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The Mormon Church has long thought of BSA as a subsidiary of LDS, Inc., and for good reason. 

The Mormon Church goes back to the beginning of BSA, actually before BSA. LDS was the very FIRST Chartering Organization. The Mormon Church folded its Pioneers scouting program into BSA in approximately 1917. 

It became the largest CO with over 40% of all troops. It approached scouting differently than other chartering organizations. 

It used its association with BSA as a way to mainstream away from its terrible public image coming out of the polygamy criminal prosecutions and near forced-dissolution by the United States government in the 1870's, and as a recruitment tool. Join our scout troop and pretty soon the boy is baptized LDS and attending Sunday Sacrament meetings.

Scouting was the exclusive youth program for males in the Church. Scouting and the Mormon priesthood progression were mirror images. Scouting was virtually mandatory for LDS boys, if not officially then culturally.

Every LDS ward and branch in the US sponsored a troop. There were over 10,000 wards and branches. 

Unlike all other troops, the Church, not the individual scout, paid the annual registration fees. This gave the Church outsize representation on the National and LC boards through which it steered BSA from a mainstream organization to one in line with the Church's view of morality and civic virtue.

To emphasize the point, every year the Church would send a leader to BSA headquarters with its check for payment for the registrations of millions of LDS scouts. A very big check indeed and one which reminded BSA National who the boss was. 

As noted in my previous post, when BSA initiated the Three R's program in the late 80's as a "public service" project to educate scouts about child molesters, LDS refused to allow the program to be shown in LDS sponsored troops. This is just one example of how LDS thwarted BSA's efforts to come to grips with sexual abuse in scouting nearly 40 years ago. 

A bigger issue concerns a fundamental conflict BSA's perversion file system had with LDS religious teachings.

The Church instructs its members and especially its bishops and stake presidents that the church is about repentance and forgiveness of sin. It instructs that if a child molester i.e. "sinner" has repented to the bishop, he must be forgiven and restored to the position he was in before he sinned and repented. There are numerous IV files with correspondence between a bishop and BSA Confidential Records Section arguing with BSA's refusal to reinstate a previously removed abuser.

Eventually, unless there was an arrest and media coverage and brought to BSA National's attention, the abuser was simply dealt with (mostly not) by the ward bishop through "the repentance process." The Mormon Church basically recycles child molesters and justifies it arguing religious freedom that is protected by the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. 

I find it especially galling that the LDS Church has filed proofs of claim in the bankruptcy arguing that BSA National was responsible to indemnify the LDS Church for its own willful and wanton misconduct. I

In reality, the LDS Church is the primary at fault entity in LDS-BSA cases. It ran the program. It selected the scout leader. It assumed responsibility for selection, retention and monitoring of adult leaders. 

I don't see how the LDS Church can be released and discharged in this bankruptcy without making a massive financial payment to the settlement trust. And I don't see that happening, at least not in the time allotted by this rapidly collapsing bankruptcy case. 

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This thread started in the bankruptcy thread with a post about the LDS relationship with BSA and a statement that the LDS is more at fault than BSA and should contribute a large amount to the settleme

Just watched the new YPT3.0 training one of our soon to be new committee members did tonite. In the training it states #1 job is to remove the Scout from the situation and make sure they are safe #2 i

That's quite the claim to make after lambasting our faith in this way, don't you think? 🙄

On 5/29/2021 at 6:11 PM, Muttsy said:

[The LDS Church] instructs that if a child molester i.e. "sinner" has repented to the bishop, he must be forgiven and restored to the position he was in before he sinned and repented.

It is false that an LDS member can "repent" without a report to civil authorities, or that a sinner "must" be restored to his prior calling. The church's current policy on "Abuse" says,

Quote

The Church’s position is that abuse cannot be tolerated in any form. Those who abuse their spouses, children, other family members, or anyone else violate the laws of God and man.

All members, especially parents and leaders, are encouraged to be alert and diligent and do all they can to protect children and others against abuse. If members become aware of instances of abuse, they report it to civil authorities and counsel with the bishop. Church leaders should take reports of abuse seriously and never disregard them. [...]

When abuse occurs, the first and immediate responsibility of Church leaders is to help those who have been abused and to protect vulnerable persons from future abuse. Leaders should not encourage a person to remain in a home or situation that is abusive or unsafe. [...]

Sometimes victims have feelings of shame or guilt. Victims are not guilty of sin. [...]

Stake presidents and bishops should help those who have committed abuse to repent and to cease their abusive behavior. If an adult has committed a sexual sin against a child, the behavior may be very difficult to change. The process of repentance may be very prolonged. [...]

If a bishop or stake president learns of or suspects child or youth abuse, he promptly follows the instructions in 38.6.2.1. He also takes action to help protect against further abuse.

A Church membership council [that is, the formal process that could lead to excommunication] and record annotation [a confidential, lifelong note that the person should never be given any calling working with children or youth] are required if an adult member abuses a child or youth as described in this section.

If you instead meant to write that, at some time in the past, some members and leaders believed such a concept... in a church with millions of members, and tens of thousands of bishops, there may have been some who justified sin by adopting a definition of "sexual relations" like the one Bill Clinton used during his famous deposition, or who believed that in their particular case a report was not necessary, or that unique circumstances justified giving someone a second chance.

But there are a couple of stories in documents the LDS church considers scripture, and with which most active adult members should have been familiar in 1950, and 1970, and 1990, which refute the proposition that a sinner can receive all the responsibilities in this life that he would have had if he had not sinned:

  • In the Bible, in 2 Samuel 11, king David committed sexual sin with Bathsheba, the wife of one of his soldiers, and then tried to cover it up by arranging for that soldier's death. He had wanted to build the Temple, but that work was given to his son Solomon. Doctrine and Covenants 132:39 says that "therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion".
  • The first scribe to write the manuscript of the Book of Mormon was Martin Harris. However, after he borrowed the first 116 pages with the stated purpose of showing them to his wife, then showed them to others and lost them, he was never permitted to serve as scribe for the translation of that work again.

And the TCC's claim summary (as well as the BSA summary of claims in the latest draft Plan) shows that the LDS church is identified as CO in far less than 40% of the claims (3.5% of those that identified a CO, fewer than the Methodist, Catholic or Baptist ones). And I doubt that the proportion of LDS-related claims in the 25% or so of claims that do not identify a CO is any different; if anything, it's probably lower, because LDS units almost always met in the church, while it was non-LDS units that sometimes were chartered by one church or fraternal organization or "parent committee" but met elsewhere.

I would invite you to support your claim of "numerous" cases in the public IV files where LDS bishops "argued" with National over a volunteer's eligibility by posting a list of citations to specific files, and then we can talk about how those relate to the bankruptcy. (Or, in another thread, we can talk about the lessons for public policy, or for the proper running of a Scouting program.)

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1 hour ago, DavidLeeLambert said:

It is false that an LDS member can "repent" without a report to civil authorities, or that a sinner "must" be restored to his prior calling. The church's current policy on "Abuse" says,

If you instead meant to write that, at some time in the past, some members and leaders believed such a concept... in a church with millions of members, and tens of thousands of bishops, there may have been some who justified sin by adopting a definition of "sexual relations" like the one Bill Clinton used during his famous deposition, or who believed that in their particular case a report was not necessary, or that unique circumstances justified giving someone a second chance.

But there are a couple of stories in documents the LDS church considers scripture, and with which most active adult members should have been familiar in 1950, and 1970, and 1990, which refute the proposition that a sinner can receive all the responsibilities in this life that he would have had if he had not sinned:

  • In the Bible, in 2 Samuel 11, king David committed sexual sin with Bathsheba, the wife of one of his soldiers, and then tried to cover it up by arranging for that soldier's death. He had wanted to build the Temple, but that work was given to his son Solomon. Doctrine and Covenants 132:39 says that "therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion".
  • The first scribe to write the manuscript of the Book of Mormon was Martin Harris. However, after he borrowed the first 116 pages with the stated purpose of showing them to his wife, then showed them to others and lost them, he was never permitted to serve as scribe for the translation of that work again.

And the TCC's claim summary (as well as the BSA summary of claims in the latest draft Plan) shows that the LDS church is identified as CO in far less than 40% of the claims (3.5% of those that identified a CO, fewer than the Methodist, Catholic or Baptist ones). And I doubt that the proportion of LDS-related claims in the 25% or so of claims that do not identify a CO is any different; if anything, it's probably lower, because LDS units almost always met in the church, while it was non-LDS units that sometimes were chartered by one church or fraternal organization or "parent committee" but met elsewhere.

I would invite you to support your claim of "numerous" cases in the public IV files where LDS bishops "argued" with National over a volunteer's eligibility by posting a list of citations to specific files, and then we can talk about how those relate to the bankruptcy. (Or, in another thread, we can talk about the lessons for public policy, or for the proper running of a Scouting program.)

The Handbook of Instructions in the LDS Church instructs (Ch. 10) on how to deal with child sexual abuse. If you are LDS clergy or former clergy you are acquainted with it. It instructs lower clergy to call the Church's law firm in Salt Lake, not the police or civil authorities. The perpetrator not the bishop is to turn himself in to the police but it advises the perpetrator to first lawyer up. LDS clergy are discouraged from getting involved with the legal system. The Church's focus is 100% focused on itself and zero percent on the abused child. It is focused on preventing lawsuits and scandal. 

The number of LDS related proofs of claim may be less than 40% but that is unsurprising given how the Church discourages victims from utilizing the legal system instead of the the internal church court disciplinary system which is where complaints to the bishop, if they make it that far, die. 

 

helplineintakeform whitepixels_Redacted.pdf

Edited by elitts
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1 hour ago, Muttsy said:

Seems entirely reasonable to me.  Different aspects of an organization are going to focus on only those aspects related to their purpose.  This form is about how the Abuse Line worker should deal with an accusation, it's not about how the church should handle the matter internally and it's not a general statement of priorities.

  • Encouraging the person who is making the complaint to report it themselves is a good idea because the person with first-hand knowledge is who the police are really going to need to talk to anyway.
  • Advising a perpetrator to retain legal counsel AND turn themselves in is also a good plan.  I don't care who has done what, our legal system is flawed enough that ANYONE, even a serial rapist, should be advised to retain counsel.  From a practical standpoint, it also reduces the chance that something will happen incorrectly in an investigation or arrest that results in the case being kicked for procedural reasons.
  • Telling an Abuse Line worker to call the legal counsel when an accusation does need to be reported is similarly the only practical way for an organization to deal with something like this.  Yes, it does increase the opportunities for a bad actor to intercept an accusation and attempt to cover it up, but it also makes sure that official reports get handled the right way each time and allows the organization to assign a report to a particular staff person to deal with it.  Having contacts with the police and DA be handled by helpline attendants would be hugely disruptive to the helpline and it's the wrong position for handling those issues anyway.

I have to imagine that if we could see the instructional documents for the legal counsel's office, somewhere in there you'd see instructions along the lines of "Contact community outreach to arrange for victim services".

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2 hours ago, elitts said:

Seems entirely reasonable to me.  Different aspects of an organization are going to focus on only those aspects related to their purpose.  This form is about how the Abuse Line worker should deal with an accusation, it's not about how the church should handle the matter internally and it's not a general statement of priorities.

  • Encouraging the person who is making the complaint to report it themselves is a good idea because the person with first-hand knowledge is who the police are really going to need to talk to anyway.
  • Advising a perpetrator to retain legal counsel AND turn themselves in is also a good plan.  I don't care who has done what, our legal system is flawed enough that ANYONE, even a serial rapist, should be advised to retain counsel.  From a practical standpoint, it also reduces the chance that something will happen incorrectly in an investigation or arrest that results in the case being kicked for procedural reasons.
  • Telling an Abuse Line worker to call the legal counsel when an accusation does need to be reported is similarly the only practical way for an organization to deal with something like this.  Yes, it does increase the opportunities for a bad actor to intercept an accusation and attempt to cover it up, but it also makes sure that official reports get handled the right way each time and allows the organization to assign a report to a particular staff person to deal with it.  Having contacts with the police and DA be handled by helpline attendants would be hugely disruptive to the helpline and it's the wrong position for handling those issues anyway.

I have to imagine that if we could see the instructional documents for the legal counsel's office, somewhere in there you'd see instructions along the lines of "Contact community outreach to arrange for victim services".

This seems very ineffective. The policy you see it you report it seems to be the standard of the day. 

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42 minutes ago, yknot said:

This seems very ineffective. The policy you see it you report it seems to be the standard of the day. 

I think you misunderstood the form.  That form, and my comments are all about how the abuse hotline folks are supposed to act upon complaints and "You see it you report it" is the preferred approach per their form.  It specifically specifies that the phone operator should urge the witness to report it to the police themselves. 

All those other actions detailed on the form are the ones the phone operator is supposed to take, not the person who witnessed the abuse.

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37 minutes ago, elitts said:

I think you misunderstood the form.  That form, and my comments are all about how the abuse hotline folks are supposed to act upon complaints and "You see it you report it" is the preferred approach per their form.  It specifically specifies that the phone operator should urge the witness to report it to the police themselves. 

All those other actions detailed on the form are the ones the phone operator is supposed to take, not the person who witnessed the abuse.

I'm not sure. I'm looking right at the bottom of the form and it says priest should never be advised to report abuse but that it should come from legal counsel. If I'm misreading that, by all means show me but it seems pretty clear. 

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13 hours ago, Muttsy said:

The Handbook of Instructions in the LDS Church instructs (Ch. 10) on how to deal with child sexual abuse. If you are LDS clergy or former clergy you are acquainted with it. It instructs lower clergy to call the Church's law firm in Salt Lake, not the police or civil authorities. The perpetrator not the bishop is to turn himself in to the police but it advises the perpetrator to first lawyer up. LDS clergy are discouraged from getting involved with the legal system. The Church's focus is 100% focused on itself and zero percent on the abused child. It is focused on preventing lawsuits and scandal. 

The number of LDS related proofs of claim may be less than 40% but that is unsurprising given how the Church discourages victims from utilizing the legal system instead of the the internal church court disciplinary system which is where complaints to the bishop, if they make it that far, die. 

 

helplineintakeform whitepixels_Redacted.pdf 190.68 kB · 2 downloads

If I may add some perspective here (I am a practicing Mormon and also a government attorney representing DCFS in my state):

The reason the LDS legal hotline exists is that penitent-priest privilege laws differ by state.  The Church was recently sued, for example, by a woman whose husband’s ecclesiastical leader *did* make a report to the authorities; she claimed he had violated the privilege and since he went to jail the wife demanded several million dollars in lost income, loss of consortium, ad nauseum.  The attorneys staffing the legal hotline give church leaders the resources they need to comply with the legal requirements that specifically apply to their home jurisdictions.

In my state, penitent-priest privilege does not apply to reports or confessions of child abuse; and because we are a Mormon-heavy state we frequently get DCFS cases that began with a referral from either LDS leaders or church attorneys acting on behalf of those leaders.  What Church practice was in the 1920s or 1950s or 1970s, I cannot say; though for whatever it’s worth (probably not much, in a forum such as this!) I am inclined to agree with Mr. Lambert that the LDS Church’s scriptures tend strongly towards the idea that “repentance” entails an obligation to square oneself with the law.

On a more pedantic note:  while I’d agree that the LDS Church was a strong voice for cultural conservatism within the BSA, I’m not sure it’s quite accurate to suggest that it was we who made the BSA adopt these policies in the first place. It’s not like we cast a mind-control ray at Baden-Powell in 1908 and forced him to tailor his program to biological males, for example; or to include duty to “God and King” in the original Scout Oath.  (If any of y’all know of a church that can do time-traveling mind control, please let me know.  I’d go to that church. ;)  )  

Edited by FormerCubmaster
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19 hours ago, yknot said:

I'm not sure. I'm looking right at the bottom of the form and it says priest should never be advised to report abuse but that it should come from legal counsel. If I'm misreading that, by all means show me but it seems pretty clear. 

You need to look at the whole text to get the context of that last line.  This whole form appears to primarily revolve around taking information from Priesthood Leaders who have had something confided to them and is not really aimed at people reporting things they have direct knowledge of. 

Quote

TELL PRIESTHOOD LEADER THAT NO IDENTIFYING INFORMATION SHOULD BE GIVEN...

It is important to have legal counsel involved in the discussions between priesthood leaders and Abuse Help Line Personnel in order to preserve the confidentiality of the information...

WORKERS SHOULD INSTRUCT PRIESTHOOD LEADERS TO ENCOURAGE AN INTERESTED PERSON TO REPORT THE ABUSE...

PERSONNEL SHOULD NEVER ADVISE A PRIESTHOOD LEADER TO REPORT ABUSE, COUNSEL OF THIS NATURE SHOULD COME ONLY FROM LEGAL COUNSEL.

All of these lines of text are talking about the Priests being informed of the abuse, not witnessing it themselves.  And what that final line means is that the standard process for the church officially relaying a 3rd party report of abuse is that the notification goes through the Legal Counsel office.  That seems entirely reasonable for any organization.  At the very least, I've never heard of any organization with required reporters that doesn't have a formal process for making those reports.  I know when my ex-wife was teaching, if they had suspicions of child abuse they had to report them up the line to the principal and then a meeting would be arranged with police or Protective Services to discuss the matter; the teachers certainly weren't instructed to just "go ahead and call the County without letting anyone here know".

 

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29 minutes ago, elitts said:

You need to look at the whole text to get the context of that last line.  This whole form appears to primarily revolve around taking information from Priesthood Leaders who have had something confided to them and is not really aimed at people reporting things they have direct knowledge of. 

All of these lines of text are talking about the Priests being informed of the abuse, not witnessing it themselves.  And what that final line means is that the standard process for the church officially relaying a 3rd party report of abuse is that the notification goes through the Legal Counsel office.  That seems entirely reasonable for any organization.  At the very least, I've never heard of any organization with required reporters that doesn't have a formal process for making those reports.  I know when my ex-wife was teaching, if they had suspicions of child abuse they had to report them up the line to the principal and then a meeting would be arranged with police or Protective Services to discuss the matter; the teachers certainly weren't instructed to just "go ahead and call the County without letting anyone here know".

 

 

A lot of the information in this seems to indicate differently.

https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/clergymandated.pdf

 

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53 minutes ago, yknot said:

A lot of the information in this seems to indicate differently.

https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/clergymandated.pdf

 

There is nothing in there that contradicts my point. (and actually the variety of information regarding reporting laws displayed there makes it that much more useful for a Priest to contact Legal before making their report)  Being a mandatory reporter has nothing to do with following protocol for your employer when the information you've got resulted from your employment.

Even in states where a Priest is a mandatory reporter with no recognition of confessional confidentiality, there's nothing that says "The mandatory reporter must report the abuse immediately without discussing it with anyone else"

So there would be nothing wrong legally or morally with a Priest following a policy to have their Legal Counsel department set up the meeting with police/Social Services so that they can report the abuse.

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3 hours ago, elitts said:

There is nothing in there that contradicts my point. (and actually the variety of information regarding reporting laws displayed there makes it that much more useful for a Priest to contact Legal before making their report)  Being a mandatory reporter has nothing to do with following protocol for your employer when the information you've got resulted from your employment.

Even in states where a Priest is a mandatory reporter with no recognition of confessional confidentiality, there's nothing that says "The mandatory reporter must report the abuse immediately without discussing it with anyone else"

So there would be nothing wrong legally or morally with a Priest following a policy to have their Legal Counsel department set up the meeting with police/Social Services so that they can report the abuse.

Again, I'm sorry, but I am not reading this the same way you are. In 9 states the mandatory reporter is required to report directly to authorities first, not to an institutional head or resource, and in 17 states there is a variation of that.  

https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/manda.pdf

I think the Sandusky case showed the dangers of having indirect reporting and it seems like some of that has been tightened up. 

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1 hour ago, yknot said:

Again, I'm sorry, but I am not reading this the same way you are. In 9 states the mandatory reporter is required to report directly to authorities first, not to an institutional head or resource, and in 17 states there is a variation of that.  

https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/manda.pdf

I think the Sandusky case showed the dangers of having indirect reporting and it seems like some of that has been tightened up. 

That’s probably why the LDS Church’s form explicitly tells the hotline worker *not* to take any personally identifying info as to the perp or victims.  It’s not technically a report, it’s simply a person seeking legal guidance as to whether they are obligated to make a report (or, conversely, whether they are obligated to remain silent).  At the end of that call, the church’s honchos still have no idea exactly where, to whom, or by whom the abuse was perpetrated.

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20 hours ago, yknot said:

Again, I'm sorry, but I am not reading this the same way you are. In 9 states the mandatory reporter is required to report directly to authorities first, not to an institutional head or resource, and in 17 states there is a variation of that.  

https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/manda.pdf

I think the Sandusky case showed the dangers of having indirect reporting and it seems like some of that has been tightened up. 

My apologies, I missed that sentence regarding the 9 states that require immediate reporting.  Although, apparently the Child Welfare Information Gateway has some of the same document creators as the BSA since that section isn't entirely accurate.

_______________________________________________________________________

California : Requires reporting with 36 hours

Connecticut: Requires reporting immediately

Hawaii: Requires reporting immediately, but does not require reporting of suspicions resulting from Penitent confessions

Illinois:  Requires immediate reporting, but allows that if two or more people suspect the abuse, one person can be designated to file the report.  (Which makes it clear that some discussion before filing a report is possible without the report failing to be "immediately filed".)

*Indiana: Hospital employees must file a report immediately with the head of the hospital or the designated department.  All other mandatory reporters must file a report immediately with the sheriff or health department.

Michigan: Requires filing of an "immediate report".  Though given the phrasing, I believe the definition applicable here is "direct or primary" as opposed to "without delay".  (The usage is similar to the phrase: "X was the immediate cause of death" as opposed to "X caused the death immediately".)

New York: Requires immediate reporting IF the reporter encounters the incident in the course of their business, but not if they are "off duty".  (Also only requires one report of a single incident if more than one mandatory reporter is aware of the situation.)

Pennsylvania: Reports must be made immediately to reporting line

Tennessee: Requires immediate reporting to law enforcement, a judge in some circumstances or the DSS. But specifies that organizations are within their rights to establish a protocol for the filing of such reports as long as the internal procedure doesn't inhibit the filing of the report.

West Virginia: Requires reporting not more than 24 hours after suspecting abuse

* Indiana is the only state with a statute that actually specifies the notification of the organization should happen after a report is filed.

________________________________________________________________________

Personally, I think the amount of variation shown with just these 9 states means telling your staff to contact the Legal Counsel's office to insure compliance with all relevant laws just makes a lot of sense.

 

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1 hour ago, elitts said:

My apologies, I missed that sentence regarding the 9 states that require immediate reporting.  Although, apparently the Child Welfare Information Gateway has some of the same document creators as the BSA since that section isn't entirely accurate.

_______________________________________________________________________

California : Requires reporting with 36 hours

Connecticut: Requires reporting immediately

Hawaii: Requires reporting immediately, but does not require reporting of suspicions resulting from Penitent confessions

Illinois:  Requires immediate reporting, but allows that if two or more people suspect the abuse, one person can be designated to file the report.  (Which makes it clear that some discussion before filing a report is possible without the report failing to be "immediately filed".)

*Indiana: Hospital employees must file a report immediately with the head of the hospital or the designated department.  All other mandatory reporters must file a report immediately with the sheriff or health department.

Michigan: Requires filing of an "immediate report".  Though given the phrasing, I believe the definition applicable here is "direct or primary" as opposed to "without delay".  (The usage is similar to the phrase: "X was the immediate cause of death" as opposed to "X caused the death immediately".)

New York: Requires immediate reporting IF the reporter encounters the incident in the course of their business, but not if they are "off duty".  (Also only requires one report of a single incident if more than one mandatory reporter is aware of the situation.)

Pennsylvania: Reports must be made immediately to reporting line

Tennessee: Requires immediate reporting to law enforcement, a judge in some circumstances or the DSS. But specifies that organizations are within their rights to establish a protocol for the filing of such reports as long as the internal procedure doesn't inhibit the filing of the report.

West Virginia: Requires reporting not more than 24 hours after suspecting abuse

* Indiana is the only state with a statute that actually specifies the notification of the organization should happen after a report is filed.

________________________________________________________________________

Personally, I think the amount of variation shown with just these 9 states means telling your staff to contact the Legal Counsel's office to insure compliance with all relevant laws just makes a lot of sense.

 

BSA uses CWIG as a base source for YP. Not sure what you mean. 

I'm also not clear what you are trying to show with this recap or what the purpose is. Correct me if I'm wrong but this discussion started with a line on an internal church form that advised priests to contact internal legal counsel first before reporting abuse. If I understand you correctly, you are saying based on the above, it is reasonable for XYZ church institution to direct its mandatory reporting personnel to contact legal first. I look at this same information above and that seems not at all reasonable.  The intent of all these laws, despite some of the different permutations, are clear: that suspected abuse should be reported promptly to authorities who will do something about it in a timely manner in order to prevent more abuse. There is a special onus placed on anyone who is a mandatory reporter and institutions may not interfere. There are some very specific situations, such as perhaps a priest hearing an admission of abuse in a one on one confession, that could be considered a privileged communication and might be legitimate cause for a legal consult, but the initial form we were discussing went far beyond that kind of limited situation. 

 

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