Gov. John Hickenlooper added his signature today to bipartisan legislation expanding the list of professionals who by law must report suspected child abuse and neglect.
House Bill 1185 adds officials and employees of county departments of health, human and social services to the statutory list of mandatory reporters of child abuse.
As we noted in an earlier mention of this bill, experts say stopping child abuse or neglect hinges in large part on spotting its signs. That’s why authorities want professionals who routinely have the closest contact with kids — such as physicians or teachers — to be alert and be ready to report indications a child may have been subject to abuse or neglect.
More than 19,000 reports of child abuse and neglect were handled by Colorado state officials over the past two years, with the Department of Human Services assessing the conditions of over 10,000 children.
HB 1185, sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, in the House and Sen. Jim Smallwood, R-Parker, in the Senate takes effect Sept. 1.