AN ACT

 

1Amending Title 23 (Domestic Relations) of the Pennsylvania
2Consolidated Statutes, in child protective services, further
3providing for definitions, for establishment of pending
4complaint file, Statewide central register and file of
5unfounded reports, for continuous availability of department,
6for disposition of complaints received, for information in
7pending complaint and unfounded report files, for information
8in Statewide central register, for disposition of unfounded
9reports, for disposition of founded and indicated reports,
10for release of information in confidential reports, for
11amendment or expunction of information, for information 
12relating to prospective child-care personnel, for information 
13relating to family day-care home residents, for information 
14relating to other persons having contact with children, for 
15cooperation of other agencies and for reports to Governor and 
16General Assembly; and repealing provisions relating to 
17students in public and private schools and for background 
18checks for employment in schools.

19The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
20hereby enacts as follows:

21Section 1. The definitions of "child-care services,"
22"founded report for school employee," "indicated report for
23school employee," "person responsible for the child's welfare,"

1"school employee," "student" and "subject of the report" in
2section 6303(a) of Title 23 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
3Statutes are amended and the subsection is amended by adding
4definitions to read:

5§ 6303. Definitions.

6(a) General rule.--The following words and phrases when used
7in this chapter shall have the meanings given to them in this
8section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

9* * *

10"Child-care services." <-[Child day-care centers, group and
11family day-care homes, foster homes, adoptive parents, boarding
12homes for children, juvenile detention center services or
13programs for delinquent or dependent children; mental health,
14mental retardation, early intervention and drug and alcohol
15services for children; and other child-care services which are
16provided by or subject to approval, licensure, registration or
17certification by the Department of Public Welfare or a county
18social services agency or which are provided pursuant to a
19contract with these departments or a county social services
20agency. <-[The term does not include such services or programs
21which may be offered by public and private schools, intermediate
22units or area vocational-technical schools.] <-Include any of the 
23following:

24(1) Child day-care centers.

25(2) Group day-care homes.

26(3) Family day-care homes.

27(4) Foster homes.

28(5) Adoptive parents.

29(6) Boarding homes for children.

30(7) Juvenile detention center services or programs for

1delinquent or dependent children.

2(8) Mental health services for children.

3(9) Services for children with intellectual
4disabilities.

5(10) Early intervention services for children.

6(11) Drug and alcohol services for children.

7(12) Day-care services or programs that are offered by a
8school.

9(13) Other comparable services that are provided by or
10subject to approval, licensure, registration or certification
11by the Department of Public Welfare or a county social
12services agency or that are provided pursuant to a contract
13with the Department of Public Welfare or a county social
14services agency.

15* * *

16"Direct contact with children." The possibility of care,
17supervision, guidance or control of children or routine
18interaction with children.

19* * *

20["Founded report for school employee." A report under
21Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in public and private
22schools) if there has been any judicial adjudication based on a
23finding that the victim has suffered serious bodily injury or
24sexual abuse or exploitation, including the entry of a plea of
25guilty or nolo contendere or a finding of guilt to a criminal
26charge involving the same factual circumstances involved in the
27allegations of the report.]

28* * *

<-29"Independent contractor." An individual who provides a
30program, activity or service to an agency, institution,

1organization or other entity, including a school or regularly
2established religious organization, that is directly responsible
3for the care, supervision, guidance or control of children. The
4term excludes an individual who, in his capacity as an
5independent contractor, has no direct contact with children.

6* * *

7["Indicated report for school employee." A report made under
8Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in public and private
9schools) if an investigation by the county agency determines
10that substantial evidence of serious bodily injury or sexual
11abuse or exploitation exists based on any of the following:

12(1) Available medical evidence.

13(2) The county agency's investigation.

14(3) An admission of the acts of abuse by the school
15employee.]

16* * *

17"Person responsible for the child's welfare." A person who
18provides permanent or temporary care, supervision, mental health
19diagnosis or treatment, training or control of a child in lieu
20of parental care, supervision and control. [The term does not
21include a person who is employed by or provides services or
22programs in any public or private school, intermediate unit or
23area vocational-technical school.]

24* * *

25"Program, activity or service." A public or private
26educational, athletic or other pursuit in which children
27participate. The term includes, but is not limited to, the
28following:

29(1) A youth camp or program.

30(2) A recreational camp or program.

1(3) A sports or athletic program.

2(4) An outreach program.

3(5) An enrichment program.

4(6) A troop, club or similar organization.

<-5An individual participating in a program, activity or service
6may bear any title, including that of counselor, chaperone,
7coach, instructor, leader, mentor or other comparable title.

8* * *

9"School." A facility providing elementary, secondary or
10post-secondary educational services. The term includes every
11public, nonpublic, private and parochial school, including each
12of the following:

13(1) A school or a class within a school under the
14supervision of the Department of Education of the
15Commonwealth.

16(2) A State-related and State-owned college or
17university.

18(3) A public or private college or university.

19(4) A community college.

20(5) A vocational-technical school.

21(6) An intermediate unit.

22(7) A charter, cyber charter or <-regional-charter
<-23regional charter school.

24(8) A private school licensed under the act of January
2528, 1988 (P.L.24, No.11), known as the Private Academic
26Schools Act.

27(9) A nonprofit school located in this Commonwealth,
28other than a public school, wherein a resident of this
29Commonwealth may legally fulfill the compulsory school
30attendance requirements of the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30,

1No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, and which
2meets the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of
31964 (Public Law 88-352, 78 Stat. 241).

<-4"School employee." An individual who is employed by a
5[public or private school, intermediate unit or area vocational-
6technical] school or who provides a program, activity or service
7in a school. The term includes an independent contractor that
8provides a program, activity or service in a school and the
9employees of the independent contractor. [The term excludes an
10individual who has no direct contact with students.]

<-11"School employee." An individual who is employed by a 
12[public or private school, intermediate unit or area vocational-
13technical school. The term includes an independent contractor 
14and employees] school or who provides a program, activity or 
15service sponsored by a school. The term excludes an individual 
16who has no direct contact with [students] children.

17* * *

18"Student." [An individual enrolled in a public or private
19school, intermediate unit or area vocational-technical school
20who is under 18 years of age.] A child who is enrolled in a 
21school or participating in a program, activity or service <-at 
<-22sponsored by a school.

23"Subject of the report." Any child, parent, guardian or other
24person responsible for the welfare of a child or any alleged or
25actual perpetrator [or school employee named] in a report made
26to the Department of Public Welfare or a county agency under
27this chapter.

28* * *

29Section 2. Sections 6331, 6333, 6334(c), 6335(a), 6336(a)
30(11), 6337(c), 6338(a) and (c), 6340(a)(13), 6341(a)(2), (c) and

1(f), 6344(b)(2), (c)(1), (o) and (p) and 6344.1(b) of Title 23
2are amended to read:

3§ 6331. Establishment of pending complaint file, Statewide
4central register and file of unfounded reports.

5There shall be established in the department:

6(1) A pending complaint file of child abuse reports
7under investigation [and a file of reports under
8investigation pursuant to Subchapter C.1 (relating to
9students in public and private schools)].

10(2) A Statewide central register of child abuse which
11shall consist of founded and indicated reports.

12(3) A file of unfounded reports awaiting expunction.

13§ 6333. Continuous availability of department.

14The department shall be capable of receiving oral reports of
15child abuse made pursuant to this chapter[, reports under
16section 6353.2 (relating to responsibilities of county agency)]
17and report summaries of child abuse from county agencies and
18shall be capable of immediately identifying prior reports of
19child abuse [and prior reports of abuse or injury under
20Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in public and private
21schools)] in the Statewide central register and reports under
22investigation in the pending complaint file and of monitoring
23the provision of child protective services 24 hours a day, seven
24days a week.

25§ 6334. Disposition of complaints received.

26* * *

27(c) Recording in pending complaint file.--Upon receipt of a
28complaint of suspected child abuse, the department shall
29maintain a record of the complaint of suspected child abuse in
30the pending complaint file. [Upon receipt of a report under

1section 6353.2 (relating to responsibilities of county agency),
2the department shall maintain a record of the report in the
3report file under section 6331 (relating to establishment of
4pending complaint file, Statewide central register and file of
5unfounded reports).]

6* * *

7§ 6335. Information in pending complaint and unfounded report
8files.

9(a) Information authorized.--The information contained in
10the pending complaint file shall be limited to the information
11required in sections 6313(c) (relating to reporting procedure)
12[and 6353.2 (relating to responsibilities of county agency)].
13The information contained in the file for unfounded reports
14shall be limited to the information required by section 6336
15(relating to information in Statewide central register).

16* * *

17§ 6336. Information in Statewide central register.

18(a) Information authorized.--The Statewide central register
19shall include and shall be limited to the following information:

20* * *

21(11) Information obtained by the department in relation
22to a perpetrator's [or school employee's] request to release,
23amend or expunge information retained by the department or
24the county agency.

25* * *

26§ 6337. Disposition of unfounded reports.

27* * *

28(c) Expunction of information.--All information identifying
29the subjects of any report of suspected child abuse [and of any
30report under Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in public and

1private schools)] determined to be an unfounded report shall be
2expunged from the pending complaint file pursuant to this
3section. The expunction shall be mandated and guaranteed by the
4department.

5§ 6338. Disposition of founded and indicated reports.

6(a) General rule.--When a report of suspected child abuse
7[or a report under Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in
8public and private schools)] is determined by the appropriate
9county agency to be a founded report or an indicated report, the
10information concerning that report of suspected child abuse
11shall be expunged immediately from the pending complaint file,
12and an appropriate entry shall be made in the Statewide central
13register. Notice of the determination must be given to the
14subjects of the report, other than the abused child, and to the
15parent or guardian of the affected child or student along with
16an explanation of the implications of the determination. Notice
17given to perpetrators of child abuse [and to school employees
18who are subjects of indicated reports for school employees or
19founded reports for school employees] shall include notice that
20their ability to obtain employment in a child-care facility or
21program or a [public or private<-] school may be adversely
22affected by entry of the report in the Statewide central
23register. The notice shall also inform the recipient of his
24right, within 45 days after being notified of the status of the
25report, to appeal an indicated report, and his right to a
26hearing if the request is denied.

27* * *

28(c) Retention of information.--A subfile shall be
29established in the Statewide central register to indefinitely
30retain the names of perpetrators of child abuse [and school

1employees who are subjects of founded or indicated reports] only
2if the individual's Social Security number or date of birth is
3known to the department. The subfile shall not include
4identifying information regarding other subjects of the report.

5§ 6340. Release of information in confidential reports.

6(a) General rule.--Reports specified in section 6339
7(relating to confidentiality of reports) shall only be made
8available to:

9* * *

<-10[(13) Persons required to make reports under Subchapter
11C.1 (relating to students in public and private schools).
12Information under this paragraph shall be limited to the
13final status of the report following the investigation as to
14whether the report is indicated, founded or unfounded.]

<-15(13) [Persons required to make reports under Subchapter 
16C.1 (relating to students in public and private schools). 
17Information under this paragraph shall be] If the alleged 
18perpetrator is a school employee, the school administrator 
19shall receive information limited to the final status of the 
20report following the investigation as to whether the report 
21is indicated, founded or unfounded. Information disclosed 
22pursuant to this paragraph shall be provided to the school 
23administrator within ten days of the completion of the 
24investigation.

25* * *

26§ 6341. Amendment or expunction of information.

27(a) General rule.--At any time:

28* * *

29(2) Any person named as a perpetrator[, and any school
30employee named,] in an indicated report of child abuse may,

1within 45 days of being notified of the status of the report,
2request the secretary to amend or expunge an indicated report
3on the grounds that it is inaccurate or it is being
4maintained in a manner inconsistent with this chapter.

5* * *

6(c) Review of refusal of request.--If the secretary refuses
7the request under subsection (a)(2) or does not act within a
8reasonable time, but in no event later than 30 days after
9receipt of the request, the perpetrator [or school employee]
10shall have the right to a hearing before the secretary or a
11designated agent of the secretary to determine whether the
12summary of the indicated report in the Statewide central
13register should be amended or expunged on the grounds that it is
14inaccurate or that it is being maintained in a manner
15inconsistent with this chapter. The perpetrator [or school
16employee] shall have 45 days from the date of the letter giving
17notice of the decision to deny the request in which to request a
18hearing. The appropriate county agency and appropriate law
19enforcement officials shall be given notice of the hearing. The
20burden of proof in the hearing shall be on the appropriate
21county agency. The department shall assist the county agency as
22necessary.

23* * *

24(f) Notice of expunction.--Written notice of an expunction
25of any child abuse record made pursuant to the provisions of
26this chapter shall be served upon the subject of the record who
27was responsible for the abuse or injury and the appropriate
28county agency. Except as provided in this subsection, the county
29agency, upon receipt of the notice, shall take appropriate,
30similar action in regard to the local child abuse [and school

1employee] records and inform, for the same purpose, the
2appropriate coroner if that officer has received reports
3pursuant to section 6367 (relating to reports to department and
4coroner). Whenever the county agency investigation reveals,
5within 60 days of receipt of the report of suspected child
6abuse, that the report is unfounded but that the subjects need
7services provided or arranged by the county agency, the county
8agency shall retain those records and shall specifically
9identify that the report was an unfounded report of suspected
10child abuse. An unfounded report regarding subjects who receive
11services shall be expunged no later than 120 days following the
12expiration of one year after the termination or completion of
13services provided or arranged by the county agency.

14§ 6344. Information relating to prospective child-care
15personnel.

16* * *

17(b) Information submitted by prospective employees.--
18Administrators of child-care services shall require applicants
19to submit with their applications the following information
20obtained within the preceding one-year period:

21* * *

22(2) A certification from the department as to whether
23the applicant is named in the central register as the
24perpetrator of a founded report of child abuse[,] or an
25indicated report of child abuse[, founded report for school
26employee or indicated report for school employee].

27* * *

28(c) Grounds for denying employment.--

29(1) In no case shall an administrator hire an applicant
30where the department has verified that the applicant is named

1in the central register as the perpetrator of a founded
2report of child abuse committed within the five-year period
3immediately preceding verification pursuant to this section
4[or is named in the central register as the perpetrator of a
5founded report for a school employee committed within the
6five-year period immediately preceding verification pursuant
7to this section].

8* * *

9(o) Use of information.--A foster family care agency may not
10approve a prospective foster parent if the prospective foster
11parent or an individual 14 years of age or older who resides for
12at least 30 days in a calendar year with the prospective foster
13parent meets either of the following:

14(1) Is named in the central register as the perpetrator
15of a founded report of child abuse committed within the five-
16year period immediately preceding verification pursuant to
17this section [or is named in the central register as the
18perpetrator of a founded report for a school employee
19committed within the five-year period immediately preceding
20verification pursuant to this section].

21(2) Has been found guilty of an offense listed in
22subsection (c)(2).

23(p) Use of information.--A prospective adoptive parent may
24not be approved if the prospective adoptive parent or an
25individual [14<-] 18 years of age or older who resides for at
26least 30 days in a calendar year with the prospective adoptive
27parent meets either of the following:

28(1) Is named in the central register as the perpetrator
29of a founded report of child abuse committed within the five-
30year period immediately preceding verification pursuant to

1this section [or is named in the central register as the
2perpetrator of a founded report for a school employee
3committed within the five-year period immediately preceding
4verification pursuant to this section].

5(2) Has been found guilty of an offense listed in
6subsection (c)(2).

7§ 6344.1. Information relating to family day-care home
8residents.

9* * *

10(b) Required information.--Child abuse record information
11required under subsection (a) shall include certification by the
12department as to whether the applicant is named in the central
13register as the perpetrator of a founded report[,] or an
14indicated report[, founded report for school employee or
15indicated report for school employee].

16* * *

17Section 3. Section <-6344.2 6344.2(b) of Title 23 is amended 
<-18and the section is amended by adding a subsection to read:

19§ 6344.2. Information relating to other persons having contact
20with children.

21* * *

<-22(a.1) School employees.--School employees governed by the
23provisions of the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known
24as the Public School Code of 1949, shall be subject to the
25provisions of section 111 of the Public School Code of 1949.

<-26(a.1) School employees.--This section shall apply to school
27employees as follows:

28(1) School employees governed by the provisions of the
29act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public
30School Code of 1949, shall be subject to the provisions of

1section 111 of the Public School Code of 1949, except that
2this section shall apply with regard to the information
3required under section 6344(b)(2) (relating to information
4relating to prospective child-care personnel).

5(2) School employees not governed by the provisions of
6the Public School Code of 1949 shall be governed by this
7section.

8(3) This section shall not apply to any of the
9following:

10(i)  A school employee who is:

11(A)  under 21 years of age;

12(B)  participating in a job development or job
13training program; and

14(C)  employed for not more than 90 days.

15(ii)  A school employee hired on a provisional basis
16pending receipt of any information required under this
17section if all of the following apply:

18(A)  The applicant demonstrates application for
19any information required by this section.

20(B)  The applicant attests in writing by oath or
21affirmation that the applicant is not disqualified
22under this chapter.

23(C)  The administrator has no knowledge of
24information which would disqualify the applicant
25under this chapter.

26(D) The administrator requires that the
27applicant not be permitted to work alone with
28children and the applicant work in the immediate
29vicinity of a permanent employee.

30(E) The provisional period does not exceed:

1(I)  90 days for an applicant from another
2state; and

3(II)  30 days for all other applicants.

4(F) The hiring does not take place during a
5strike under the act of July 23, 1970 (P.L.563,
6No.195), known as the Public Employe Relations Act.

7(iii) A school employee who transfers from one
8position to another in the same school or school district
9and:

10(A) has, prior to the transfer, already provided
11any information required by this chapter; and

12(B) is not disqualified from employment under
13this chapter.

14(b) Investigation.--Employers, administrators or supervisors
15shall require an applicant to submit to all requirements set
16forth in section 6344(b) [(relating to information relating to
17prospective child-care personnel)]. An employer, administrator,
18supervisor or other person responsible for employment decisions
19regarding an applicable prospective employee under this section
20that intentionally fails to require the submissions before
21hiring that individual commits a misdemeanor of the third
22degree.

23* * *

24Section 4. Sections 6346(b) and (c) and 6347(a) and (b) of
25Title 23 are amended to read:

26§ 6346. Cooperation of other agencies.

27* * *

28(b) Willful failure to cooperate.--Any agency, school
29[district<-] or facility or any person acting on behalf of an
30agency, school [district<-] or facility that violates this section

1by willfully failing to cooperate with the department or a
2county agency when investigating a report of suspected child
3abuse [or a report under Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in
4public and private schools)] or when assessing risk to a child
5commits a summary offense for a first violation and a
6misdemeanor of the third degree for subsequent violations.

7(c) Cooperation of county agency and law enforcement
8agencies.--Consistent with the provisions of this chapter, the
9county agency and law enforcement agencies shall cooperate and
10coordinate, to the fullest extent possible, their efforts to
11respond to and investigate reports of suspected child abuse [and
12to reports under Subchapter C.1].

13* * *

14§ 6347. Reports to Governor and General Assembly.

15(a) General rule.--No later than May 1 of every year, the
16secretary shall prepare and transmit to the Governor and the
17General Assembly a report on the operations of the central
18register of child abuse and child protective services provided
19by county agencies. The report shall include a full statistical
20analysis of the reports of suspected child abuse made to the
21department [and the reports under Subchapter C.1 (relating to
22students in public and private schools)], together with a report
23on the implementation of this chapter and its total cost to the
24Commonwealth, the evaluation of the secretary of services
25offered under this chapter and recommendations for repeal or for
26additional legislation to fulfill the purposes of this chapter.
27All such recommendations should contain an estimate of increased
28or decreased costs resulting therefrom. The report shall also
29include an explanation of services provided to children who were
30the subjects of founded or indicated reports while receiving

1child-care services. The department shall also describe its
2actions in respect to the perpetrators of the abuse.

3(b) Reports from county agencies.--To assist the department
4in preparing its annual report and the quarterly reports
5required under subsection (c), each county agency shall submit a
6quarterly report to the department, including, at a minimum, the
7following information, on an aggregate basis, regarding general
8protective services[,] and child protective services [and action
9under Subchapter C.1]:

10(1) The number of referrals received and referrals
11accepted.

12(2) The number of children over whom the agency
13maintains continuing supervision.

14(3) The number of cases which have been closed by the
15agency.

16(4) The services provided to children and their
17families.

18(5) A summary of the findings with nonidentifying
19information about each case of child abuse or neglect which
20has resulted in a child fatality or near fatality.

21* * *

22Section 5. Subchapter C.1 heading of Chapter 63 of Title 23
23is repealed:

24[SUBCHAPTER C.1

25STUDENTS IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS]

26Section 6. Sections 6351, 6352, 6353, 6353.1, 6353.2, 6353.3
27and 6353.4 of Title 23 are repealed:

28[§ 6351. Definitions.

29The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter
30shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the

1context clearly indicates otherwise:

2"Administrator." The person responsible for the
3administration of a public or private school, intermediate unit
4or area vocational-technical school. The term includes an
5independent contractor.

6§ 6352. School employees.

7(a) Requirement.--

8(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), a school
9employee who has reasonable cause to suspect, on the basis of
10professional or other training and experience, that a student
11coming before the school employee in the employee's
12professional or official capacity is a victim of serious
13bodily injury or sexual abuse or sexual exploitation by a
14school employee shall immediately contact the administrator.

15(2) If the school employee accused of seriously injuring
16or sexually abusing or exploiting a student is the
17administrator, the school employee who has reasonable cause
18to suspect, on the basis of professional or other training
19and experience, that a student coming before the school
20employee in the employee's professional or official capacity
21is a victim of serious bodily injury or sexual abuse or
22sexual exploitation shall immediately report to law
23enforcement officials and the district attorney under section
246353(a) (relating to administration). If an administrator is
25the school employee who suspects injury or abuse, the
26administrator shall make a report under section 6353(a).

27(3) The school employee may not reveal the existence or
28content of the report to any other person.

29(b) Immunity.--A school employee who refers a report under
30subsection (a) shall be immune from civil and criminal liability

1arising out of the report.

2(c) Criminal penalty.--

3(1) A school employee who willfully violates subsection
4(a) commits a summary offense.

5(2) A school employee who, after being sentenced under
6paragraph (1), violates subsection (a) commits a misdemeanor
7of the third degree.

8§ 6353. Administration.

9(a) Requirement.--An administrator and a school employee
10governed by section 6352(a)(2) (relating to school employees)
11shall report immediately to law enforcement officials and the
12appropriate district attorney any report of serious bodily
13injury or sexual abuse or sexual exploitation alleged to have
14been committed by a school employee against a student.

15(b) Report.--A report under subsection (a) shall include the
16following information:

17(1) Name, age, address and school of the student.

18(2) Name and address of the student's parent or
19guardian.

20(3) Name and address of the administrator.

21(4) Name, work and home address of the school employee.

22(5) Nature of the alleged offense.

23(6) Any specific comments or observations that are
24directly related to the alleged incident and the individuals
25involved.

26(c) Immunity.--An administrator who makes a report under
27subsection (a) shall be immune from civil or criminal liability
28arising out of the report.

29(d) Criminal penalty.--An administrator who willfully
30violates subsection (a) commits a misdemeanor of the third

1degree.

2§ 6353.1. Investigation.

3(a) General rule.--Upon receipt of a report under section
46353 (relating to administration), an investigation shall be
5conducted by law enforcement officials, in cooperation with the
6district attorney, and a determination made as to what criminal
7charges, if any, will be filed against the school employee.

8(b) Referral to county agency.--

9(1) If local law enforcement officials have reasonable
10cause to suspect on the basis of initial review that there is
11evidence of serious bodily injury, sexual abuse or sexual
12exploitation committed by a school employee against a
13student, local law enforcement officials shall notify the
14county agency in the county where the alleged abuse or injury
15occurred for the purpose of the agency conducting an
16investigation of the alleged abuse or injury.

17(2) To the fullest extent possible, law enforcement
18officials and the county agency shall coordinate their
19respective investigations. In respect to interviews with the
20student, law enforcement officials and the county agency
21shall conduct joint interviews. In respect to interviews with
22the school employee, law enforcement officials shall be given
23an opportunity to interview the school employee prior to the
24employee having any contact with the county agency.

25(3) The county agency and law enforcement officials have
26the authority to arrange for photographs, medical tests or X-
27rays of a student alleged to have been abused or injured by a
28school employee. The county agency and law enforcement
29officials shall coordinate their efforts in this regard and,
30to the fullest extent possible, avoid the duplication of any

1photographs, medical tests or X-rays.

2(4) Law enforcement officials and the county agency
3shall advise each other of the status and findings of their
4respective investigations on an ongoing basis.

5§ 6353.2. Responsibilities of county agency.

6(a) Information for the pending complaint file.--Immediately
7after receiving a report under section 6353.1 (relating to
8investigation), the county agency shall notify the department of
9the receipt of the report, which is to be filed in the pending
10complaint file as provided in section 6331(1) (relating to
11establishment of pending complaint file, Statewide central
12register and file of unfounded reports). The oral report shall
13include the following information:

14(1) The name and address of the student and the
15student's parent or guardian.

16(2) Where the suspected abuse or injury occurred.

17(3) The age and sex of the student.

18(4) The nature and extent of the suspected abuse or
19injury.

20(5) The name and home address of the school employee
21alleged to have committed the abuse or injury.

22(6) The relationship of the student to the school
23employee alleged to have committed the abuse or injury.

24(7) The source of the report to the county agency.

25(8) The actions taken by the county agency, law
26enforcement officials, parents, guardians, school officials
27or other persons, including the taking of photographs,
28medical tests and X-rays.

29(b) Investigation of reports.--Upon receipt of a report
30under section 6353.1, the county agency shall commence, within

1the time frames established in department regulations, an
2investigation of the nature, extent and cause of any alleged
3abuse or injury enumerated in the report. The county agency
4shall coordinate its investigation to the fullest extent
5possible with law enforcement officials as provided in section
66353.1(b).

7(c) Completion of investigation.--The investigation by the
8county agency to determine whether the report is an indicated
9report for school employee or an unfounded report shall be
10completed within 60 days.

11(d) Notice to subject of a report.--Prior to interviewing a
12subject of the report, the county agency shall orally notify the
13subject of the report of the existence of the report and the
14subject's rights under this chapter in regard to amendment or
15expungement. Within 72 hours following oral notification to the
16subject, the county agency shall give written notice to the
17subject. The notice may be reasonably delayed if notification is
18likely to threaten the safety of the student or the county
19agency worker, to cause the school employee to abscond or to
20significantly interfere with the conduct of a criminal
21investigation.

22(e) Reliance on factual investigation.--The county agency
23may rely on a factual investigation of substantially the same
24allegations by a law enforcement officials to support the
25agency's finding. This reliance shall not relieve the county
26agency of its responsibilities relating to the investigation of
27reports under this subchapter.

28(f) Notice to the department of the county agency's
29determination.--As soon as the county agency has completed its
30investigation, the county agency shall advise the department and

1law enforcement officials of its determination of the report as
2an indicated report for school employee or an unfounded report.
3Supplemental reports shall be made at regular intervals
4thereafter in a manner and form the department prescribes by
5regulation to the end that the department is kept fully informed
6and up-to-date concerning the status of the report.

7§ 6353.3. Information in Statewide central register.

8The Statewide central register established under section 6331
9(relating to establishment of pending complaint file, Statewide
10central register and file of unfounded reports) shall retain
11only the following information relating to reports of abuse or
12injury of a student by a school employee which have been
13determined to be a founded report for school employee or an
14indicated report for school employee:

15(1) The names, Social Security numbers, age and sex of
16the subjects of the report.

17(2) The home address of the subjects of the report.

18(3) The date and the nature and extent of the alleged
19abuse or injury.

20(4) The county and state where the abuse or injury
21occurred.

22(5) Factors contributing to the abuse or injury.

23(6) The source of the report.

24(7) Whether the report is a founded or indicated report.

25(8) Information obtained by the department in relation
26to the school employee's request to release, amend or expunge
27information retained by the department or the county agency.

28(9) The progress of any legal proceedings brought on the
29basis of the report.

30(10) Whether a criminal investigation has been

1undertaken and the result of the investigation and of any
2criminal prosecution.

3§ 6353.4. Other provisions.

4The following provisions shall apply to the release and
5retention of information by the department and the county agency
6concerning reports of abuse or injury committed by a school
7employee as provided by this subchapter:

8Section 6336(b) and (c) (relating to information in Statewide
9central register).

10Section 6337 (relating to disposition of unfounded reports).

11Section 6338(a) and (b) (relating to disposition of founded
12and indicated reports).

13Section 6339 (relating to confidentiality of reports).

14Section 6340 (relating to release of information in
15confidential reports).

16Section 6341(a) through (f) (relating to amendment or
17expunction of information).

18Section 6342 (relating to studies of data in records).]

19Section 7. Subchapter C.2 heading of Chapter 63 of Title 23
20is repealed:

21[SUBCHAPTER C.2

22BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR EMPLOYMENT IN SCHOOLS]

23Section 8. Sections 6354, 6355, 6356, 6357 and 6358 are
24repealed:

25[§ 6354. Definitions.

26The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter
27shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
28context clearly indicates otherwise:

29"Applicant." An individual who applies for a position as a
30school employee. The term includes an individual who transfers

1from one position as a school employee to another position as a
2school employee.

3"Administrator." The person responsible for the
4administration of a public or private school, intermediate unit
5or area vocational-technical school. The term includes a person
6responsible for employment decisions in a school and an
7independent contractor.

8§ 6355. Requirement.

9(a) Investigation.--

10(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), an
11administrator shall require each applicant to submit an
12official clearance statement obtained from the department
13within the immediately preceding year as to whether the
14applicant is named as the perpetrator of an indicated or a
15founded report or is named as the individual responsible for
16injury or abuse in an indicated report for school employee or
17a founded report for school employee.

18(2) The official clearance statement under paragraph (1)
19shall not be required for an applicant who:

20(i) transfers from one position as a school employee
21to another position as a school employee of the same
22school district or of the same organization; and

23(ii) has, prior to the transfer, already obtained
24the official clearance statement under paragraph (1).

25(b) Grounds for denying employment.--Except as provided in
26section 6356 (relating to exceptions), an administrator shall
27not hire an applicant if the department verifies that the
28applicant is named as the perpetrator of a founded report or is
29named as the individual responsible for injury or abuse in a
30founded report for school employee. No individual who is a

1school employee on the effective date of this subchapter shall
2be required to obtain an official clearance statement under
3subsection (a)(1) as a condition of continued employment.

4(c) Penalty.--An administrator who willfully violates this
5section shall be subject to an administrative penalty of $2,500.
6An action under this subsection is governed by 2 Pa.C.S. Ch. 5
7Subch. A (relating to practice and procedure of Commonwealth
8agencies) and Ch. 7 Subch. A (relating to judicial review of
9Commonwealth agency action).

10§ 6356. Exceptions.

11Section 6355 (relating to requirement) shall not apply to any
12of the following:

13(1) A school employee who is:

14(i) under 21 years of age;

15(ii) participating in a job development or job
16training program; and

17(iii) employed for not more than 90 days.

18(2) A school employee hired on a provisional basis
19pending receipt of information under section 6355(a) if all
20of the following apply:

21(i) The applicant demonstrates application for the
22official clearance statement under section 6355(a).

23(ii) The applicant attests in writing by oath or
24affirmation that the applicant is not disqualified under
25section 6355(b).

26(iii) The administrator has no knowledge of
27information which would disqualify the applicant under
28section 6355(b).

29(iv) The provisional period does not exceed:

30(A) 90 days for an applicant from another state;

1and

2(B) 30 days for all other applicants.

3(v) The hiring does not take place during a strike
4under the act of July 23, 1970 (P.L.563, No.195), known
5as the Public Employe Relations Act.

6§ 6357. Fee.

7The department may charge a fee of not more than $10 for the
8official clearance statement required under section 6355(a)
9(relating to requirement).

10§ 6358. Time limit for official clearance statement.

11The department shall comply with the official clearance
12statement requests under section 6355(a) (relating to
13requirement) within 14 days of receipt of the request.]

14Section 9. The following apply:

15(1) The amendment of 23 Pa.C.S. §§ 6331, 6333, 6334(c),
166335(a), 6337(c), 6338(c), 6344(b)(2), (c)(1), (o) and (p),
176344.1(b), 6346(b) and (c) and 6347(a) and (b) shall not affect
18any report, complaint, information or record created or
19initiated prior to the effective date of this section.

20(2) The amendment of 23 Pa.C.S. §§ 6336(a)(11), 6338(c) and
216341(a)(2) and (c) is necessary as a result of the repeal of 23
22Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 Subch. C.1. Any reference to "perpetrator" in 23
23Pa.C.S. §§ 6336(a)(11), 6338(c) and 6341(a)(2) and (c), as
24amended, is intended to include a school employee who was the
25subject of an indicated or founded report prior to the effective
26date of this section.

27(3) The amendment of 23 Pa.C.S. § 6341(f) is necessary as a
28result of the repeal of 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 Subch. C.1. Any
29reference to "local child abuse record" in 23 Pa.C.S. § 6341(f),
30as amended, is intended to include school employee records that

1included reports of child abuse recorded prior to the effective
2date of this section.

3(4) The repeal of 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 Subchs. C.1 and C.2 is
4not intended to affect any procedure, disposition or other
5action taken or initiated prior to the effective date of this
6section.

7Section 10. This act shall take effect in 60 days.

 

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