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Saturday, March 2, 2019

California Legislation on Reporting Abuse

In The Politics of Autism, I write:
People with disabilities are victims of violent crime three times as often as people without disabilities. The Bureau of Justice Statistics does not report separately on autistic victims, but it does note that the victimization rate is especially high among those whose disabilities are cognitive. A small-sample study of Americans and Canadians found that adults with autism face a greater risk of sexual victimization than their peers. Autistic respondents were more than twice as likely to say that had been the victim of rape and over three times as likely to report unwanted sexual contact.
Bill Digest:
AB 189, as introduced, Kamlager-Dove. Child abuse or neglect: mandated reporters: autism service personnel. Existing law, the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, requires a mandated reporter, as defined, to report whenever he or she, in his or her professional capacity or within the scope of his or her employment, has knowledge of or observed a child whom the mandated reporter knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect. Failure by a mandated reporter to report an incident of known or reasonably suspected child abuse or neglect is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months of confinement in a county jail, by a fine of $1,000, or by both that imprisonment and fine. This bill would add qualified autism service providers, qualified autism service professionals, and qualified autism service paraprofessionals, as defined, to the list of individuals who are mandated reporters. By imposing the reporting requirements on a new class of persons, for whom failure to report specified conduct is a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
The LA Sentinel reports:
 Licensed providers (Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Board of Behavioral Sciences licensees etc.) already are mandated reporters. However, Board Certified Behavior Analysts, Analysts, Behavior Analysts and Behavior Management Assistants are not licensed in CA and thus don’t have a reporting requirement.