PRIOR PRINTER'S NO. 680
PRINTER'S NO. 1385
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, SOLOBAY, HUGHES, COSTA, ALLOWAY, SCHWANK AND BOSCOLA, MARCH 15, 2013
SENATOR MENSCH, AGING AND YOUTH, AS AMENDED, SEPTEMBER 24, 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
<-8Amending Title 23 (Domestic Relations) of the Pennsylvania
9Consolidated Statutes, in provisions and responsibilities for
10reporting suspected child abuse, further providing for
11definitions and for persons required to report suspected
12child abuse; providing for privileged communications; further
13providing for persons permitted to report suspected child
14abuse, for reporting procedure, for documentary evidence on a
15child subject to report and for taking child into protective
16custody; and, in organization and responsibilities of child
17protective service, repealing provisions relating to taking
18child into protective custody.
1§ 6303. Definitions.
5* * *
9* * *
10"Independent contractor." An individual who provides a
11program, activity or service to an agency, institution,
12organization or other entity, including a school or regularly
13established religious organization, that is responsible for the
14care, supervision, guidance or control of children. The term
15does not include an individual who has no direct contact with
17* * *
20* * *
25(1) A youth camp or program.
26(2) A recreational camp or program.
27(3) A sports or athletic program.
28(4) An outreach program.
29(5) An enrichment program.
30(6) A troop, club or similar organization.
1* * *
2Section 2. Section 6311 of Title 23 is amended to read:
3§ 6311. Persons required to report suspected child abuse.
4[(a) General rule.--A person who, in the course of
5employment, occupation or practice of a profession, comes into
6contact with children shall report or cause a report to be made
7in accordance with section 6313 (relating to reporting
8procedure) when the person has reasonable cause to suspect, on
9the basis of medical, professional or other training and
10experience, that a child under the care, supervision, guidance
11or training of that person or of an agency, institution,
12organization or other entity with which that person is
13affiliated is a victim of child abuse, including child abuse by
14an individual who is not a perpetrator. Except with respect to
15confidential communications made to a member of the clergy which
16are protected under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5943 (relating to confidential
17communications to clergymen), and except with respect to
18confidential communications made to an attorney which are
19protected by 42 Pa.C.S. § 5916 (relating to confidential
20communications to attorney) or 5928 (relating to confidential
21communications to attorney), the privileged communication
22between any professional person required to report and the
23patient or client of that person shall not apply to situations
24involving child abuse and shall not constitute grounds for
25failure to report as required by this chapter.
26(b) Enumeration of persons required to report.--Persons
27required to report under subsection (a) include, but are not
28limited to, any licensed physician, osteopath, medical examiner,
29coroner, funeral director, dentist, optometrist, chiropractor,
30podiatrist, intern, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse,
1hospital personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care
2or treatment of persons, Christian Science practitioner, member
3of the clergy, school administrator, school teacher, school
4nurse, social services worker, day-care center worker or any
5other child-care or foster-care worker, mental health
6professional, peace officer or law enforcement official.
7(c) Staff members of institutions, etc.--Whenever a person
8is required to report under subsection (b) in the capacity as a
9member of the staff of a medical or other public or private
10institution, school, facility or agency, that person shall
11immediately notify the person in charge of the institution,
12school, facility or agency or the designated agent of the person
13in charge. Upon notification, the person in charge or the
14designated agent, if any, shall assume the responsibility and
15have the legal obligation to report or cause a report to be made
16in accordance with section 6313. This chapter does not require
17more than one report from any such institution, school, facility
19(d) Civil action for discrimination against person filing
20report.--Any person who, under this section, is required to
21report or cause a report of suspected child abuse to be made and
22who, in good faith, makes or causes the report to be made and,
23as a result thereof, is discharged from his employment or in any
24other manner is discriminated against with respect to
25compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of
26employment, may commence an action in the court of common pleas
27of the county in which the alleged unlawful discharge or
28discrimination occurred for appropriate relief. If the court
29finds that the person is an individual who, under this section,
30is required to report or cause a report of suspected child abuse
1to be made and who, in good faith, made or caused to be made a
2report of suspected child abuse and, as a result thereof, was
3discharged or discriminated against with respect to
4compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of
5employment, it may issue an order granting appropriate relief,
6including, but not limited to, reinstatement with back pay. The
7department may intervene in any action commenced under this
<-9(a) Basis to report.--
10(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3) and subsection
11(b), a person under subsection (b) shall make a report of
12suspected child abuse, or cause a report of suspected child
13abuse to be made, under this chapter if the person has
14reasonable cause to suspect that the child is a victim of
15child abuse, and:
24(3) The identity of the perpetrator of child abuse need
25not be known by the person required to make a report of
26suspected child abuse or cause a report of suspected child
27abuse to be made. The person shall not be required to attempt
28to identify the perpetrator prior to making the report or
29causing the report to be made.
30(b) Enumerated mandated reporters.--Subject to subsection
6(2) A medical examiner, coroner or funeral director.
23(8) A social services worker.
24(9) A peace officer or law enforcement official.
27(c) Disclosure of child abuse by individual.--
28Notwithstanding subsection (a)(1), a mandated reporter shall
29make a report of suspected child abuse or cause a report of
30suspected child abuse to be made if:
6(d) Reports by employees.--
7(1) If a person is required to report under this
8section, the person shall immediately report the suspected
9child abuse directly to the department by telephone or
10electronically. A mandated reporter may delegate the direct
11reporting to the department by telephone to an employee. The
12employee of a mandated reporter must notify the mandated
13reporter of the completion of the report.
14(2) A mandated reporter or his employee may not:
19(3) Delegation to an employee under paragraph (1) shall
20not relieve the mandatory reporter of the obligation as a
21mandated reporter to make a report under section 6313
22(relating to reporting procedure).
23(4) Confirmation from the department that a report of
24suspected child abuse has been filed shall relieve other
25employees and independent contractors of the obligation to
26make a report of suspected child abuse or cause a report of
27suspected child abuse to be made.
28(e) Privileged communications.--
1client of the mandated reporter shall not:
2(i) apply to a situation involving child abuse; and
6(2) Confidential communications made to a member of the
7clergy are protected under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5943 (relating to
8confidential communications to clergymen), but only to the
9extent that the member of the clergy is authorized to hear
10the communications under the disciplines, tenets or
11traditions of the religion of the member of the clergy.
12(3) Confidential communications made to an attorney that
13are protected under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5916 (relating to
14confidential communications to attorney) or 5928 (relating to
15confidential communications to attorney) are privileged under
17(4) Confidential communications between spouses shall
18not be privileged under this chapter notwithstanding any
19grant of privilege under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5914 (relating to
20confidential communications between spouses) or 5923
21(relating to confidential communications between spouses).
22(f) Limited exemption.--A sexual assault counselor at a rape
23crisis center, as defined under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5945.1(a) (relating
24to confidential communications with sexual assault counselors),
25shall not be required to report a violation of 18 Pa.C.S. §
263122.1(a)(1) (relating to statutory sexual assault) as child
27abuse under this chapter when the child who would otherwise be
28the subject of a report of suspected child abuse is 14 years of
29age or older.
<-30(a) Mandated reporters.--The following adults shall make a
7(2) A medical examiner, coroner or funeral director.
13(5) A child-care services provider.
22(8) A social services worker.
23(9) A peace officer or law enforcement official.
30(12) An independent contractor.
1(b) Basis to report.--
2(1) Any of the following circumstances shall require a
3mandated reporter under subsection (a), with reasonable cause
4to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse, to make a
5report in accordance with section 6313 (relating to reporting
11(ii) The mandated reporter is directly responsible
12for the care, supervision, guidance or training of the
13child, or is affiliated with an agency, institution,
14organization, school, regularly established church or
15religious organization or other entity that is directly
16responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or
17training of the child.
30Section 3. Title 23 is amended by adding a section to read:
1§ 6311.1. Privileged communications.
5(1) Apply to a situation involving child abuse.
13(2) Confidential communications made to an attorney are
14subject to 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 5916 (relating to confidential
15communications to attorney) and 5928 (relating to
16confidential communications to attorney), but only to the
17extent that such communications are protected under the rules
18of professional conduct for attorneys.
23[In addition to those persons and officials required to
24report suspected child abuse, any] Any person may make [such a
25report] an oral or <-electronic report of suspected child abuse,
26or cause an oral or electronic report of suspected child abuse
27to be made to the department, county <-written report of suspected
28child abuse, which may be submitted electronically, or cause a
29report of suspected child abuse to be made to the department,
30county agency or law enforcement, if that person has reasonable
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(a) 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 electronically. <-A mandated
26reporter shall immediately make an oral or written report,
27which may be submitted electronically, of suspected child
28abuse to the department.
1writing or electronically within 48 hours to the county
2agency assigned to the case in a manner and format that the
3department prescribes by regulation. <-an oral report under
4paragraph (1) of suspected child abuse shall also make a
5written report, which may be submitted electronically, within
648 hours to the department or county agency assigned to the
7case in a manner and format prescribed by the department.
8(3) The failure of the mandated reporter to file the
9report <-in writing or electronically under paragraph (2) shall
10not relieve the county agency from any duty under this
11chapter, and the county agency shall proceed as though the
12mandated reporter complied with paragraph (2).
13(b) Contents of report.--A <-written report of suspected child
14abuse <-that is made in writing or electronically, which may be
15submitted electronically, shall include the following
16information, if known:
20(2) Where the suspected abuse occurred.
21(3) The age and sex of each subject of the report.
28(6) Family composition.
29(7) The source of the report.
30(8) The person making the report and where that person
1can be reached.
2(9) The actions taken by the person making the report,
3including those actions taken under section 6314 (relating to
4photographs, medical tests and X-rays of child subject to
5report), 6315 (relating to taking child into protective
6custody), 6316 (relating to admission to private and public
7hospitals) or 6317 (relating to mandatory reporting and
8postmortem investigation of deaths).
15A person or official required to report cases of suspected
16child abuse may take or cause to be taken photographs of the
17child who is subject to a report and, if clinically indicated,
18cause to be performed a radiological examination and other
19medical tests on the child. Medical summaries or reports of the
20photographs, X-rays and relevant medical tests taken shall be
21sent to the county agency at the time the written report is sent
22or within 48 hours after a report is made by <-advanced
23communication <-electronic technologies or as soon thereafter as
24possible. The county agency shall have access to actual
25photographs or duplicates and X-rays and may obtain them or
26duplicates of them upon request. <-Medical summaries or reports of
27the photographs, x-rays and relevant medical tests shall be made
28available to law enforcement officials in the course of
29investigating cases pursuant to section 6340(a)(9) or (10).
30Section <-2 5. Section 6315(a) of Title 23 is amended by
1adding a paragraph to read:
2§ 6315. Taking child into protective custody.
5* * *
6(4) Subject to this section and after receipt of a court
7order, the county agency shall take a child into protective
8custody for protection from abuse. No county agency worker
9may take custody of the child without judicial authorization
10based on the merits of the situation.
11* * *
<-12Section 6. Section 6369 of Title 23 is repealed:
13[§ 6369. Taking child into protective custody.
14Pursuant to the provisions of section 6315 (relating to
15taking child into protective custody) and after receipt of a
16court order, the county agency shall take a child into
17protective custody for protection from abuse. No county agency
18worker may take custody of the child without judicial
19authorization based on the merits of the situation.]