Report Title:

Child Abuse; Reports


Requires members of the clergy to report cases of child abuse to the police or the Department of Human Services; exempts confidential clergy communications. (HB1859 HD1)


H.B. NO.



H.D. 2









SECTION 1. Section 350-1.1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"350-1.1 Reports. (a) Notwithstanding any other state law concerning confidentiality to the contrary, the following persons who, in their professional or official capacity, have reason to believe that child abuse or neglect has occurred or that there exists a substantial risk that child abuse or neglect may occur in the reasonably foreseeable future, shall immediately report the matter orally to the department or to the police department:

(1) Any licensed or registered professional of the healing arts and any health-related occupation who examines, attends, treats, or provides other professional or specialized services, including but not limited to physicians, including physicians in training, psychologists, dentists, nurses, osteopathic physicians and surgeons, optometrists, chiropractors, podiatrists, pharmacists, and other health-related professionals;

(2) Employees or officers of any public or private school;

(3) Employees or officers of any public or private agency or institution, or other individuals, providing social, medical, hospital, or mental health services, including financial assistance;

(4) Employees or officers of any law enforcement agency, including but not limited to the courts, police departments, correctional institutions, and parole or probation offices;

(5) Individual providers of child care, or employees or officers of any licensed or registered child care facility, foster home, or similar institution;

(6) Medical examiners or coroners; [and]

(7) Employees of any public or private agency providing recreational or sports activities[.]; and

(8) A member of the clergy.

As used in this chapter, "member of the clergy" means a minister, priest, rabbi, Christian Science practitioner, kahu, or other similar functionary of a religious organization.

(b) Whenever a person designated in subsection (a) is a member of the staff of any public or private school, agency, [or] institution, church, synagogue, temple, mosque, or other religious institution, that staff member shall immediately notify the person in charge, or a designated delegate, who shall immediately report, or cause reports to be made, in accordance with this chapter.

(c) The initial oral report shall be followed as soon as possible by a report in writing to the department. If a police department is the initiating agency, a written report shall be filed with the department for cases that the police take further action on or for active cases in the department under this chapter. All written reports shall contain the name and address of the child and the child's parents or other persons responsible for the child's care, if known, the child's age, the nature and extent of the child's injuries, and any other information that the reporter believes might be helpful or relevant to the investigation of the child abuse or neglect. This subsection shall not be construed to serve as a cause of action against the department or the police.

(d) Any person subject to subsection (a) shall, upon demand of the department or any police department, provide all information related to the alleged incident of child abuse or neglect, including[,] but not limited to[,] medical records and medical reports, which was not included in the written report submitted pursuant to subsection (c).

(e) The director may adopt, amend, or repeal rules, subject to chapter 91, to further define or clarify the specific forms of child abuse or neglect enumerated in section 350-1 for use in implementing this chapter; provided that rules adopted under this subsection shall be limited to such further or clarifying definitions.

(f) Notwithstanding subsection (a), a member of the clergy shall not be required to report information gained solely from a confidential communication, admission, or confession made when the member of the clergy is acting in the course of the member's professional duties and in the course of discipline enjoined by the rules or practices of the religious body or of the religion which the member of the clergy professes. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to modify or limit a member of the clergy's duty to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect when the member of the clergy is acting in a capacity other than that specified in this subsection."

SECTION 2. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun, before its effective date.

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.