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]

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]

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