The Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA) pursuant to Penal Codes 11164 through 11174.3 is a body of California laws designed to protect children from suffering harm. Under this law, all individuals are required to report any suspected child abuse. Child abuse or neglect can be assessed by a physical injury or a bruise, sexual exploitation, negligent and mal treatment, willful harming and cruel, inhuman behavior with children are considered as child abuse.
To report a child abuse, one does not require to have an absolute proof of the abuse, rather any suspected signs and symptoms which can be seen in a child can be reported to law enforcement. The warning signs of an abuse could be inappropriate behavior of children, no love or attachment towards parents or care giver, inappropriate or extreme behavior. One does not have to disclose their identity to report abuse.
“An appropriate law enforcement agency may be one of the following:
- A Police or Sheriff’s Department (not including a school district police department or school security department).
- A County Probation Department, if designated by the county to receive child abuse reports.
- A County Welfare Department/County Child Protective Services.”
Professionals who are considered as mandated reporters are: school teachers, administrators, medical professional, day care facility employees, social workers etc.
Case Scenario: During home health visits to see an 80-y old bed ridden patient, a 5 year old grand daughter found performing minor household chores with inappropriate clothing and bruises on arms and slight redness on face. Step mother of the 5-year-old often seems very rude to the girl. Girl appeared dehydrated, unhygienic with same clothes on during each home health visits.