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Child Abuse Reporting Laws for Indiana

Last Reviewed: June 3, 2021

State and Statute: Indiana, Code §§ 31-33-5-1 et seq.

What Is Reportable "Abuse": Physical, sexual, mental abuse, or neglect. [31-33-5-1] and [31-9-2-14]

Mandatory Reporters: "An individual who has reason to believe that a child is a victim of child abuse or neglect shall make a report." [31-33-5-1]

“If an individual is required to make a report under this article in the individual’s capacity as a member of the staff of a…public or private institution, school, facility, or agency, the individual shall immediately make a report to: (1) the department; or (2) the local law enforcement agency…after making the report, the individual shall notify the individual in charge of the institution, school, facility, or agency that the report was made” [31-33-5-2(b)]

"This chapter does not relieve an individual of the obligation to report on the individual's own behalf, unless a report has already been made to the best of the individual's belief." [31-33-5-3]

How and Where to Report: Oral or written report to the Department of Child Services or the local law enforcement agency. [31-33-5-4]

Timeline to Report: Immediately. [31-33-5-4]

Clergy Privilege: "The privileged communication between: (1) a husband and wife; (2) a health care provider and the health care provider's patient; (3) a: (A) licensed social worker; (B) licensed clinical social worker; (C) licensed marriage and family therapist; (D) licensed mental health counselor; (E) licensed addiction counselor; or (F) licensed clinical addiction counselor; and a client of any of the professionals described in clauses (A) through (F); (4) a school counselor and a student; or (5) a school psychologist and a student; is not a ground for excluding evidence in any judicial proceeding resulting from a report of a child who may be a victim of child abuse or neglect or relating to the subject matter of the report or failing to report as required by IC 31-33." [31-32-11-1]

Penalty for Knowingly Failing to Report: Class B misdemeanor [31-33-22-1]

Civil Liability for Failure to Report Recognized? No statute recognizes civil liability, but court rulings in this state have. Consult with legal counsel.

Immunity for Inaccurate Report: Immunity “from any civil or criminal liability” exists “even if the reported child abuse or neglect is classified by the department as unsubstantiated.” However, “(i)mmunity does not attach for a person who has acted with: (1) gross negligence; or (2) willful or wanton misconduct.” [31-33-6-1] and [31-33-6-2]

Disclosure of Mandatory Reporter’s Identity: Statutory access to reporter identification addressed in 31-33-18-2 and 31-33-26-5.

Additional Information for Indiana:

All information provided here was most recently verified in June of 2021.

Related Topics:
  • November 30, 2017
  • Last Reviewed: June 3, 2021

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