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Abuse and Neglect of Children and Disabled Adults - North Carolina's Mandatory Reporting Laws

NCJ Number
J Mason
Date Published
57 pages
This booklet explains the reporting requirements for This booklet explains the reporting requirements for child abuse contained in the North Carolina Juvenile Code and those for disabled adults in the Protection of the Abused, Neglected, or Exploited Disabled Adults Act.
Backgrounds of the laws are described, and those who must report violations of those laws are identified. Everyone who suspects child abuse or neglect must report it; further, any person who has reasonable cause to believe that a disabled adult needs protective services must report the case. Additionally, the acts or conditions that must be reported are highlighted; for example, a juvenile is neglected if he has been abandoned or has been placed for care or adoption in violation of the law. Among the ways that a parent or caretaker may abuse his or her child is by inflicting or allowing serious emotional damage to the child. Disabled adults are abused if they are unreasonably confined; if their caretakers willfully deprive them of necessary services; or if they are victims of willfully inflicted physical pain, injury, or mental anguish. Ways that the reports should be made -- orally, in writing, or, in the case of abused or neglected children, in person -- are discussed. What happens after the report is made, including an investigation of the allegations, is examined. The consequences of not reporting -- primarily harm to the endangered party -- are explored, and the reporter's immunity from civil or criminal liability is noted. Finally, the reporting laws' effectiveness is considered, and selected North Carolina statutes are cited. One table is included.