Oregon one of 28 states that include clergy as mandatory reporters of suspected incidents of child abuse

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Oregon is one of roughly 28 states that include clergy members as mandatory reporters of suspected incidents of child abuse or neglect. “While clergy-penitent privilege is frequently recognized within reporting laws, it is typically interpreted narrowly in the context of child abuse or neglect,” the Children’s Bureau explains. “The circumstances under which it is allowed vary from State to State, and in some States it is denied altogether.”
Oregon’s laws specifically note that, “any public or private official having reasonable cause to believe that any child with whom the official comes in contact has suffered abuse, or that any person with whom the official comes in contact has abused a child, shall immediately report or cause a report to be made.”

The state defines members of the clergy as part of said “public or private official” category, but also notes instances in which “clergy-penitent privilege” is considered an exception to mandated reporting, as it relates to the clergy member “being examined” over confidential communications or confessions

Author: betterblokesnz