Thursday, November 10, 2011

Nebraska law

Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect to law enforcement or the Department of Health and Human Services is the law in Nebraska.  The Statute is very clear:

28-711. Child subjected to abuse or neglect; report; contents; toll-free number.
(1) When any physician, medical institution, nurse, school employee, social worker, or other person has reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subjected to child abuse or neglect or observes such child being subjected to conditions or circumstances which reasonably would result in child abuse or neglect, he or she shall report such incident or cause a report of child abuse or neglect to be made to the proper law enforcement agency or to the department....

28-717. Violation; penalty.
Any person who willfully fails to make any report of child abuse or neglect required by section 28-711 shall be guilty of a Class III misdemeanor.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this.

Anonymous said...

Pennslyvania Code Section 23§6303, et seq.
What Constitutes Abuse Act which causes nonaccidental serious physical injury, sexual abuse/exploitation, serious physical neglect constituting prolonged or repeated lack of supervision or failure to provide essentials of life

Mandatory Reporting Required By Physician, coroner, dentist, chiropractor, hospital personnel, Christian Science practitioner, clergy, school teacher/nurse/administrator, social services worker, day care or child center worker, mental health professional, peace officer, law enforcement official, funeral director, foster care worker

Basis of Report of Abuse/neglect Reasonable cause to suspect (within their respective training) that child is abused
To Whom Reported Department of Public Welfare of the Commonwealth
Penalty for Failure to Report or False Reporting Summary offense for 1st violation; misdemeanor in 3rd degree for 2nd and subsequent offenses

Not a whole lot of difference from Nebraska law

Car 54

Observer said...

Conspicuously missing from the list of those legally required to report abuse are church officials. At least they aren't exempt from civil liability.

Tom Casady said...


Note the catch-all: "other person." That's everyone.

Steve said...

There must be something wrong with me. Law or no law, I have a hard time figuring out why anyone witnessing a serious crime wouldn't do something about it. Does it really matter if you're a teacher, a doctor, or a football coach?

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that Sandusky is just the tip of an iceberg. The Franklin Savings & Loan scandal during the 1980's brought up a lot of questions about pedophilia in Nebraska and Iowa that remain unanswered to this day. The Owens(?) girl that blew the whistle was the one that ended up doing time not the GUILTY parties. Pedophiles like Sandusky often get away with their behavior because of connections and influential people covering for them. I think we are seeing that at Penn State and it happened in Omaha during the 1980's.

Just my opinion,
Gun Nut

Steve said...

I read the 23-page grand jury report. Seems to me there were a heck of a lot of people who knew what was going on and kept it quiet for whatever reason. There were police officials as well as child welfare organizations that basically did nothing even after they were told. Keep in mind this went on for over 12 years (or more) with at least eight victims, most of whom are adults now. There almost had to be some "incentive" for this many people to keep quiet for so long.

Anonymous said...

Tom-On a lesser scale I'm reminded of the time I stopped a vehicle for running the flashing red at 2 AM at Cotner and A Streets at about 60 mph.

Driver-"After all I've done for the State of Nebraska, you surely aren't going to write me a ticket."

256-"Yes, Coach, I am."

It wasn't an assistant, and it wasn't Tom Osborne.

Sometimes they think they are invincible. In the end, they are just humans like the rest of us.


Tom Casady said...


Ah, yes. Cotner and A would be on the direct route from the Legionnaire Club to home.

Anonymous said...

Tom-Exactly, and he was borderline for me to call you and Din-Din. I'll tell you the rest of the story sometime privately. The ensuing conversation was priceless, and my career didn't end the next day as he indicated was his preference.



Steve: Our work world seems to have jobs and career ahead of common sense. The employee who complains about waste, or other issues at his-her work place is not going to get the promotion. Try it some time. So those in supervisors position have the final say, no matter what. Those people who kept the mouth shut did so out of fear, greed, and as a result of the work culture that is in almost all places, bar few. Will it change? Nope. Power, money, career position and the entire bucket of sewage all go in the sauce. Season to taste and serve.

Anonymous said...

Tom - From your post, it doesn't look like there's a big difference from what has been reported about PA's statute. The phrase "...or cause to be reported..." would seem to let someone off the hook just by telling some presumably responsible person, who would be expected to report it. So some Asst Coach could tell the Coach, who could tell...yadayadayada. Does it need to be tweaked? Like removing that phrase?

Clean Gene

Anonymous said...

Is the a statute of limitations on reporting abuse? If one had witnessed a child being hit by a staff member at a school a year ago, would it still be a valid report?

Tom Casady said...


"..or cause to be reported" may provide a little wiggle room. Nonetheless, if you clearly see nothing done as a result, I think it's safe to assume that whatever you did to "cause" the crime to be reported failed.

Anonymous said...

Tom - I don't want to belabor this, but once having reported to a "responsible" person, how is some lowly person going to know what happened? It could have been referred to a DA who declined to prosecute, and no one would ever know. The lowly person isn't going to go in and question the president. Way too much wriggle room.

I suggest the stature should require anyone witnessing such an offense to personnlly report it **directly** to law enforcement, with no delay and very slight leeway for an occassion when that may not be possible, an example of which I can't come up with right now. This would have been a help to the assistant coach who made the wrong decision because he didn't have clear direction. Assuming he knew or would know what the law said at all.


Anonymous said...

Centuries ago, when I was a student at UNL, I saw it this way: If an incident wasn't a crime, but just against "University Policy" - then I didn't care about it.

However, if it was a misdemeanor or felony crime, I'd have reported it to UNLPD, and if (after checking back regarding disposition) I didn't feel it was handled correctly, I'd have then reported it to NSP, and perhaps my Unicameral rep. Under no circumstances would I have gone anywhere but the cops, if I'd have witnessed a violent felony crime like 1D sexual assault on a child.