Who Is Considered a Mandated Reporter in Missouri?  

Potential sex crimes or incidents of abuse or neglect are required to be reported by certain people in Missouri, known as mandated reporters. The purpose of mandated reporters is to protect vulnerable populations from sexual offenses, such as sexual assault, child molestation or rape, and to connect victims to the resources that they need. Mandated reporters are required to seek protective services for someone who has been subjected to abuse or neglect.

What Is a Mandated Reporter?

A mandated reporter under Revised Statutes of Missouri, RSMo Section 192.2405 is a person with a certain occupation that is mandated by law to file a report regarding a potential case of the abuse or neglect of a vulnerable person. If a worker, such as a teacher or paramedic, suspects that a child is being sexually abused, for example, the worker is legally required to report this suspicion to the proper authorities. Failing to report neglect or abuse as a mandated reporter can have serious consequences. The purpose of Missouri’s mandated reporter requirement is to connect victims to the help and support that they need.

Who Are Mandated Reporters in Missouri?

Mandated reporters are typically people who work directly with vulnerable populations, such as children, the infirm or the elderly. They are individuals in occupations that are likely to be in a position to discover potential abuse or neglect, such as counselors, health care providers and law enforcement officers. They may also be individuals who are able to provide assistance to victims based on their jobs. Missouri law lists the following as mandated reporters:

  • Adult Day Care Worker
  • Chiropractor
  • Christian Science Practitioner
  • Coroner
  • Dentist
  • Embalmer
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Employee of the Department of Social Services
  • Employee of the Department of Mental Health
  • Employee of Department of Health and Senior Services
  • Employee of a local Area Agency on Aging Program
  • Firefighter
  • First Responder
  • Funeral Director
  • Home Health Agency or Home Health Agency employee
  • Hospital and Clinic Personnel
  • In-Home Services Owner, Provider, Operator or Employee
  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Long-Term Care Facility Administrator or Employee
  • Medical Examiner
  • Medical Resident or Intern
  • Mental Health Professional
  • Minister
  • Nurse
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Optometrist
  • Other Health Practitioner
  • Peace Officer
  • Personal Care Attendant
  • Pharmacist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Physician
  • Physician’s Assistant
  • Podiatrist
  • Probation or Parole Officer
  • Psychologist
  • Social Worker
  • Vendor of the Personal Care Attendant Program

The law also states that any person who has reasonable cause to suspect that an eligible adult is showing a likelihood of suffering serious physical harm or bullying and is in need of protective services becomes a mandated reporter. An eligible adult is defined as someone who is 60 or older and who is unable to protect his or her own interests or obtain services that are necessary to meet his or her essential human needs.

What Are a Mandated Reporter’s Responsibilities?

In Missouri, anyone who qualifies as a mandated reporter is legally required to immediately report his or her suspicions to the Children’s Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services. Failing to do so could result in criminal charges against the mandated reporter, along with penalties such as a fine and even jail time. The mandated reporter must file a report orally or in writing, and it must include the following information:

  • The reporter’s identity (as of August 28, 2004).
  • The alleged victim’s name, age and address.
  • The name and address of the person responsible for caring for the alleged victim.
  • The nature and extent of the alleged victim’s condition.
  • Any other relevant information about the incident.

Mandated reporters can file their reports by calling (800) 392-3738, emailing the department or contacting their local office. The department also offers an online reporting system. The department will then conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of the report to determine if the individual is in need of protective services. If so, the department will arrange these services as necessary.

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