2017 ORS 418.258¹
Report of suspected abuse
  • notifications
  • investigation

(1) When the Department of Human Services becomes aware of a report of suspected child abuse of a child in care, whether in the form of an allegation, complaint or formal report made under this section, and whether made directly to the Director of Human Services, the department or an employee of the department, to a hotline operated by the department, through the mandatory abuse reporting process set forth in ORS 419B.005 (Definitions) to 419B.050 (Authority of health care provider to disclose information) or otherwise, the department shall immediately:

(a) Notify appropriate personnel within the department, including but not limited to employees responsible for licensing, certifying or authorizing child-caring agencies, certified foster homes and developmental disabilities residential facilities.

(b) Notify any governmental agency that has a contract with the child-caring agency, certified foster home or developmental disabilities residential facility to provide care or services to the child in care.

(c) Commence an investigation to determine whether the report of suspected abuse is substantiated, unsubstantiated or inconclusive under ORS 418.259 (Investigation of suspected abuse).

(d) Report to a law enforcement agency any crime that the department has reason to believe has occurred with respect to a child in care or at a child-caring agency, proctor foster home, certified foster home or developmental disabilities residential facility even if the suspected crime is not related to a report of abuse made under this section.

(2)(a) As a condition for issuance or renewal of a license, certificate or authorization to a child-caring agency, certified foster home or developmental disabilities residential facility, the department shall require and verify that the child-caring agency, certified foster home or developmental disabilities residential facility has procedures and protocols that:

(A) Require employees of the child-caring agency, a proctor foster home certified by the child-caring agency, the certified foster home or the developmental disabilities residential facility to immediately report suspected abuse of a child in care to the director, the director’s designee or personnel within the department who have been specifically designated to receive reports of abuse of children in care;

(B) Mandate that the child-caring agency, certified foster home or developmental disabilities residential facility provide an annual training and written materials that include information about the child abuse reporting hotline, and that the agency, home or facility advise and educate employees of the child-caring agency and any proctor foster home certified by the child-caring agency, of the certified foster home or of the developmental disabilities residential facility of the duty under this section and ORS 419B.005 (Definitions) to 419B.050 (Authority of health care provider to disclose information) to report abuse of a child in care; and

(C) Inform employees of child-caring agencies, proctor foster homes, certified foster homes and developmental disabilities residential facilities that the duty to report abuse of a child in care is personal to the employee and that the duty is not fulfilled by reporting the abuse to the owner, operator or any other employee of the child-caring agency, proctor foster home, certified foster home or developmental disabilities residential facility even if the owner, operator or other employee reports the abuse of a child in care to the director, the director’s designee or the department.

(b) A child-caring agency, certified foster home or developmental disabilities residential facility need not develop and maintain procedures and protocols or provide an annual training and written materials under paragraph (a) of this subsection if the agency, home or facility does not have any employees, staff or volunteers.

(3) Interference or hindering an investigation of abuse of a child in care, including but not limited to the intimidation of witnesses, falsification of records or denial or limitation of interviews with the child in care who is the subject of the investigation or with witnesses, may constitute grounds for the revocation, suspension or placing of conditions on the license, certificate or other authorization of a child-caring agency, proctor foster home, certified foster home or developmental disabilities residential facility.

(4)(a) Anyone, including but not limited to an employee of a child-caring agency, proctor foster home, certified foster home or developmental disabilities residential facility, who makes a report of suspected abuse of a child in care to the Governor, the Department of Justice, the Director of Human Services, the director’s designee or the department under this section in good faith and who has reasonable grounds for the making of the report shall have immunity:

(A) From any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed with respect to the making or content of such report;

(B) From disciplinary action taken by the person’s employer; and

(C) With respect to participating in any judicial proceeding resulting from or involving the report.

(b) A person making a report under this section may include references to otherwise confidential information for the sole purpose of making the report, and any such disclosure must be protected from further disclosure to other persons or entities for any other purpose not related to the making of the report. [2016 c.106 §37; 2017 c.448 §3; 2017 c.733 §2]

Note: See note under 418.257 (Definitions for ORS 418.257 to 418.259).

Chapter 418

Notes of Decisions

Where plaintiffs brought ac­tion under 42 U.S.C. 1983 alleging viola­tion of federal civil rights after defendant Children’s Services Division employees removed plaintiffs’ child from home following reports of abuse, CSD workers entitled to absolute immunity in investiga­tion, taking child into custody and keeping plaintiffs from visiting child. Tennyson v. Children’s Services Division, 308 Or 80, 775 P2d 1365 (1989)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 418—Child Welfare Services, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors418.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 418, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano418.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.