PRINTER'S NO. 828
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
INTRODUCED BY PETRI, WATSON, BISHOP, R. BROWN, CONKLIN, EVERETT, FABRIZIO, FARRY, GROVE, HARHART, C. HARRIS, HESS, KORTZ, MARSICO, MILLARD, MURT, O'NEILL, ROZZI, SANTARSIERO AND SAYLOR, FEBRUARY 14, 2013
REFERRED TO COMMITEE ON CHILDREN AND YOUTH, FEBRUARY 14, 2013
1Amending Title 23 (Domestic Relations) of the Pennsylvania
2Consolidated Statutes, in child protective services, further
3providing for definitions and for investigation of reports;
4and providing for factors to consider when investigating
8Section 1. The definitions of "child," "nonaccidental,"
9"recent acts or omissions," "serious physical injury" and
10"sexual abuse or exploitation" in section 6303(a) of Title 23 of
11the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes are amended, subsection
12(a) is amended by adding definitions and subsection (b) is
13amended to read:
14§ 6303. Definitions.
18* * *
5* * *
6"Nonaccidental." [An injury that is the result of an
7intentional act that is committed with disregard of a
8substantial and unjustifiable risk] Conduct that is knowing or
9intentional or is committed with conscious disregard of a
10substantial and unjustifiable risk.
11* * *
12"Recent [acts or omissions." Acts or omissions] act or
13failure to act." Any act or failure to act committed within two
14years of the date of the report to the Department of Public
15Welfare or county agency.
16* * *
17["Serious physical injury." An injury that:
18(1) causes a child severe pain; or
21"Serious physical neglect." Any of the following when
22committed by a perpetrator that endangers a child's life or
23health, threatens a child's well-being, causes bodily injury or
24impairs a child's health, development or functioning:
30["Sexual abuse or exploitation." Any of the following:
4(2) The employment, use, persuasion, inducement,
5enticement or coercion of a child to engage in or assist
6another individual to engage in simulation of sexually
7explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual
8depiction, including photographing, videotaping, computer
9depicting and filming.
13(ii) Sexual assault.
14(iii) Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.
15(iv) Aggravated indecent assault.
18(vii) Indecent exposure.
20(ix) Sexual abuse.
21(x) Sexual exploitation.]
22"Sexual abuse or exploitation." Any of the following:
23(1) The employment, use, persuasion, inducement,
24enticement or coercion of a child to engage in or assist
25another individual to engage in sexually explicit conduct,
26which includes, but is not limited to, the following:
30(ii) Participating in sexually explicit conversation
17* * *
18(b) Child abuse.--
1[(iii)] (iv) Any recent act, failure to act or
2series of such acts or failures to act by a perpetrator
3which creates [an imminent] a substantial and
4unjustifiable risk of [serious physical injury] bodily
5injury to or sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a
6child [under 18 years of age].
7[(iv)] (v) Serious physical neglect by a perpetrator
8[constituting prolonged or repeated lack of supervision
9or the failure to provide essentials of life, including
10adequate medical care, which endangers a child's life or
11development or impairs the child's functioning].
12(2) [No child shall be deemed to be physically or
13mentally abused based on injuries that result solely from
14environmental factors that are beyond the control of the
15parent or person responsible for the child's welfare, such as
16inadequate housing, furnishings, income, clothing and medical
18(3) If, upon investigation, the county agency determines
19that a child has not been provided needed medical or surgical
20care because of seriously held religious beliefs of the
21child's parents, guardian or person responsible for the
22child's welfare, which beliefs are consistent with those of a
23bona fide religion, the child shall not be deemed to be
24physically or mentally abused. The county agency shall
25closely monitor the child and shall seek court-ordered
26medical intervention when the lack of medical or surgical
27care threatens the child's life or long-term health. In cases
28involving religious circumstances, all correspondence with a
29subject of the report and the records of the Department of
30Public Welfare and the county agency shall not reference
1"child abuse" and shall acknowledge the religious basis for
2the child's condition, and the family shall be referred for
3general protective services, if appropriate.] The term "child
4abuse" does not include any of the following:
5(i) Physical or mental injuries that result solely
6from environmental factors that are beyond the control of
7the parent or person responsible for the child's welfare,
8such as inadequate housing, furnishings, income, clothing
9and medical care.
10(ii) A refusal to provide needed medical,
11psychological or surgical care that is the result of
12seriously held religious beliefs, consistent with those
13of a bona fide religion, by the child's parents, guardian
14or person responsible for the child's welfare.
15(iii) The use of force by a parent or guardian or
16other person similarly responsible for the general care
17and supervision of a child or a person acting at the
18request of the parent, guardian or their responsible
19person, if all of the following apply:
24(B) the force used is not designed to cause or
25known to create a substantial risk of causing death,
26serious bodily injury, disfigurement, extreme pain or
27mental distress or gross degradation; and
4§ 6368. Investigation of reports.
5* * *
6(e) If, upon investigation, the county agency determines
7that a child has not been provided needed medical, psychological
8or surgical care because of seriously held religious beliefs of
9the child's parents, guardian or person responsible for the
10child's welfare, which beliefs are consistent with those of a
11bona fide religion, the county agency shall closely monitor the
12child and shall seek court-ordered medical intervention when the
13lack of medical or surgical care threatens the child's life or
14long-term health. In cases involving religious circumstances,
15all correspondence with a subject of the report and the records
16of the department and the county agency shall not reference
17"child abuse" and shall acknowledge the religious basis for the
18child's condition, and the family shall be referred for general
19protective services, if appropriate.
20Section 3. Title 23 is amended by adding a section to read:
21§ 6368.1. Factors to consider when investigating child abuse.
25(1) Whether bodily injury occurred, based on an obvious
26bodily injury or a substantial likelihood that the child's
27injury caused substantial pain or impairment of physical
28condition during or after the time of injury, considering the
29age, size, physical and mental condition of the child.
30(2) Whether the injury was nonaccidental.
5(b) Investigation of suspected sexual abuse or
6exploitation.--When investigating suspected sexual abuse or
7exploitation, the county agency shall consider all relevant
8factors, including whether the alleged perpetrator's act or
9failure to act caused sexual abuse or exploitation of the child.
13(1) Whether serious mental injury occurred to the child.
14(2) Whether the serious mental injury was nonaccidental.
17(d) Investigation of creation of risk.--When investigating
18whether suspected child abuse occurred by creating risk, the
19county agency shall consider all relevant factors, including the
9(3) Whether the child's life or health was endangered,
10the child's well-being was threatened, bodily injury was
11caused to the child, or the child's health, development or
12functioning was impaired.
19Section 4. This act shall take effect in 60 days.