Attorney General Sam Olens is alerting Georgians that beginning July 1, 2012, volunteers who work with children will be required by law to report suspected child abuse. The new mandatory reporting requirement is a provision in HB 1176, the criminal justice reform bill signed by Governor Nathan Deal on May 2, 2012.
Specifically, HB 1176 changes the definition of “child service organization personnel” to include volunteers. The new law defines “child service organization personnel” as follows:
‘Child service organization personnel' means persons employed by or volunteering at a business or an organization, whether public, private, for profit, not for profit, or voluntary, that provides care, treatment, education, training, supervision, coaching, counseling, recreational programs, or shelter to children.
“From an ethical and moral standpoint, volunteers who work with children already have an obligation to report suspected child abuse,” said Olens. “HB 1176 simply makes this obligation a requirement by law.”