In 2012, the West Virginia revised the law with regard to mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect. Specifically, the Legislature added the following language:
“Persons mandated to report suspected abuse and neglect. (a) Any … coach or volunteer of an entity that provides organized activities for children … who has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is neglected or abused or observes the child being subjected to conditions that are likely to result in abuse or neglect shall immediately, and not more than forty-eight hours after suspecting this abuse or neglect, report the circumstances or cause a report to be made to the Department of Health and Human Resources: Provided, That in any case where the reporter believes that the child suffered serious physical abuse or sexual abuse or sexual assault, the reporter shall also immediately report, or cause a report to be made, to the State Police and any law-enforcement agency having jurisdiction to investigate the complaint: Provided, however, That any person required to report under this article who is a member of the staff or volunteer of a[n] … entity that provides organized activities for children, … shall also immediately notify the person in charge of the … entity that provides organized activities for children, … or a designated agent thereof, who may supplement the report or cause an additional report to be made.”
What this means for WASA/FCWU – if a coach or volunteer reasonably believes that a child is being abused or neglected THAT COACH OR VOLUNTEER MUST REPORT THE SUSPECTED ABUSE OR NEGLECT. This is a very real responsibility. As leaders and volunteers of youth soccer in the local area we have a duty and responsibility to ensure the safety of the children in our program. A failure to report can result in significant consequences for the individual. Seehttp://www.wowktv.com/story/27870137/braxton-county-high-school-employee-arrested#.VLm6IkQ5Qw0.facebook for a real life example.
For additional information please feel free to contact WASA/FCWU President Jason Pockl.