Child Abuse Reporting Laws for Rhode Island

State and Statute: Rhode Island, Gen. Laws §§ 40-11-1 et seq.

What Is Reportable “Abuse”: Physical, sexual, or mental abuse, neglect, or sexual exploitatioin by a person responsible for a child’s welfare (includes the child’s parent, guardian, foster parent, or any staff person at a child day care facility). [40-11-2(1)(11)(12)]

Mandatory Reporters: Any person who has reasonable cause. [40-11-3(a)] [40-11-3(a)]

How and Where to Report: To the department of children, youth, and families, or via the state’s 24-hour, toll-free hotline (1-800-742-4453).

Timeline to Report: Within 24 hours, but immediate notification for cases of nutritional deprivation or deprivation of medical or surgical intervention needed to treat a life-threatening condition. [40-11-3(a)(b)]

Clergy Privilege: “The privileged quality of communication between husband and wife and any professional person and his patient or client, except that between attorney and client, is hereby abrogated in situations involving known or suspected child abuse or neglect and shall not constitute grounds for failure to report as required by this chapter, failure to cooperate with the department in its activities pursuant to this chapter, or failure to give or accept evidence in any judicial proceeding relating to child abuse or neglect.” [40-11-11]

Penalty for Knowingly Failing to Report: Misdemeanor subject to a fine of not more than $500, imprisonment of not more than one year, or both. [40-11-6.1]

Civil Liability for Failure to Report Recognized? Yes. “Any person, official, physician, or institution who knowingly fails to perform any act required by this chapter or who knowingly prevents another person from performing a required act shall be civilly liable for the damages proximately caused by that failure.” [40-11-6.1]

Immunity for Inaccurate Report: “Any person participating in good faith…shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal…” [40-11-4]

Disclosure of Mandatory Reporter’s Identity: Reporter’s identity is confidential and only disclosed as provided by law. [42-72-8(a)]

Additional Information for Rhode Island:

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

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations." Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

ajax-loader-largecaret-downcloseHamburger Menuicon_amazonApple PodcastsBio Iconicon_cards_grid_caretChild Abuse Reporting Laws by State IconChurchSalary Iconicon_facebookGoogle Podcastsicon_instagramLegal Library IconLegal Library Iconicon_linkedinLock IconMegaphone IconOnline Learning IconPodcast IconRecent Legal Developments IconRecommended Reading IconRSS IconSubmiticon_select-arrowSpotify IconAlaska State MapAlabama State MapArkansas State MapArizona State MapCalifornia State MapColorado State MapConnecticut State MapWashington DC State MapDelaware State MapFederal MapFlorida State MapGeorgia State MapHawaii State MapIowa State MapIdaho State MapIllinois State MapIndiana State MapKansas State MapKentucky State MapLouisiana State MapMassachusetts State MapMaryland State MapMaine State MapMichigan State MapMinnesota State MapMissouri State MapMississippi State MapMontana State MapMulti State MapNorth Carolina State MapNorth Dakota State MapNebraska State MapNew Hampshire State MapNew Jersey State MapNew Mexico IconNevada State MapNew York State MapOhio State MapOklahoma State MapOregon State MapPennsylvania State MapRhode Island State MapSouth Carolina State MapSouth Dakota State MapTennessee State MapTexas State MapUtah State MapVirginia State MapVermont State MapWashington State MapWisconsin State MapWest Virginia State MapWyoming State IconShopping Cart IconTax Calendar Iconicon_twitteryoutubepauseplay