[Libs-Or] FW: mandatory reporting question and confidentiality

Rawles-Heiser, Carolyn Carolyn.Rawles-Heiser at corvallisoregon.gov
Tue Oct 2 12:01:26 PDT 2012

Last week someone asked the list about mandatory child abuse reporting and confidentiality.  Here is the response from our City Attorney with an excerpt from our confidentiality policy.  I thought this would be helpful.

Carolyn Rawles-Heiser
Library Director
Corvallis--Benton County Public Library
645 NW Monroe Ave.
Corvallis, OR  97330

From: City Attorney Brewer
Sent: Tuesday, October 02, 2012 11:57 AM
To: Rawles-Heiser, Carolyn
Subject: RE: mandatory reporting question


I think the policy already allows this:

1.07.033         The Corvallis-Benton County Public Library reserves the right to use library records for administrative and safety purposes, such as recovering overdue materials, payment for lost items, customer surveys, administrative mailings, or assisting in the investigation of crimes committed at the Library.  The Library does not allow use of library records for fund-raising or political purposes.

Child abuse is a crime.  As a mandatory reporter, a library employee is to report, if known, names and addresses of the child and parents or other persons caring for the child, the age of the child, the nature and extent of the abuse, including any evidence of previous abuse, the explanation given for the abuse, and any other information.  Under the current policy a library employee may provide names, addresses, etc. to assist in the investigation of that crime.

ORS 419B.010 establishes the duty to report and does not relieve a person of that duty (or of civil liability for failing to report) because of the confidentiality of library records.   The state legislature made a decision to relieve a narrow group of mandatory reporters from the duty to report if the communication is  privileged under ORS 40.225 to 40.295.  Library employees are not within that narrow group.


From: Rawles-Heiser, Carolyn [mailto:Carolyn.Rawles-Heiser at corvallisoregon.gov]
Sent: Tuesday, October 02, 2012 8:41 AM
To: City Attorney Brewer
Subject: mandatory reporting question

Hi Jim,
A question came up regarding mandatory reporting.   If we are required to report suspected child abuse, are we also required to use our online system to provide authorities with the name, address, etc of the suspected abuser (in the absence of a court order)?   How does that dovetail with our confidentiality policy?

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