U.S. Senator Robert Menendez announced that he plans to introduce the Child Abuse Reporting Enforcement (CARE) Act that would require states to mandate the reporting of child abuse to law enforcement and child protective services in order to receive federal social services funding, and to make it a felony for any individual who fails to report such abuse.
“If common sense doesn’t dictate when and to whom an adult should report child abuse, this law will,” said Menendez. “The bottom line is simple: If you see something, say something.”
The goal of the Menendez legislation is to create consistency among state child abuse reporting laws. The Senator’s bill would require a penalty of at least a year in prison and would specify that all witnesses report abuse to the law enforcement authorities and child protective services. Recent events surrounding child abuse allegations at Penn State University underscored the lack of uniformity in child abuse reporting laws among states.