First Baptist Church, Huntsville, AL
Saturday, April 18, 2015

Reporting Obligations of Abuse

What do I do if I suspect that a preschooler, child, or youth is being abused?

Abusive situations often continue if they go unnoticed and unreported.  All employees and volunteers in ministries involving preschoolers, children, and youth must know what constitutes an occasion for reporting, the reporting channels they should use, and their legal obligations to make a report.

Alabama’s child abuse reporting statute makes it mandatory to report child abuse cases for health officials, policemen, teachers, social workers, mental health professionals, day care workers and any other person called upon to render aid or medical assistance to any child, when such child is known or suspected to be a victim of child abuse or neglect.  These persons are required by law to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect under a penalty of a misdemeanor fine or sentence.  Alabama has statutes granting a privilege to clergy-penitent communications.

It is the policy of First Baptist Church, Huntsville, to encourage immediate reporting of all incidents or suspected incidents of child abuse.  The volunteer or staff member making the report shall immediately notify his/her supervisor who shall in turn immediately report to the Executive Pastor or other minister of First Baptist Church.