Katie Busse,
MS, LMFT


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May-June 2021

Ethics Committee Chair — Katie Busse, MS, LMFT

Changes to Child Abuse Reporting

Within recent years, much discussion has occurred regarding the child abuse reporting laws in California for consensual sexual activities involving minors. As of January 1st, 2021, AB 1145 amended Section 11165.1 of the Penal Code relating to the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA).

As this article will only be focusing on some recent changes to CANRA, please review the full penal code in the references for more information regarding these laws. Also note that specific sexual activities will be discussed in the proceeding text.

So let’s discuss these recent changes. Direct from AB 1145, the previous law “. . . provides that ‘child abuse or neglect’ for these purposes includes ‘sexual assault,’ that includes, among other things, the crimes of sodomy, oral copulation, and sexual penetration.”

AB 1145 updates the existing reporting requirements and now “. . . provide[s] that ‘sexual assault’ for these purposes does not include voluntary sodomy, oral copulation, or sexual penetration, if there are no indicators of abuse, unless that conduct is between a person who is 21 years of age or older and a minor who is under 16 years of age.”

For you as a clinician, this means that certain situations in which you would have previously been mandated by law to make a report of child abuse have changed. For more information, please review the links to CANRA and AB 1145 in the references below.

Disclaimer:
The preceding article does not constitute legal advice and is intended for educational purposes only. Always consult with a CAMFT attorney or another legal professional for any specific legal or ethical questions.

References:
Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA). California Legislative Information. Retrieved from https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=
PEN&division=&title=1.&part=4.&chapter=2.&article=2.5.
Assembly Bill No. 1145 (2020). California Legislative Information. Retrieved from https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB1145.

 



Katie Busse, LMFT (122230), helps teens, young adults, and families in her private practice. Learn more about Katie by visiting her website at www.katiebussetherapy.com.




San Fernando Valley Chapter – California Marriage and Family Therapists