Explanation of Pastoral Policy Change due to child abuse reporting law update

August 20, 2020

Due to recent changes to Alaska’s Mandatory Reporting Statute (A.S. 47.17.020), The Archdiocese of Anchorage has amended its Pastoral Policies to reflect these changes.  This change goes into effect September 1, 2020.

According to the Office of Children’s Services webpage of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services website: http://reportchildabuse.alaska.gov/

“In July 2019 House Bill 49 was passed by the Alaska State Legislature and was signed into law by Governor Dunleavy.  This law included provisions for changes to Alaska’s Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Statute (A.S. 47.17.020) requiring that all reports of sexual abuse be made to both the Alaska Office of Children’s Services (OCS) and the nearest law enforcement agency.  The intent of the law is to further ensure that both law enforcement and OCS are made aware of sexual abuse allegations when an incident occurs.” 

The OCS webpage also has important and invaluable information and training about child abuse and reporting and all are encouraged to learn more.

As a reminder, the Archdiocesan Pastoral Policies require that any allegations of abuse including physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and viewing, possession or distribution of child pornography must be reported immediately to law enforcement by all clergy, ministers, church personnel and volunteers representing the church. The change in the law specifies that any allegations of abuse that are of a sexual nature are to be reported to both your local law enforcement and the Office of Children’s Services.

View the amended Pastoral Policies of the Archdiocese which reflect the changes to the law.


For additional support, you can contact the Archdiocese of Anchorage Victim Assistance Coordinator at (907) 297-7736 or  jmichaelson@caa-ak.org

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