PRIOR PRINTER'S NO. 818
PRINTER'S NO. 2011
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
INTRODUCED BY STEPHENS, WATSON, AUMENT, GINGRICH, MALONEY, MOUL, YOUNGBLOOD, SCHLOSSBERG, HICKERNELL, MUNDY, ROCK, KORTZ, SACCONE, MAJOR, CUTLER, KAUFFMAN, O'NEILL, BAKER, SWANGER, R. MILLER, FLECK, C. HARRIS, CLYMER, MILNE, BENNINGHOFF, MURT, EVERETT, GIBBONS, QUINN, HARKINS, BIZZARRO AND FARRY, FEBRUARY 14, 2013
AS REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE ON CHILDREN AND YOUTH, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AS AMENDED, JUNE 11, 2013
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
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.
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:
13* * *
17* * *
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* * *
1* * *
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:
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.
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* * *
<-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:
30(2) A medical examiner, coroner or funeral director.
4(4) A school employee.
5(5) An employee of a child-care service.
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.
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
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:
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.
26(b.1) Privileged communications.--
30(i) Apply to a situation involving child abuse.
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).
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.
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
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
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
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:
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.
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:
21(2) A medical examiner, coroner or funeral director.
27(5) A child-care services provider.
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.
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:
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:
1individual has committed child abuse; and
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
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.
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
14(j) Privileged communications.--
18(i) apply to a situation involving child abuse; and
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.
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.
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
<-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:
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
<-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.
18(c) Size, information and design.--
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.
<-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
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.
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
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:
29(2) Where the suspected abuse occurred.
30(3) The age and sex of the subjects of the report.
7(6) Family composition.
8(7) The source of the report.
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.--
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
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
19(2) The location where the suspected abuse occurred.
20(3) The age and sex of each subject of the report.
27(6) Family composition.
28(7) The source of the report.
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).
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
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
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
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.