PRINTER'S NO. 680
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
INTRODUCED BY WARD, BLAKE, SCARNATI, PILEGGI, WASHINGTON, STACK, TEPLITZ, ERICKSON, BREWSTER, FONTANA, BAKER, RAFFERTY, YUDICHAK, VULAKOVICH, KASUNIC, TARTAGLIONE, WILLIAMS, SMITH, WAUGH, FARNESE, BROWNE AND SOLOBAY, MARCH 15, 2013
REFERRED TO AGING AND YOUTH, MARCH 15, 2013
1Amending Title 23 (Domestic Relations) of the Pennsylvania
2Consolidated Statutes, in child protective services, further
3providing for persons required to report suspected child
4abuse, for persons permitted to report suspected child abuse,
5for reporting procedure, for documentary evidence on a child
6subject to report and for taking child into protective
12§ 6311. Persons required to report suspected child abuse.
13[(a) General rule.--A person who, in the course of
14employment, occupation or practice of a profession, comes into
15contact with children shall report or cause a report to be made
16in accordance with section 6313 (relating to reporting
17procedure) when the person has reasonable cause to suspect, on
18the basis of medical, professional or other training and
19experience, that a child under the care, supervision, guidance
1or training of that person or of an agency, institution,
2organization or other entity with which that person is
3affiliated is a victim of child abuse, including child abuse by
4an individual who is not a perpetrator. Except with respect to
5confidential communications made to a member of the clergy which
6are protected under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5943 (relating to confidential
7communications to clergymen), and except with respect to
8confidential communications made to an attorney which are
9protected by 42 Pa.C.S. § 5916 (relating to confidential
10communications to attorney) or 5928 (relating to confidential
11communications to attorney), the privileged communication
12between any professional person required to report and the
13patient or client of that person shall not apply to situations
14involving child abuse and shall not constitute grounds for
15failure to report as required by this chapter.
16(b) Enumeration of persons required to report.--Persons
17required to report under subsection (a) include, but are not
18limited to, any licensed physician, osteopath, medical examiner,
19coroner, funeral director, dentist, optometrist, chiropractor,
20podiatrist, intern, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse,
21hospital personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care
22or treatment of persons, Christian Science practitioner, member
23of the clergy, school administrator, school teacher, school
24nurse, social services worker, day-care center worker or any
25other child-care or foster-care worker, mental health
26professional, peace officer or law enforcement official.
27(c) Staff members of institutions, etc.--Whenever a person
28is required to report under subsection (b) in the capacity as a
29member of the staff of a medical or other public or private
30institution, school, facility or agency, that person shall
1immediately notify the person in charge of the institution,
2school, facility or agency or the designated agent of the person
3in charge. Upon notification, the person in charge or the
4designated agent, if any, shall assume the responsibility and
5have the legal obligation to report or cause a report to be made
6in accordance with section 6313. This chapter does not require
7more than one report from any such institution, school, facility
9(d) Civil action for discrimination against person filing
10report.--Any person who, under this section, is required to
11report or cause a report of suspected child abuse to be made and
12who, in good faith, makes or causes the report to be made and,
13as a result thereof, is discharged from his employment or in any
14other manner is discriminated against with respect to
15compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of
16employment, may commence an action in the court of common pleas
17of the county in which the alleged unlawful discharge or
18discrimination occurred for appropriate relief. If the court
19finds that the person is an individual who, under this section,
20is required to report or cause a report of suspected child abuse
21to be made and who, in good faith, made or caused to be made a
22report of suspected child abuse and, as a result thereof, was
23discharged or discriminated against with respect to
24compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of
25employment, it may issue an order granting appropriate relief,
26including, but not limited to, reinstatement with back pay. The
27department may intervene in any action commenced under this
29(a) Basis to report.--
30(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3) and subsection
1(b), a person under subsection (b) shall make a report of
2suspected child abuse, or cause a report of suspected child
3abuse to be made, under this chapter if the person has
4reasonable cause to suspect that the child is a victim of
5child abuse, and:
14(3) The identity of the perpetrator of child abuse need
15not be known by the person required to make a report of
16suspected child abuse or cause a report of suspected child
17abuse to be made. The person shall not be required to attempt
18to identify the perpetrator prior to making the report or
19causing the report to be made.
20(b) Enumerated mandated reporters.--Subject to subsection
21(a), the following persons shall make a report of suspected
22child abuse, or cause a report of suspected child abuse to be
23made, under this chapter:
26(2) A medical examiner, coroner or funeral director.
30(4) A school administrator, teacher, nurse, guidance
13(8) A social services worker.
14(9) A peace officer or law enforcement official.
17(c) Disclosure of child abuse by individual.--
18Notwithstanding subsection (a)(1), a mandated reporter shall
19make a report of suspected child abuse or cause a report of
20suspected child abuse to be made if:
26(d) Reports by employees.--
27(1) If a person is required to report under this
28section, the person shall immediately report the suspected
29child abuse directly to the department by telephone or
30electronically. A mandated reporter may delegate the direct
4(2) A mandated reporter or his employee may not:
9(3) Delegation to an employee under paragraph (1) shall
10not relieve the mandatory reporter of the obligation as a
11mandated reporter to make a report under section 6313
12(relating to reporting procedure).
13(4) Confirmation from the department that a report of
14suspected child abuse has been filed shall relieve other
15employees and independent contractors of the obligation to
16make a report of suspected child abuse or cause a report of
17suspected child abuse to be made.
18(e) Privileged communications.--
22(i) apply to a situation involving child abuse; and
26(2) Confidential communications made to a member of the
27clergy are protected under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5943 (relating to
28confidential communications to clergymen), but only to the
29extent that the member of the clergy is authorized to hear
30the communications under the disciplines, tenets or
1traditions of the religion of the member of the clergy.
2(3) Confidential communications made to an attorney that
3are protected under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5916 (relating to
4confidential communications to attorney) or 5928 (relating to
5confidential communications to attorney) are privileged under
7(4) Confidential communications between spouses shall
8not be privileged under this chapter notwithstanding any
9grant of privilege under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5914 (relating to
10confidential communications between spouses) or 5923
11(relating to confidential communications between spouses).
12(f) Limited exemption.--A sexual assault counselor at a rape
13crisis center, as defined under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5945.1(a) (relating
14to confidential communications with sexual assault counselors),
15shall not be required to report a violation of 18 Pa.C.S. §
163122.1(a)(1) (relating to statutory sexual assault) as child
17abuse under this chapter when the child who would otherwise be
18the subject of a report of suspected child abuse is 14 years of
19age or older.
22[In addition to those persons and officials required to
23report suspected child abuse, any] Any person may make [such a
24report] an oral or electronic report of suspected child abuse,
25or cause an oral or electronic report of suspected child abuse
26to be made to the department, county or law enforcement, if that
27person has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is an abused
29§ 6313. Reporting procedure.
30[(a) General rule.--Reports from persons required to report
4(b) Oral reports.--Oral reports shall be made to the
5department pursuant to Subchapter C (relating to powers and
6duties of department) and may be made to the appropriate county
7agency. When oral reports of suspected child abuse are initially
8received at the county agency, the protective services staff
9shall, after seeing to the immediate safety of the child and
10other children in the home, immediately notify the department of
11the receipt of the report, which is to be held in the pending
12complaint file as provided in Subchapter C. The initial child
13abuse report summary shall be supplemented with a written report
14when a determination is made as to whether a report of suspected
15child abuse is a founded report, an unfounded report or an
17(c) Written reports.--Written reports from persons required
18to report under section 6311 shall be made to the appropriate
19county agency in a manner and on forms the department prescribes
20by regulation. The written reports shall include the following
21information if available:
25(2) Where the suspected abuse occurred.
26(3) The age and sex of the subjects of the report.
30(5) The name and relationship of the person or persons
3(6) Family composition.
4(7) The source of the report.
12(d) Failure to confirm oral report.--The failure of a person
13reporting cases of suspected child abuse to confirm an oral
14report in writing within 48 hours shall not relieve the county
15agency from any duties prescribed by this chapter. In such
16event, the county agency shall proceed as if a written report
17were actually made.]
18(a) Report by mandated reporter.--
22(2) A mandated reporter making a report under paragraph
23(1) of suspected child abuse shall also make a report in
24writing or electronically within 48 hours to the county
25agency assigned to the case in a manner and format that the
26department prescribes by regulation.
27(3) The failure of the mandated reporter to file the
28report in writing or electronically under paragraph (2) shall
29not relieve the county agency from any duty under this
30chapter, and the county agency shall proceed as though the
1mandated reporter complied with paragraph (2).
8(2) Where the suspected abuse occurred.
9(3) The age and sex of each subject of the report.
16(6) Family composition.
17(7) The source of the report.
20(9) The actions taken by the person making the report,
21including those actions taken under section 6314 (relating to
22photographs, medical tests and X-rays of child subject to
23report), 6315 (relating to taking child into protective
24custody), 6316 (relating to admission to private and public
25hospitals) or 6317 (relating to mandatory reporting and
26postmortem investigation of deaths).
1A person or official required to report cases of suspected
2child abuse may take or cause to be taken photographs of the
3child who is subject to a report and, if clinically indicated,
4cause to be performed a radiological examination and other
5medical tests on the child. Medical summaries or reports of the
6photographs, X-rays and relevant medical tests taken shall be
7sent to the county agency at the time the written report is sent
8or within 48 hours after a report is made by advanced
9communication technologies or as soon thereafter as possible.
10The county agency shall have access to actual photographs or
11duplicates and X-rays and may obtain them or duplicates of them
15§ 6315. Taking child into protective custody.
18* * *
19(4) Subject to this section and after receipt of a court
20order, the county agency shall take a child into protective
21custody for protection from abuse. No county agency worker
22may take custody of the child without judicial authorization
23based on the merits of the situation.
24* * *
25Section 3. This act shall take effect in 60 days.