayers through spiritual means alone in lieu of medical treatment, shall be deemed for that reason alone to be neglected.” [16-1602(1)(31)(a)]

Mandatory Reporters: Includes any school teacher, day care personnel, social worker, or other person having reason to believe that a child has been abused. [16-1605]

How and Where to Report: Department of Health and Welfare or a law enforcement agency. [16-1605]

Timeline to Report: Within 24 hours. [16-1605]

Clergy Privilege: Duly ordained minister of religion … “The notification requirements… do not apply to a duly ordained minister of religion, with regard to any confession or confidential communication made to him in his ecclesiastical capacity in the course of discipline enjoined by the church to which he belongs if: (1) the church qualifies as tax-exempt…2) the confession or confidential communication was made directly to the duly ordained minister of religion; and (3) the confession or confidential communication was made in the manner and context which places the duly ordained minister of religion specifically and strictly under a level of confidentiality that is considered inviolate by canon law or church doctrine. A confession or confidential communication made under any other circumstances does not fall under this exemption.” [16-1605(2) and 16-1605(3)]

Penalty for Knowingly Failing to Report: Misdemeanor. [16-1605(4)]

Civil Liability for Failure to Report Recognized? No statute recognizes civil liability. Consult with legal counsel to ensure no recent court decisions in Idaho have recognized civil liability.

Immunity for Inaccurate Report: “Any person who has reason to believe that a child has been abused, abandoned or neglected and, acting upon that belief, makes a report of abuse, abandonment or neglect as required … shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed. … Any person who reports in bad faith or with malice shall not be protected by this section.” [16-1606]

“Any person who makes a report…knowing the same to be false or … in bad faith or with malice shall be liable to the party or parties against whom the report was made for the amount of actual damages sustained or statutory damages of ($2,500).” [16-1607]

Disclosure of Mandatory Reporter’s Identity: No reference.

Additional Information for Idaho:

All information provided here was most recently verified in March of 2023.

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