“Margaret Graf, legal counsel for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, told the participants that California is one of about 30 states with mandated reporting laws.
According to state law, mandated reporters are required to disclose to law enforcement or Child Protective Services whenever they, in their professional capacity, know of or observe a child they have a reasonable suspicion is the victim of abuse.
But theres an exception. Clergy are not required to report knowledge of abuse if it was acquired during penitential communication, the law states, meaning the information was revealed when no other person was present and with the expectation that it would be kept in confidence.”
“The Pennsylvania law regarding mandated reporting enumerates clergy as mandated reporters, however, it does uphold clergy-penitent confidentiality privileges in pastoral communications (i.e. in counseling sessions and the confessional booth). Practically, this means that if a member of the clergy suspects a child is being abused he is mandated to report it, but if a member of his congregation confesses to abusing a child in a counseling session where a reasonable assumption of privacy is present, that clergy is not mandated by law to report what he/she has been told. Only clergy and attorneys are granted this confidentiality exception to the law.”
“Every state has a child abuse reporting law that requires persons designated as “mandatory reporters” to report known or reasonably suspected incidents of child abuse. As Table 1 (see page 4) illustrates, ministers are mandatory reporters in many states, but some states exempt them from the reporting obligation if they learned of the abuse in the course of a conversation protected by the clergy-penitent privilege.”
FWIW, I’ve never heard of needing a SSN to report. For most professionals, if you suspect, you are legally required to report any information that might help in addressing the abuse.