CA Penal Code Section 11171


(1)The Legislature hereby finds and declares that adequate protection of victims of child physical abuse or neglect has been hampered by the lack of consistent and comprehensive medical examinations.


Enhancing examination procedures, documentation, and evidence collection relating to child abuse or neglect will improve the investigation and prosecution of child abuse or neglect as well as other child protection efforts.


The Office of Emergency Services shall, in cooperation with the State Department of Social Services, the Department of Justice, the California Association of Crime Lab Directors, the California District Attorneys Association, the California State Sheriffs’ Association, the California Peace Officers Association, the California Medical Association, the California Police Chiefs’ Association, child advocates, the California Medical Training Center, child protective services, and other appropriate experts, establish medical forensic forms, instructions, and examination protocols for victims of child physical abuse or neglect using as a model the form and guidelines developed pursuant to Section 13823.5.


The forms shall include, but not be limited to, a place for notation concerning each of the following:


Any notification of injuries or any report of suspected child physical abuse or neglect to law enforcement authorities or children’s protective services, in accordance with existing reporting procedures.


Addressing relevant consent issues, if indicated.


The taking of a patient history of child physical abuse or neglect that includes other relevant medical history.


The performance of a physical examination for evidence of child physical abuse or neglect.


The collection or documentation of any physical evidence of child physical abuse or neglect, including any recommended photographic procedures.


The collection of other medical or forensic specimens, including drug ingestion or toxication, as indicated.


Procedures for the preservation and disposition of evidence.


Complete documentation of medical forensic exam findings with recommendations for diagnostic studies, including blood tests and X-rays.


An assessment as to whether there are findings that indicate physical abuse or neglect.


The forms shall become part of the patient’s medical record pursuant to guidelines established by the advisory committee of the Office of Emergency Services and subject to the confidentiality laws pertaining to the release of medical forensic examination records.


The forms shall be made accessible for use on the Internet.
Last Updated

Aug. 19, 2023

§ 11171’s source at ca​.gov