AN ACT

 

1Amending Title 23 (Domestic Relations) of the Pennsylvania
2Consolidated Statutes, in child protective services, further
3providing for definitions<-, for persons required to report 
4suspected child abuse and for persons permitted to report 
5suspected child abuse; providing for required posting of 
6signs; further providing for reporting procedure; and 
7providing for penalties. <-and for persons required to report 
8suspected child abuse; providing for specific persons 
9required to report and for required posting of signs; and 
10further providing for penalties for failure to report or to 
11refer.

12The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
13hereby enacts as follows:

14Section 1. The definition of "school employee" in section
156303(a) of Title 23 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes is
16amended and <-the section subsection (a) is amended by adding
17definitions to read:

18§ 6303. Definitions.

19(a) General rule.--The following words and phrases when used
20in this chapter shall have the meanings given to them in this

1section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

2* * *

<-3"Affiliate," "affiliate of" or "person affiliated with." A
4person that directly or indirectly, through one or more
5intermediaries, controls, is controlled by or is under common
6control with a specified person.

7"Business establishment." Includes:

8(1) A retail store, facility or entity in which
9commercial film or photographic print processing takes place.

10(2) A retail store, facility or entity in which
11computers, electronics or other information technology
12equipment and devices are repaired or serviced.

13* * *

14"Direct contact with children." The possibility of care,
15supervision, guidance or control of children or routine
16interaction with children.

17* * *

<-18"Health care facility." As defined in section 802.1 of the
19act of July 19, 1979 (P.L.130, No.48), known as the Health Care
20Facilities Act.

21"Independent contractor." An individual who provides a
22program, activity or service to an agency, institution,
23organization or other entity, including a school or regularly
24established religious organization, that is directly responsible
25for the care, supervision, guidance or control of children. The
26term excludes an individual who, in his capacity as an
27independent contractor, has no direct contact with children.

28* * *

29"Mandated reporter." A person who is required by this
30chapter to make a report of suspected child abuse.

1* * *

<-2"Program, activity or service." A public or private
3educational, athletic or other pursuit in which children
4participate. The term includes, but is not limited to, the
5following:

6(1) A youth camp or program.

7(2) A recreational camp or program.

8(3) A sports or athletic program.

9(4) An outreach program.

10(5) An enrichment program.

11(6) A troop, club or similar organization.

12* * *

13"School." A facility providing elementary, secondary or
14postsecondary educational services. The term includes every
15public, nonpublic, private and parochial school, including each
16of the following:

17(1) A school or class within a school under the
18supervision of the Department of Education.

19(2) A State-related and State-owned college or
20university.

21(3) A public or private college or university.

22(4) A community college.

23(5) A vocational-technical school.

24(6) An intermediate unit.

25(7) A charter or regional-charter<-, cyber charter or
26regional charter school.

27(8) A private school licensed under the act of January
2828, 1988 (P.L.24, No.11), known as the Private Academic
29Schools Act.

30(9) A nonprofit school located in this Commonwealth,

1other than a public school, wherein a resident of this
2Commonwealth may legally fulfill the compulsory school
3attendance requirements of the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30,
4No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, and which
5meets the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of
61964 (Public Law 88-352, 78 Stat. 241).

7"School employee." An individual who is employed by a
8[public or private school, intermediate unit or area vocational-
9technical school. The term includes an independent contractor
10and employees] school or who provides a program, activity or 
11service <-in sponsored by a school. The term excludes an
12individual who has no direct contact with [students<-] children.

13* * *

<-14Section 2. Sections 6311 and 6312 of Title 23 are amended to
15read:

<-16Section 2. Section 6311 of Title 23 is amended to read:

17§ 6311. Persons required to report suspected child abuse.

18[(a) General rule.--A person who, in the course of 
19employment, occupation or practice of a profession, comes into 
20contact with children shall report or cause a report to be made 
21in accordance with section 6313 (relating to reporting 
22procedure) when the person has reasonable cause to suspect, on 
23the basis of medical, professional or other training and 
24experience, that a child under the care, supervision, guidance 
25or training of that person or of an agency, institution, 
26organization or other entity with which that person is 
27affiliated is a victim of child abuse, including child abuse by 
28an individual who is not a perpetrator. Except with respect to 
29confidential communications made to a member of the clergy which 
30are protected under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5943 (relating to confidential
 

1communications to clergymen), and except with respect to 
2confidential communications made to an attorney which are 
3protected by 42 Pa.C.S. § 5916 (relating to confidential 
4communications to attorney) or 5928 (relating to confidential 
5communications to attorney), the privileged communication 
6between any professional person required to report and the 
7patient or client of that person shall not apply to situations 
8involving child abuse and shall not constitute grounds for 
9failure to report as required by this chapter.

10(b) Enumeration of persons required to report.--Persons
11required to report under subsection (a) include, but are not
12limited to, any licensed physician, osteopath, medical examiner,
13coroner, funeral director, dentist, optometrist, chiropractor,
14podiatrist, intern, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse,
15hospital personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care
16or treatment of persons, Christian Science practitioner, member
17of the clergy, school administrator, school teacher, school
18nurse, social services worker, day-care center worker or any
19other child-care or foster-care worker, mental health
20professional, peace officer or law enforcement official.<-]

21(a) Mandated reporters.--The following individuals, 18 years
22of age or older, shall make a report of suspected child abuse or
23cause a report of suspected child abuse to be made, subject to
24subsection (b), if the person has reasonable cause to suspect,
25on the basis of medical, professional or other training and
26experience, that a child is a victim of child abuse:

27(1) A person licensed or certified to practice in any
28health-related field under the jurisdiction of the Department
29of State.

30(2) A medical examiner, coroner or funeral director.

1(3) An employee of a health care facility or provider
2licensed by the Department of Health, who is engaged in the
3admission, examination, care or treatment of individuals.

4(4) A school employee.

5(5) An employee of a child-care service.

6(6) A clergyman, priest, rabbi, minister, Christian
7Science practitioner, religious healer or spiritual leader of
8any regularly established church or other religious
9organization.

10(7) An individual paid or unpaid, who, on the basis of
11the individual's role as an integral part of a regularly
12scheduled program, activity or service, accepts
13responsibility for a child.

14(8) An employee of a social services agency.

15(9) A peace officer or law enforcement official.

16(10) An attorney.

17(11) An employee of a public library.

18(12) An emergency medical services provider certified by
19the Department of Health.

20(13) An employee supervised or managed by a person
21listed under paragraphs (1) through (12), who has direct
22contact with children in the course of employment.

23(14) An independent contractor.

24(a.1) Limited exemption for certain reporters.--A sexual
25assault counselor at a rape crisis center as defined under 42
26Pa.C.S. § 5945.1(a) (relating to confidential communications
27with sexual assault counselors) or a domestic violence
28counselor/advocate as defined under section 6102 (relating to
29definitions) shall not be required to report a violation of 18
30Pa.C.S. § 3122.1(a)(1) (relating to statutory sexual assault) as

1child abuse under this chapter if the child who would otherwise
2be the subject of a report of suspected child abuse is 14 years
3of age or older.

4(b) Basis to report.--A mandated reporter enumerated in
5subsection (a) shall make a report of suspected child abuse or
6cause a report to be made in accordance with section 6313
7(relating to reporting procedure), if the mandated reporter has
8reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child
9abuse under any of the following circumstances:

10(1) The mandated reporter comes into contact with the
11child in the course of employment, occupation, practice of a
12profession or through a regularly scheduled program, activity
13or service.

14(2) The mandated reporter is directly responsible for
15the care supervision, guidance or training of the child, or
16is affiliated with an agency, institution, organization,
17school, regularly established church or religious
18organization or other entity that is directly responsible for
19the care supervision, guidance or training of the child.

20(3) A person makes a specific disclosure to the mandated
21reporter that an identifiable child is the victim of child
22abuse.

23(4) An individual 14 years of age or older makes a
24specific disclosure to the mandated reporter that the
25individual has committed child abuse.

26(b.1) Privileged communications.--

27(1) Subject to paragraphs (2), (3), (4) and (5), the
28privileged communications between a mandated reporter and a
29patient or client of the mandated reporter shall not:

30(i) Apply to a situation involving child abuse.

1(ii) Relieve the mandated reporter of the duty to
2make a report of suspected child abuse or cause a report
3of suspected child abuse to be made.

4(2) Confidential communications made to a member of the
5clergy are protected under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5943 (relating to
6confidential communications to clergymen), but only to the
7extent that the member of the clergy is authorized to hear
8the communications under the disciplines, tenets or
9traditions of the religion of the member of the clergy.

10(3) Confidential communications made to an attorney are
11subject to 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 5916 (relating to confidential
12communications to attorney) and 5928 (relating to
13confidential communications to attorney). When an attorney
14representing a nonorganizational client is required to report
15suspected child abuse under the basis provided in subsection
16(b)(3) or (4), the following shall also apply:

17(i) When making a report of suspected child abuse,
18an attorney shall identify information the attorney deems
19to be confidential under the rules of professional
20conduct for attorneys. Notwithstanding the provisions of
21section 6340 (relating to release of information in
22confidential reports), the information the attorney
23deemed to be confidential shall not be disclosed to any
24person other than those responsible for investigating the
25report and providing for the child's safety, or those
26investigating or prosecuting a failure to report under
27section 6319 (relating to penalties for failure to report
28or to refer).

29(ii) Neither the client's disclosure to the attorney
30nor the information the attorney deemed confidential when

1reporting to the department shall be used as evidence in
2any determination made under section 6368 (relating to
3investigation of reports), and the attorney shall not be
4required to provide any information that is asserted as
5confidential under subparagraph (i) for any civil,
6criminal or administrative proceeding which results from
7or relates to the report of suspected child abuse.
8Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit the use of
9information provided by another source, even if it is
10substantially similar to that which was provided by the
11attorney in the report to the department.

12(4) Confidential communications made to a psychiatrist
13or licensed psychologist are protected under 42 Pa.C.S. §
145944 (relating to confidential communications to
15psychiatrists and licensed psychologists). When a report is
16required under the basis provided in subsection (b)(3) or
17(4), the following shall also apply:

18(i) When making a report of suspected child abuse, a
19psychiatrist or licensed psychologist shall identify the
20information the psychiatrist or licensed psychologist
21deems to be confidential. Notwithstanding the provisions
22of section 6340, the information the psychiatrist or
23licensed psychologist deemed to be confidential shall not
24be disclosed to any person other than those responsible
25for investigating the report and providing for the
26child's safety, or those investigating or prosecuting a
27failure to report under section 6319.

28(ii) Neither the client's disclosure to the
29psychiatrist or licensed psychologist nor the information
30the psychiatrist or licensed psychologist deemed

1confidential when reporting to the department shall be
2used as evidence in any determination made under section
36368, and the psychiatrist or licensed psychologist shall
4not be required to provide any information that is
5asserted as confidential under subparagraph (i) for any
6civil, criminal or administrative proceeding which
7results from or relates to the report of suspected child
8abuse. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit the use
9of information provided by another source, even if it is
10substantially similar to that which was provided by the
11psychiatrist or licensed psychologist in the report to
12the department.

13(5) Confidential communications between spouses shall
14not be privileged under this chapter, notwithstanding any
15grant of privilege under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5914 (relating to
16confidential communications between spouses) or 5923
17(relating to confidential communications between spouses).

18(c) Staff members of institutions, etc.--Whenever a person
19is required to report under subsection (b) in the capacity as a
20member of the staff of a medical or other public or private
21institution, school, facility or agency, that person shall
22immediately notify the person in charge of the institution,
23school, facility or agency or the designated agent of the person
24in charge. Upon notification, the person in charge or the
25designated agent, if any, shall assume the responsibility and
26have the legal obligation to report or cause a report to be made
27in accordance with section 6313. This chapter does not require
28more than one report from any such institution, school, facility
29or agency.

30(d) Civil action for discrimination against person filing

1report.--Any person who, under this section, is required to
2report or cause a report of suspected child abuse to be made and
3who, in good faith, makes or causes the report to be made and,
4as a result thereof, is discharged from his employment or in any
5other manner is discriminated against with respect to
6compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of
7employment, may commence an action in the court of common pleas
8of the county in which the alleged unlawful discharge or
9discrimination occurred for appropriate relief. If the court
10finds that the person is an individual who, under this section,
11is required to report or cause a report of suspected child abuse
12to be made and who, in good faith, made or caused to be made a
13report of suspected child abuse and, as a result thereof, was
14discharged or discriminated against with respect to
15compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of
16employment, it may issue an order granting appropriate relief,
17including, but not limited to, reinstatement with back pay. The
18department may intervene in any action commenced under this
19subsection.<-]

20(e) Basis to report.--

21(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3) and subsection
22(f), a person under subsection (f) shall make a report of
23suspected child abuse or cause a report of suspected child
24abuse to be made under this chapter if the person has
25reasonable cause to suspect that the child is a victim of
26child abuse and:

27(i) In the course of employment, occupation or
28practice of a profession, the person comes in contact
29with the child.

30(ii) The person is affiliated with an agency,

1institution, organization or other entity, including a
2school or regularly established religious organization
3that is directly responsible for the care, supervision,
4guidance or training of the child.

5(2) The child need not come before the person in order
6for the person to make a report of suspected child abuse or
7cause a report of suspected child abuse to be made.

8(3) The identity of the perpetrator of child abuse need
9not be known by the person required to make a report of
10suspected child abuse or cause a report of suspected child
11abuse to be made. The person shall not be required to attempt
12to identify the perpetrator prior to making the report or
13causing the report to be made.

14(f) Enumerated mandated reporters.--Subject to subsection
15(e), the following persons shall make a report of suspected
16child abuse or cause a report of suspected child abuse to be
17made under this chapter:

18(1) A person licensed to practice in any health-related
19field under the jurisdiction of the Department of State of
20the Commonwealth.

21(2) A medical examiner, coroner or funeral director.

22(3) A health care facility or provider licensed by the
23Department of Health and its employees engaged in the
24admission, examination, care or treatment of individuals.

25(4) A school administrator, teacher, nurse, guidance
26counselor, coach or other school employee.

27(5) A child-care services provider.

28(6) A clergyman, priest, rabbi, minister, Christian
29Science practitioner, religious healer or spiritual leader of
30any regularly established church or other religious

1organization.

2(7) An individual, paid or unpaid, who, on the basis of
3the individual's role as an integral part of a regularly
4scheduled program, activity or service, accepts
5responsibility for a child.

6(8) A social services worker.

7(9) A peace officer or law enforcement official.

8(10) An attorney.

9(11) A librarian at a public library.

10(12) An emergency medical services provider certified by
11the Department of Health.

12(13) An employee of any person listed under paragraphs
13(1) through (12) who has direct contact with children.

14(14) An independent contractor of any person listed
15under paragraphs (1) through (12).

16(g) Disclosure of child abuse by child.--Notwithstanding
17subsection (e)(1)(i) and (ii), a mandated reporter shall make a
18report of suspected child abuse or cause a report of suspected
19child abuse to be made if:

20(1) a child makes a specific disclosure to the mandated
21reporter that the child or a relative or friend of the child
22is the victim of child abuse; and

23(2) the mandated reporter has reasonable cause to
24suspect that the child abuse has occurred.

25(h) Disclosure of child abuse by individual.--Subject to
26subsection (j), a mandated reporter shall make a report of
27suspected child abuse or cause a report of suspected child abuse
28to be made if:

29(1) an individual who is 14 years of age or older makes
30a specific disclosure to the mandated reporter that the

1individual has committed child abuse; and

2(2) the mandated reporter has reasonable cause to
3suspect that the child abuse has occurred.

4(i) Reports by employees, independent contractors and staff
5members.--

6(1) A mandated reporter to whom subsection (f)(13) or
7(14) applies or a staff member of a medical or other public
8or private institution, school, facility or agency shall
9immediately report the suspected child abuse directly to the
10department by telephone or advanced communications
11technologies and:

12(i) In the case of an employee or independent
13contractor of a mandated reporter, notify the mandated
14reporter and the person directly responsible for the
15supervision of the employee or independent contractor.

16(ii) In the case of a staff member of an
17institution, school, facility or agency, notify the
18person in charge of the institution, school, facility or
19agency or the designated agent of the person in charge.

20(2) The person notified under paragraph (1)(i) or (ii)
21may not:

22(i) control or restrain another person from making a
23report of suspected child abuse or causing a report of
24suspected child abuse to be made;

25(ii) modify, edit or otherwise change the substance
26of a report of suspected child abuse; or

27(iii) obstruct, prevent or delay the forwarding of a
28report of suspected child abuse.

29(3) Notice to a person under paragraph (1)(i) or (ii)
30shall not relieve the employee, independent contractor or

1staff member of the duty, as a mandated reporter, to make a
2report of suspected child abuse or cause a report of
3suspected child abuse to be made.

4(4) A person who receives notice under paragraph (1)(i)
5or (ii) shall facilitate the cooperation of the person's
6institution, school, facility or agency with the child abuse
7investigation.

8(5) Confirmation from the department that a report of
9suspected child abuse has been filed shall relieve other
10employees, independent contractors and staff members of the
11duty, as a mandated reporter, to make a report of suspected
12child abuse or cause a report of suspected child abuse to be
13made.

14(j) Privileged communications.--

15(1) Subject to paragraphs (2), (3) and (4), the
16privileged communication between a mandated reporter and a
17patient or client of the mandated reporter shall not:

18(i) apply to a situation involving child abuse; and

19(ii) constitute relieving the mandated reporter of
20the duty to make a report of suspected child abuse or
21cause a report of suspected child abuse to be made.

22(2) Confidential communications made to a member of the
23clergy are protected under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5943 (relating to
24confidential communications to clergymen), but only to the
25extent that the member of the clergy is authorized to hear
26the communications under the disciplines, tenets or
27traditions of the religion of the member of the clergy.

28(3) Confidential communications made to an attorney are
29protected under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5916 (relating to confidential
30communications to attorney) or 5928 (relating to confidential

1communications to attorney), but only to the extent that such
2communications are protected under the rules of professional
3conduct for attorneys.

4(4) Confidential communications between spouses shall
5not be privileged under this chapter, notwithstanding any
6grant of privilege under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5914 (relating to
7confidential communications between spouses) or 5923
8(relating to confidential communications between spouses).

9(k) Limited exemption for certain reporters.--A sexual
10assault counselor at a rape crisis center as defined under 42
11Pa.C.S. § 5945.1(a) (relating to confidential communications
12with sexual assault counselors) shall not be required to report
13a violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 3122.1(a)(1) (relating to statutory
14sexual assault) as child abuse under this chapter if the child
15who would otherwise be the subject of a report of suspected
16child abuse is 14 years of age or older.

17§ 6312. Persons [permitted] encouraged to report suspected
18child abuse.

19[In addition to those persons and officials required to
20report suspected child abuse, any] (a) General rule.--Any
21person may make [such] a report of suspected child abuse, or
22cause a report of suspected child abuse to be made, if that
23person has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is an abused
24child.

<-25Section 3. Title 23 is amended by adding sections to read:

26§ 6312.1. Specific persons encouraged to report.

<-27(b) Specific persons.--The following persons are encouraged
28to make a report of suspected child abuse, sexual abuse or
29exploitation or cause a report of suspected child abuse, sexual
30abuse or exploitation to be made under this chapter:

1(1) A commercial film or photographic print processor
2who discovers any depiction of child abuse, sexual abuse or
3exploitation in material presented for processing.

4(2) A person who repairs or services computer,
5electronic or other information technology equipment and
6devices and discovers any depiction of child abuse, sexual
7abuse or exploitation during the provision of those repairs
8or services.

<-9Section 3. Title 23 is amended by adding a section to read:

10§ 6312.1. <-§ 6312.2. Required posting of signs.

11(a) General rule.--A business establishment shall post a
12sign containing information regarding the Childline and Abuse
13Registry <-Intake Unit and any other establishment or business may
14post such sign.

15(b) Manner of posting.--A business establishment shall post
16at least one sign in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the
17employees of the business establishment.

18(c) Size, information and design.--

19(1) The sign shall be at least 8 1/2 by 11 inches in
20size.

21(2) The <-Department of Public Welfare department shall
22design the sign to include the hotline or phone number for
23reporting suspected child abuse.

24(3) The <-Department of Public Welfare department may
25consult with child advocates to determine other information
26that may be included in the sign.

27(4) The <-Department of Public Welfare department shall
28design the sign to draw attention to the telephone number of
29the Childline and Abuse Registry <-Intake by showing the number
30in bold type and large font.

1(5) The sign shall be posted in English, Spanish and any
2other language mandated by the Voting Rights Act of 1965
3(Public Law 89-110, 42 U.S.C. § 1973 et seq.) in the county
4where the sign is required to be posted.

<-5(d) Availability of sign on Internet.--The Department of 
6Public Welfare

<-7(6) The department shall make the sign required by 
8subsection (a) available on its publicly accessible Internet 
9website for business establishments to print as needed.

<-10(d) Violation.--It is a violation of this section for a
11business establishment to fail to post a sign in the manner
12required by subsection (b). The owner, operator or manager of
13the business establishment is responsible for violations of this
14section.

15(e) Complaints.--A complaint regarding a possible violation
16of this section may be made to the appropriate law enforcement
17agency.

18(f) Penalties.--A person that violates the posting
19requirements of this section commits a summary offense, and
20shall, upon conviction of a first offense, be sentenced to pay a
21fine of not more than $100. A person convicted of a second or
22subsequent violation of this section shall be sentenced to pay a
23fine of not more than $250.

24(g) Affirmative defense.--Any of the following shall be an
25affirmative defense by an owner, operator or manager to a
26prosecution under this section:

27(1)  When the violation occurred, the actual control of
28the business establishment was not exercised by the owner,
29operator or manager, but by a lessee.

30(2)  The owner, operator or manager made a good faith

1effort to post the required signs.

<-2Section 4. Section 6313 of Title 23 is amended to read:

3§ 6313. Reporting procedure.

4[(a) General rule.--Reports from persons required to report
5under section 6311 (relating to persons required to report
6suspected child abuse) shall be made immediately by telephone
7and in writing within 48 hours after the oral report.

8(b) Oral reports.--Oral reports shall be made to the
9department pursuant to Subchapter C (relating to powers and
10duties of department) and may be made to the appropriate county
11agency. When oral reports of suspected child abuse are initially
12received at the county agency, the protective services staff
13shall, after seeing to the immediate safety of the child and
14other children in the home, immediately notify the department of
15the receipt of the report, which is to be held in the pending
16complaint file as provided in Subchapter C. The initial child
17abuse report summary shall be supplemented with a written report
18when a determination is made as to whether a report of suspected
19child abuse is a founded report, an unfounded report or an
20indicated report.

21(c) Written reports.--Written reports from persons required
22to report under section 6311 shall be made to the appropriate
23county agency in a manner and on forms the department prescribes
24by regulation. The written reports shall include the following
25information if available:

26(1) The names and addresses of the child and the parents
27or other person responsible for the care of the child if
28known.

29(2) Where the suspected abuse occurred.

30(3) The age and sex of the subjects of the report.

1(4) The nature and extent of the suspected child abuse,
2including any evidence of prior abuse to the child or
3siblings of the child.

4(5) The name and relationship of the person or persons
5responsible for causing the suspected abuse, if known, and
6any evidence of prior abuse by that person or persons.

7(6) Family composition.

8(7) The source of the report.

9(8) The person making the report and where that person
10can be reached.

11(9) The actions taken by the reporting source, including
12the taking of photographs and X-rays, removal or keeping of
13the child or notifying the medical examiner or coroner.

14(10) Any other information which the department may
15require by regulation.

16(d) Failure to confirm oral report.--The failure of a person
17reporting cases of suspected child abuse to confirm an oral
18report in writing within 48 hours shall not relieve the county
19agency from any duties prescribed by this chapter. In such
20event, the county agency shall proceed as if a written report
21were actually made.]

22(e) Report by mandated reporter.--

23(1) A report of suspected child abuse by or on behalf of
24a mandated reporter shall be made immediately to the
25department by telephone or advanced communication
26technologies.

27(2) A mandated reporter making an oral report of
28suspected child abuse shall also make a report in writing or
29by advanced communication technologies within 48 hours to the
30county agency assigned to the case in a manner and format

1that the department prescribes by regulation.

2(3) The failure of a mandated reporter to file the
3report in writing or by advanced communication technologies
4as required by paragraph (2) shall not relieve the county
5agency from any duty under this chapter and the county agency
6shall proceed as though the mandated reporter complied with
7paragraph (2).

8(f) Permissive report.--A report of suspected child abuse by
9a person under section 6312 (relating to persons encouraged to
10report suspected child abuse) may be made orally or by advanced
11communication technologies to the department, county agency or
12law enforcement.

13(g) Contents of report.--A report of suspected child abuse
14that is made in writing or by advanced communication
15technologies shall include the following information, if known:

16(1) The names and addresses of the child, the child's
17parents and any other person responsible for the child's
18welfare.

19(2) The location where the suspected abuse occurred.

20(3) The age and sex of each subject of the report.

21(4) The nature and extent of the suspected child abuse,
22including any evidence of prior abuse to the child or any
23sibling of the child.

24(5) The name and relationship of each individual
25responsible for causing the suspected abuse and any evidence
26of prior abuse by each such individual.

27(6) Family composition.

28(7) The source of the report.

29(8) The person making the report and the location where
30that person may be contacted.

1(9) The actions taken by the person making the report,
2including those actions taken under section 6314 (relating to
3photographs, medical tests and X-rays of child subject to
4report), 6315 (relating to taking child into protective
5custody), 6316 (relating to admission to private and public
6hospitals) or 6317 (relating to mandatory reporting and
7postmortem investigation of deaths).

8(10) Any other information that the department requires
9by regulation.

10Section 5. Title 23 is amended by adding a section to read:

11§ 6379. Penalties.

<-12Section 4. Section 6319 of Title 23 is amended to read:

13§ 6319. Penalties [for failure to report or to refer].

14[A person or official required by this chapter to report a
15case of suspected child abuse or to make a referral to the
16appropriate authorities who willfully fails to do so commits a
17misdemeanor of the third degree for the first violation and a
18misdemeanor of the second degree for a second or subsequent
19violation.]

20(a) Failure to report or refer.--A person or official
21required by this chapter to report a case of suspected child
22abuse or to make a referral to the appropriate authorities
23commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if the person or
24official willfully fails to do so, except that if the child
25abuse constitutes a felony of the first degree or higher, the
26person or official commits a felony of the third degree.

27(b) <-Interference with Prevention of making report or
28referral.--A person who intentionally or knowingly prevents or
29interferes with <-attempts to prevent the making of a report or
30referral of suspected child abuse commits a misdemeanor of the

1first degree, except that if the child abuse constitutes a
2felony of the first degree or higher, the person commits a
3felony of the second degree.

4(c) Concealment of abuse to protect another.--A person who
5intentionally or knowingly acts to prevent the discovery under
6this chapter of child abuse in order to protect or insulate any
7person or entity from prosecution or liability for the child
8abuse commits a felony of the third degree, except if the child
9abuse constitutes a felony of the first degree or higher, the
10person commits a felony of the first degree.

11(d) Continuing course of action.--If a person's willful
12failure under subsection (a) continues while the person knows or
13has reasonable cause to believe the child is actively being
14subjected to child abuse, the person commits a felony of the
15third degree, except that if the child abuse constitutes a
16felony of the first degree or higher, the person commits a
17felony of the first degree.

18(e) Multiple offenses.--A person who commits a second or
19subsequent offense under subsections (a), (b), (c) or (d)
20commits a felony of the second degree, except that if the child
21abuse constitutes a felony of the first degree or higher, the
22penalty for the second or subsequent offenses is a felony of the
23first degree.

24(f) Statute of limitations.--The statute of limitations for
25an offense under subsections (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) shall be
26either the statute of limitations for the crime committed
27against the minor child or five years, whichever is greater.

28Section <-6 5. This act shall take effect in 60 days.

 

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