State and Statute: Oklahoma, Stats. title 10A, §§ 1-2-101 et seq.
What Is Reportable “Abuse”: Physical, sexual, or mental abuse, neglect, or sexual exploitation by a person responsible for the child’s health or welfare (includes a parent; legal guardian; custodian; foster parent; owner, operator, or employee of a child care facility). [1-2-101(B)(1) and 1-1-105(2)]
Mandatory Reporters: “Every person having reason to believe that a child under the age of eighteen (18) years is a victim of abuse or neglect.” [1-2-101(B)(1)]
How and Where to Report: Via telephone to the county office of the Department of Human Services and/or the state’s 24-hour, toll-free hotline (1-800-522-3511). [1-2-101(B)(1)]
Timeline to Report: Immediately. [1-2-101(B)(1)]
Clergy Privilege: “No privilege or contract shall relieve any person from the requirement of reporting pursuant to this section.” [1-2-101(B)(4)]
Penalty for Knowingly Failing to Report: Misdemeanor. However, failing to report abuse known for six months or longer is a felony. [1-2-101(C)]
Civil Liability for Failure to Report Recognized? No statute recognizes civil liability for a private party. The Attorney General, district attorneys, and other law enforcement officials having jurisdiction “shall have the authority to bring civil actions against any person … to enforce the provisions of the Oklahoma Children’s Code.” [1-1-104]. Consult with legal counsel to ensure no recent court decisions in Oklahoma have recognized civil liability through a lawsuit brought by a private party.
Immunity for Inaccurate Report: “Any person who, in good faith and exercising due care, reports suspected child abuse or neglect … shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed. … The good faith of any person in making a report … shall be presumed.” [1-2-104(A)(B)]
Knowingly and willfully making a false report is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 plus reasonable attorney fees. [1-2-101(D)(2)]
Disclosure of Mandatory Reporter’s Identity: Statutory provisions for disclosure shall not be construed as authorizing disclosure of reporter’s identity unless specifically ordered by the court. The department shall redact reporter’s identifying information for court-ordered disclosures unless otherwise ordered by the court. [1-2-101(A)(5)] Statutory notice to alleged perpetrator must include language indicating reporter’s identity is confidential and may not even be known to department. [1-2-106(2)] Release of data by department shall not include reporter’s identity, absent court order authorizing release for good cause shown. [1-2-107] and [1-2-108]
Additional Information for Oklahoma:
- 24-hour, toll-free hotline: 1-800-522-3511*
- Online resources: https://oklahoma.gov/okdhs/services/cps/cps-program-information.html
All information provided here was most recently verified in March of 2023.