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48.981(1)(h)2. 2. A person who is suspected of abuse or neglect or who has been determined to have abused or neglected a child or to have abused an unborn child.
48.981(1)(i) (i) "Tribal agent" means the person designated under 25 CFR 23.12 by an Indian tribe to receive notice of involuntary child custody proceedings under the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 USC 1901 to 1963.
48.981(2) (2)Persons required to report.
48.981(2)(a)(a) Any of the following persons who has reasonable cause to suspect that a child seen by the person in the course of professional duties has been abused or neglected or who has reason to believe that a child seen by the person in the course of professional duties has been threatened with abuse or neglect and that abuse or neglect of the child will occur shall, except as provided under subs. (2m) and (2r), report as provided in sub. (3):
48.981(2)(a)1. 1. A physician.
48.981(2)(a)2. 2. A coroner.
48.981(2)(a)3. 3. A medical examiner.
48.981(2)(a)4. 4. A nurse.
48.981(2)(a)5. 5. A dentist.
48.981(2)(a)6. 6. A chiropractor.
48.981(2)(a)7. 7. An optometrist.
48.981(2)(a)8. 8. An acupuncturist.
48.981(2)(a)9. 9. A medical or mental health professional not otherwise specified in this paragraph.
48.981(2)(a)10. 10. A social worker.
48.981(2)(a)11. 11. A marriage and family therapist.
48.981(2)(a)12. 12. A professional counselor.
48.981(2)(a)13. 13. A public assistance worker, including a financial and employment planner, as defined in s. 49.141 (1) (d).
48.981(2)(a)14. 14. A school teacher.
48.981(2)(a)15. 15. A school administrator
48.981(2)(a)16. 16. A school counselor.
48.981(2)(a)16m. 16m. A school employee not otherwise specified in this paragraph.
48.981(2)(a)17. 17. A mediator under s. 767.405.
48.981(2)(a)18. 18. A child care worker in a child care center, group home, or residential care center for children and youth.
48.981(2)(a)19. 19. A child care provider.
48.981(2)(a)20. 20. An alcohol or other drug abuse counselor.
48.981(2)(a)21. 21. A member of the treatment staff employed by or working under contract with a county department under s. 46.23, 51.42, or 51.437 or a residential care center for children and youth.
48.981(2)(a)22. 22. A physical therapist.
48.981(2)(a)22m. 22m. A physical therapist assistant.
48.981(2)(a)23. 23. An occupational therapist.
48.981(2)(a)24. 24. A dietitian.
48.981(2)(a)25. 25. A speech-language pathologist.
48.981(2)(a)26. 26. An audiologist.
48.981(2)(a)27. 27. An emergency medical technician.
48.981(2)(a)28. 28. A first responder.
48.981(2)(a)29. 29. A police or law enforcement officer.
48.981(2)(b) (b) A court-appointed special advocate who has reasonable cause to suspect that a child seen in the course of activities under s. 48.236 (3) has been abused or neglected or who has reason to believe that a child seen in the course of those activities has been threatened with abuse and neglect and that abuse or neglect of the child will occur shall, except as provided in subs. (2m) and (2r), report as provided in sub. (3).
48.981(2)(bm)1.1. Except as provided in subd. 3. and subs. (2m) and (2r), a member of the clergy shall report as provided in sub. (3) if the member of the clergy has reasonable cause to suspect that a child seen by the member of the clergy in the course of his or her professional duties:
48.981(2)(bm)1.a. a. Has been abused, as defined in s. 48.02 (1) (b) to (f); or
48.981(2)(bm)1.b. b. Has been threatened with abuse, as defined in s. 48.02 (1) (b) to (f), and abuse of the child will likely occur.
48.981(2)(bm)2. 2. Except as provided in subd. 3. and subs. (2m) and (2r), a member of the clergy shall report as provided in sub. (3) if the member of the clergy has reasonable cause, based on observations made or information that he or she receives, to suspect that a member of the clergy has done any of the following:
48.981(2)(bm)2.a. a. Abused a child, as defined in s. 48.02 (1) (b) to (f).
48.981(2)(bm)2.b. b. Threatened a child with abuse, as defined in s. 48.02 (1) (b) to (f), and abuse of the child will likely occur.
48.981(2)(bm)3. 3. A member of the clergy is not required to report child abuse information under subd. 1. or 2. that he or she receives solely through confidential communications made to him or her privately or in a confessional setting if he or she is authorized to hear or is accustomed to hearing such communications and, under the disciplines, tenets, or traditions of his or her religion, has a duty or is expected to keep those communications secret. Those disciplines, tenets, or traditions need not be in writing.
48.981(2)(c) (c) Any person not otherwise specified in par. (a), (b), or (bm), including an attorney, who has reason to suspect that a child has been abused or neglected or who has reason to believe that a child has been threatened with abuse or neglect and that abuse or neglect of the child will occur may report as provided in sub. (3).
48.981(2)(d) (d) Any person, including an attorney, who has reason to suspect that an unborn child has been abused or who has reason to believe that an unborn child is at substantial risk of abuse may report as provided in sub. (3).
48.981(2)(e) (e) No person making a report under this subsection in good faith may be discharged from employment, disciplined or otherwise discriminated against in regard to employment, or threatened with any such treatment for so doing.
48.981(2m) (2m)Exception to reporting requirement; health care services.
48.981(2m)(a)(a) The purpose of this subsection is to allow children to obtain confidential health care services.
48.981(2m)(b) (b) In this subsection:
48.981(2m)(b)1. 1. "Health care provider" means a physician, as defined under s. 448.01 (5), a physician assistant, as defined under s. 448.01 (6), or a nurse holding a certificate of registration under s. 441.06 (1) or a license under s. 441.10 (3).
48.981(2m)(b)2. 2. "Health care service" means family planning services, as defined in s. 253.07 (1) (b), 1995 stats., pregnancy testing, obstetrical health care or screening, diagnosis and treatment for a sexually transmitted disease.
48.981(2m)(c) (c) Except as provided under pars. (d) and (e), the following persons are not required to report as suspected or threatened abuse, as defined in s. 48.02 (1) (b), sexual intercourse or sexual contact involving a child:
48.981(2m)(c)1. 1. A health care provider who provides any health care service to a child.
48.981(2m)(c)4. 4. A person who obtains information about a child who is receiving or has received health care services from a health care provider.
48.981(2m)(d) (d) Any person described under par. (c) 1. or 4. shall report as required under sub. (2) if he or she has reason to suspect any of the following:
48.981(2m)(d)1. 1. That the sexual intercourse or sexual contact occurred or is likely to occur with a caregiver.
48.981(2m)(d)2. 2. That the child suffered or suffers from a mental illness or mental deficiency that rendered or renders the child temporarily or permanently incapable of understanding or evaluating the consequences of his or her actions.
48.981(2m)(d)3. 3. That the child, because of his or her age or immaturity, was or is incapable of understanding the nature or consequences of sexual intercourse or sexual contact.
48.981(2m)(d)4. 4. That the child was unconscious at the time of the act or for any other reason was physically unable to communicate unwillingness to engage in sexual intercourse or sexual contact.
48.981(2m)(d)5. 5. That another participant in the sexual contact or sexual intercourse was or is exploiting the child.
48.981(2m)(e) (e) In addition to the reporting requirements under par. (d), a person described under par. (c) 1. or 4. shall report as required under sub. (2) if he or she has any reasonable doubt as to the voluntariness of the child's participation in the sexual contact or sexual intercourse.
48.981(2r) (2r)Exception to reporting requirement; person delegated parental powers. A person delegated care and custody of a child under s. 48.979 is not required to report as provided in sub. (3) any suspected or threatened abuse or neglect of the child as required under sub. (2) (a), (b), or (bm) or (2m) (d) or (e). Such a person who has reason to suspect that the child has been abused or neglected or who has reason to believe that the child has been threatened with abuse or neglect and that abuse or neglect of the child will occur may report as provided in sub. (3).
48.981(3) (3)Reports; investigation.
48.981(3)(a)(a) Referral of report.
48.981(3)(a)1.1. A person required to report under sub. (2) shall immediately inform, by telephone or personally, the county department or, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, the department or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department or the sheriff or city, village, or town police department of the facts and circumstances contributing to a suspicion of child abuse or neglect or of unborn child abuse or to a belief that abuse or neglect will occur.
48.981(3)(a)2. 2. The sheriff or police department shall within 12 hours, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, or legal holidays, refer to the county department or, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, the department or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department all of the following types of cases reported to the sheriff or police department:
48.981(3)(a)2.a. a. Cases in which a caregiver is suspected of abuse or neglect or of threatened abuse or neglect of a child.
48.981(3)(a)2.b. b. Cases in which a caregiver is suspected of facilitating or failing to take action to prevent the suspected or threatened abuse or neglect of a child.
48.981(3)(a)2.c. c. Cases in which it cannot be determined who abused or neglected or threatened to abuse or neglect a child.
48.981(3)(a)2.d. d. Cases in which there is reason to suspect that an unborn child has been abused or there is reason to believe that an unborn child is at substantial risk of abuse.
48.981(3)(a)2d. 2d. The sheriff or police department may refer to the county department or, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, the department or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department a case reported to the sheriff or police department in which a person who is not a caregiver is suspected of abuse or of threatened abuse of a child.
48.981(3)(a)2g. 2g. The county department, department, or licensed child welfare agency may require that a subsequent report of a case referred under subd. 2. or 2d. be made in writing.
48.981(3)(a)3. 3. Except as provided in sub. (3m), a county department, the department, or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department shall within 12 hours, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, or legal holidays, refer to the sheriff or police department all cases of suspected or threatened abuse, as defined in s. 48.02 (1) (b) to (f), reported to it. For cases of suspected or threatened abuse, as defined in s. 48.02 (1) (a), (am), (g), or (gm), or neglect, each county department, the department, and a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department shall adopt a written policy specifying the kinds of reports it will routinely report to local law enforcement authorities.
48.981(3)(a)4. 4. If the report is of suspected or threatened abuse, as defined in s. 48.02 (1) (b) to (f), the sheriff or police department and the county department, department, or licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department shall coordinate the planning and execution of the investigation of the report.
48.981(3)(b) (b) Duties of local law enforcement agencies.
48.981(3)(b)1.1. Any person reporting under this section may request an immediate investigation by the sheriff or police department if the person has reason to suspect that the health or safety of a child or of an unborn child is in immediate danger. Upon receiving such a request, the sheriff or police department shall immediately investigate to determine if there is reason to believe that the health or safety of the child or unborn child is in immediate danger and take any necessary action to protect the child or unborn child.
48.981(3)(b)2. 2. If the investigating officer has reason under s. 48.19 (1) (c) or (cm) or (d) 5. or 8. to take a child into custody, the investigating officer shall take the child into custody and deliver the child to the intake worker under s. 48.20.
48.981(3)(b)2m. 2m. If the investigating officer has reason under s. 48.193 (1) (c) or (d) 2. to take the adult expectant mother of an unborn child into custody, the investigating officer shall take the adult expectant mother into custody and deliver the adult expectant mother to the intake worker under s. 48.203.
48.981(3)(b)3. 3. If the sheriff or police department determines that criminal action is necessary, the sheriff or police department shall refer the case to the district attorney for criminal prosecution. Each sheriff and police department shall adopt a written policy specifying the kinds of reports of suspected or threatened abuse, as defined in s. 48.02 (1) (b) to (f), that the sheriff or police department will routinely refer to the district attorney for criminal prosecution.
48.981(3)(bm) (bm) Notice of report to Indian tribal agent. In a county that has wholly or partially within its boundaries a federally recognized Indian reservation or a bureau of Indian affairs service area for the Ho-Chunk tribe, if a county department that receives a report under par. (a) pertaining to a child or unborn child knows or has reason to know that the child is an Indian child who resides in the county or that the unborn child is an Indian unborn child whose expectant mother resides in the county, the county department shall provide notice, which shall consist only of the name and address of the Indian child or expectant mother and the fact that a report has been received about that Indian child or Indian unborn child, within 24 hours to one of the following:
48.981(3)(bm)1. 1. If the county department knows with which Indian tribe the child is affiliated, or with which Indian tribe the Indian unborn child, when born, may be eligible for affiliation, and the Indian tribe is a Wisconsin Indian tribe, the tribal agent of that tribe.
48.981(3)(bm)2. 2. If the county department does not know with which Indian tribe the child is affiliated, or with which Indian tribe the Indian unborn child, when born, may be eligible for affiliation, or the child or expectant mother is not affiliated with a Wisconsin Indian tribe, the tribal agent serving the reservation or Ho-Chunk service area where the child or expectant mother resides.
48.981(3)(bm)3. 3. If neither subd. 1. nor 2. applies, any tribal agent serving a reservation or Ho-Chunk service area in the county.
48.981(3)(c) (c) Duties of county departments.
48.981(3)(c)1.a.a. Immediately after receiving a report under par. (a), the agency shall evaluate the report to determine whether there is reason to suspect that a caregiver has abused or neglected the child, has threatened the child with abuse or neglect, or has facilitated or failed to take action to prevent the suspected or threatened abuse or neglect of the child. Except as provided in sub. (3m), if the agency determines that a caregiver is suspected of abuse or neglect or of threatened abuse or neglect of the child, determines that a caregiver is suspected of facilitating or failing to take action to prevent the suspected or threatened abuse or neglect of the child, or cannot identify an individual who is suspected of abuse or neglect or of threatened abuse or neglect of the child, within 24 hours after receiving the report the agency shall, in accordance with the authority granted to the department under s. 48.48 (17) (a) 1. or the county department under s. 48.57 (1) (a), initiate a diligent investigation to determine if the child is in need of protection or services. If the agency determines that a person who is not a caregiver is suspected of abuse or of threatened abuse, the agency may, in accordance with that authority, initiate a diligent investigation to determine if the child is in need or protection or services. Within 24 hours after receiving a report under par. (a) of suspected unborn child abuse, the agency, in accordance with that authority, shall initiate a diligent investigation to determine if the unborn child is in need of protection or services. An investigation under this subd. 1. a. shall be conducted in accordance with standards established by the department for conducting child abuse and neglect investigations or unborn child abuse investigations.
48.981(3)(c)1.b. b. If the investigation is of a report of child abuse or neglect or of threatened child abuse or neglect by a caregiver specified in sub. (1) (am) 5. to 8. who continues to have access to the child or a caregiver specified in sub. (1) (am) 1. to 4., or of a report that does not disclose who is suspected of the child abuse or neglect and in which the investigation does not disclose who abused or neglected the child, the investigation shall also include observation of or an interview with the child, or both, and, if possible, an interview with the child's parents, guardian, or legal custodian. If the investigation is of a report of child abuse or neglect or threatened child abuse or neglect by a caregiver who continues to reside in the same dwelling as the child, the investigation shall also include, if possible, a visit to that dwelling. At the initial visit to the child's dwelling, the person making the investigation shall identify himself or herself and the agency involved to the child's parents, guardian, or legal custodian. The agency may contact, observe, or interview the child at any location without permission from the child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian if necessary to determine if the child is in need of protection or services, except that the person making the investigation may enter a child's dwelling only with permission from the child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian or after obtaining a court order permitting the person to do so.
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated though 2013 Wis. Act 200 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before April 11, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after April 11, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 4-11-14)