January 26, 2005

Child-abuse bills would cover clergy, nonprofits

Seattle Times

By Janet I. Tu
Seattle Times staff reporter

Those pushing for a law requiring clergy to report suspected child abuse and neglect to civil authorities hope the third time's the charm.

Only this time, the word "clergy" isn't even included in the bills.

Yesterday, Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, D-Seattle, introduced House Bill 1467, which would require any employee, contractor or volunteer of a nonprofit organization to tell civil authorities if they suspect a co-worker of abusing or neglecting a child.

Last week, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, introduced Senate Bill 5308, requiring supervisors in nonprofit and for-profit organizations to report suspected acts of abuse or neglect by subordinates who work with or have unsupervised contact with children.

The bills would apply to clergy, since houses of worship are considered nonprofits, the two legislators said.

Posted by kshaw at January 26, 2005 07:04 AM