Abuse of children and other vulnerable persons is always tragic, to be closely guarded against on any level. For nonprofit organizations like churches, schools, and social service providers that care for vulnerable individuals, it is imperative that such organizations use strong protective measures. For optimal personal safety and organizational risk management, these measures warrant careful development, board approval, a written policy document provided to all workers, and implementation through training and other follow-through. An effective abuse protection policy can significantly reduce the risk to vulnerable individuals and the organization, and provide a safe framework in which the nonprofit can care for at-risk persons.
On January 1, 2020, significant changes to the Illinois mandated reporter law will take effect for addressing child abuse and neglect issues. These changes are particularly important for all persons who care for children, such as in houses of worship, schools, and social service organizations. New training requirements apply for all mandated reporters, with clarification that all child care workers qualify as “mandated reporters.” Clergy members’ reporting obligations are now expanded, but their privilege not to report remains under certain circumstances.