Prevent Child Abuse in Alabama
What is child abuse and neglect in Alabama?
Under Alabama law, child abuse is “harm or threatened harm to a child’s health or welfare which can occur through nonaccidental physical or mental injury; sexual abuse or attempted sexual abuse; sexual exploitation or attempted sexual exploitation.”
Under Alabama law, child neglect is “negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child, including the failure to provide adequate food, medical treatment, clothing, or shelter: provided, however, that a parent or guardian legitimately practicing his religious beliefs who thereby does not provide specified medical treatment for a child, for that reason alone shall not be considered a negligent parent or guardian; however, such an exception shall not preclude a court from ordering that medical services be provided to the child, where his health requires it.”
According to the Child Welfare League of America, there were 10,847 victims of abuse or neglect in Alabama in 2017, a rate of 9.9 per 1,000 children, an increase of 23.1% from 2013-2017.
Who is a mandated reporter according to AL state requirements?
According to Erin’s Law, any person whose profession brings them in contact with children on a daily basis is legally obligated to report signs of suspected child abuse or neglect.
Mandatory Reporters in Alabama are:
- Employees at hospitals, clinics, & sanitariums
- Social Workers
- Child Care Employees
- School Teachers & Officials
- Public and Private K-12 employees
- Employees of public and private institutions of postsecondary and higher education
- Physical Therapists
- Peace Officers
- Law Enforcement
- Mental Health Professionals
- Doctors, Physicians, Surgeons, & Medical Examiners
- Podiatrists, Chiropractors, Optometrists, Osteopaths, & Coroners
Even if you are not an Alabama mandatory reporter, you are still encouraged to report any suspected child abuse or neglect.
How do I report child abuse in Alabama?
If a mandated reporter suspects child abuse, they are required to make a report with the Alabama Department of Human Resources. Because of the coronavirus pandemic school shutdown, reports of child abuse in AL dropped dramatically.
Erin’s Law (HB197) mandates that school personnel complete Mandatory Reporter training annually. The Alabama Governor’s Erin’s Law Task Force has established state guidelines for a child sexual abuse prevention instructional program for k-12 students. All public school systems are required to establish developmentally appropriate instruction.
According to Citation: Ala. Code § 26-14-13, any mandated reporter who knowingly fails to report child abuse or neglect shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a sentence of not more than 6 months’ imprisonment or a fine not more than $500.00.
How do I get free online child abuse training?
Use the code STAYSAFE to enroll in Creating Safe Environments for Organizations, a free online training class. Leaders in organizations use this free online course to explore child abuse prevention best practices and help prevent child abuse in Alabama.
Looking for online child abuse training for individuals?
How do I contact the AL Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention?
Contact the Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention
60 Commerce Street, Suite 1000
Montgomery, Alabama 36104
Disclaimer: Please ensure the information and courses meet requirements for your organization and circumstances and align with what your state Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention requires. The state requirements and child abuse and human trafficking statistics listed on this page are current as of May 13th, 2021 to meet the best information available. State requirements may change and it is your responsibility to know your state mandated reporter requirements and the process for online child abuse prevention training. Compass Child Protection Training can not guarantee acceptance by your school, organization, or state Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention. If there is a child abuse emergency, call 911 immediately.