California Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA)
What is CANRA?
The California Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA) is a California mandate that was passed in 1980 to provide definitions and procedures for mandated reporting of child abuse. Over the years, numerous amendments have expanded the definition of child abuse and the persons required to report. The purpose is to protect minors from abuse and neglect as well as psychological harm.
What is a Mandated Reporter?
Under CANRA, Mandated reporters have a legal responsibility to report known or reasonably suspected child abuse or neglect. Reporters are those whose duties bring them in contact with minors on a regular basis. Reporters include employees such as faculty, academic personnel, student employees, and other administrators.
Who is a Mandated Reporter?
Mandated reporters include, but are not limited to, the following individuals who work with minors (i.e., persons under the age of 18) on a regular basis:
- An instructional aide or teacher’s assistant,
- An administrator or employee (including student employees) of a youth recreation program,
- Any athletic coach involved in coaching, assistant coach, or graduate assistant involved in coaching at a public or private postsecondary institution, and
- Any employee of a postsecondary institution, including the supervisor of such an employee, whose duties require regular contact with children.
Faculty members generally are not considered mandated reporters unless they work in a program specifically designed for minors.
Students providing services on behalf of the University without compensation are not treated as Mandated Reporters under CANRA. These individuals, however, are subject to the requirements contained in this Policy applicable to Mandated Reporters if their volunteer services involve contact with minors on a regular basis.
Volunteers do not have the same civil and legal penalties if there is a failure to report under CANRA, however; the University expects both to act as a Mandated Reporter.
For a complete list of all mandated reporters, see Section 11165.7(a) of CANRA
Mandated Reporter Steps
A Mandated Reporter must make the following reports whenever the individual, in their professional capacity or within the scope of their employment, has knowledge of or observes a person under the age of 18 years whom the Mandated Reporter knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect:
- First Report - Reporter shall make a verbal report immediately or as soon as practicable to any of the following: local law enforcement, child protective services, or county welfare departments.
- Second Report – The verbal report must be followed within 36 hours by a written report to the law enforcement, child protective agency, or county welfare department that the initial report was made to and will be investigating the incident. The investigating agency will ask you to complete the Suspected Child Abuse Report, Form 8572.
- Third Report - Reporters shall then make an internal report (can be anonymous) to their supervisors, through the University’s Whistleblower Hotline 1-800-316-4315, Public Safety, or a University Officer. Supervisors who receive reports should promptly forward those to a University Officer or to the University Whistleblower Hotline to be made anonymously.
An internal report is not a substitute for a Mandated Reporter’s required external reports under CANRA or other applicable laws.
It also is the policy of the University to require all employees (without regard to Mandated Reporter status), volunteers, students, and third party contractors to immediately report in writing to Public Safety or a University officer, any known or suspected child abuse or neglect that occurs on campus, in any off-campus University building or property, or in connection with any University-related program or activity in a manner consistent with this policy.
Possible Hotline Phone Numbers for Reporting
- San Francisco CPS Hotline: (415) 558-2650
- For a full list of CPS Hotline numbers across California please see Services Hotlines Across America
- San Francisco Human Services Agency: (800) 856-5553
- Acknowledgment to Report Child Abuse Form (CANRA)
- Used to document that individuals who are Mandated Reporters will comply with the reporting requirements set forth in this Policy.
- Release and Waiver of Liability, Assumption of Risk and Indemnity Agreement
- Used to obtain consent from the parent or legal guardian of a minor who will be participating in a University activity.
- Suspected Child Abuse Report, Form SS 8572
- Used to report suspected child abuse or neglect to an authorized law enforcement agency.
In general, faculty members are not Mandated Reporters because they normally teach only enrolled University students. However, a faculty member may meet the definition of a Mandated Reporter set forth in CANRA because of other duties performed by the individual. For example, a faculty member may:
- Instruct minors in connection with an academic program, lab training, or other enrichment activity.
- Interact with high school students as part of a University internship or recruiting program.
- Conduct a research study that utilizes volunteers who may be minors.
Under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA), certain University employees are required to report known or reasonably suspected cases of child abuse or neglect. Such employees are deemed to be “Mandated Reporters” and include, but are not limited to, the following positions:
- A teacher.
- An instructional aide or teacher’s assistant.
- An administrator or employee of a youth recreation program.
- An administrator or employee whose duties require direct contact and supervision of children.
- An administrator or employee whose duties bring the administrator or employee into contact with children on a regular basis, or who supervises those whose duties bring the administrator or employee into contact with children on a regular basis, as to child abuse or neglect occurring on the institution’s premises or at an official activity of, or program conducted by the institution.
- Child care employees.
- An employee of a police department or a peace officer.
- Members of the clergy.
- Any athletic coach, assistant coach, or graduate assistant involved in coaching.
- Health care professionals, including physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, residents, nurses, therapists, clinical counselors, and similar workers.
- Students providing services on behalf of the University without compensation are not treated as Mandated Reporters under CANRA. These individuals, however, are subject to the requirements contained in this Policy applicable to Mandated Reporters if their volunteer services involve contact with minors on a regular basis.
For a complete list of all mandated reporters, see Section 11165.7(a) of CANRA.
Under CANRA, the following forms for child abuse or neglect must be reported:
- Physical injury inflicted by other than accidental means [CANRA Section 11165.6].
- Sexual abuse, meaning sexual assault or sexual exploitation of a child [CANRA Section 11165.1].
- Sexual exploitation, meaning depicting a child in, or knowingly developing, duplicating, printing, downloading, streaming, accessing through any electronic or digital media, or exchanging, a film, photograph, videotape, video recording, negative, or slide in which a child is engaged in an act of obscene sexual conduct [CANRA Section 11165.1(c,d)].
- Neglect, meaning the negligent treatment, lack of treatment, or the maltreatment of a child by a person responsible for the child’s welfare under circumstances indicating harm or threatened harm to the child’s health or welfare [CANRA Section 11165.2].
Child abuse does not include “mutual affray” between minors (e.g., fist-fights).
For additional information on reportable conduct, see CANRA Code Sections 11165.1-11165.6.
As defined under CANRA, “reasonable suspicion” means that it is objectively reasonable for a person to entertain a suspicion, based upon facts that could cause a reasonable person in a like position, drawing, when appropriate, on his or her training and experience, to suspect child abuse or neglect. "Reasonable suspicion" does not require certainty that child abuse or neglect has occurred nor does it require a specific medical indication of child abuse or neglect; any "reasonable suspicion" will suffice. The pregnancy of a minor, however, does not, in and of itself, constitute a basis for a reasonable suspicion of sexual abuse [CANRA Section 11166(a)(1)].
An individual who does not have contact with minors on a “regular basis” may not have to undergo training and fingerprinting. Because the term “regular basis” is not defined under CANRA, questions regarding whether a particular individual would be treated as a Mandated Reporter or not should be referred to Risk Management, which will conduct a review of the job duties assigned to the position that involve contact with minors.
No. If you are a Mandated Reporter, informing your supervisor does not meet your legal obligation to call local law enforcement, child protective services, or county welfare departments. While you should promptly notify your supervisor, all employees, students, and volunteers who regularly work with minors are required to call local law enforcement, child protective services, or county welfare departments. If they reasonably suspect an occurrence of child abuse or neglect.
The certification mandate applies only to employees. However, the University may utilize the certification form as a means of notifying volunteers of statutory obligations and University expectations for reporting. This approach is particularly encouraged for volunteers who otherwise regularly interact with children through University programs. Volunteers do not have the same civil and legal penalties if there is a failure to report under CANRA, however; the University expects both to act as a Mandated Reporter.