The Buzz

The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling

Nixon signs bill requiring officials to report suspected child abuse to the state

07/09/2013 12:43 PM

07/09/2013 12:45 PM

Gov. Jay Nixon

has signed a bill requiring so-called “mandatory reporters” to notify the state directly if they have reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or neglect.

Mandatory reporters include doctors, dentists, and other health care providers; day care workers, juvenile or parole officers, school officials, priests and ministers, and police.

Under the old law, the governor’s office said, mandatory reporters who suspected abuse were allowed to report the incident to designated others within their organizations. Now they’ll be required to report the concerns directly to the state’s Children’s Division in the Department of Social Services.

The issue of reporting sexual abuse was a central concern in the criminal case involving Bishop

Robert Finn of Kansas City and child abuser Shawn Ratigan


Finn eventually conceded he was a mandated reporter, but failed to report concerns about Ratigan’s collection pornographic images of children. He was found guilty of failing to report the abuse.


Join the Discussion

The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service