PRIOR PRINTER'S NOS. 680, 1385
PRINTER'S NO. 1427
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 CORMAN, APPROPRIATIONS, RE-REPORTED AS AMENDED, OCTOBER 1, 2013
1Amending Title 23 (Domestic Relations) of the Pennsylvania
2Consolidated Statutes, in provisions and responsibilities for
3reporting suspected child abuse, further providing for
4definitions and for persons required to report suspected
5child abuse; providing for privileged communications; further
6providing for persons permitted to report suspected child
7abuse, for reporting procedure, for documentary evidence on a
8child subject to report and for taking child into protective
9custody; and, in organization and responsibilities of child
10protective service, repealing provisions relating to taking
11child into protective custody.
16§ 6303. Definitions.
20* * *
<-1"Adult." An individual 18 years of age or older.
2* * *
6* * *
7"Independent contractor." An individual who provides a
8program, activity or service to an agency, institution,
9organization or other entity, including a school or regularly
10established religious organization, that is responsible for the
11care, supervision, guidance or control of children. The term
12does not include an individual who has no direct contact with
14* * *
17* * *
22(1) A youth camp or program.
23(2) A recreational camp or program.
24(3) A sports or athletic program.
25(4) An outreach program.
26(5) An enrichment program.
27(6) A troop, club or similar organization.
28* * *
29Section 2. Section 6311 of Title 23 is amended to read:
30§ 6311. Persons required to report suspected child abuse.
1[(a) General rule.--A person who, in the course of
2employment, occupation or practice of a profession, comes into
3contact with children shall report or cause a report to be made
4in accordance with section 6313 (relating to reporting
5procedure) when the person has reasonable cause to suspect, on
6the basis of medical, professional or other training and
7experience, that a child under the care, supervision, guidance
8or training of that person or of an agency, institution,
9organization or other entity with which that person is
10affiliated is a victim of child abuse, including child abuse by
11an individual who is not a perpetrator. Except with respect to
12confidential communications made to a member of the clergy which
13are protected under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5943 (relating to confidential
14communications to clergymen), and except with respect to
15confidential communications made to an attorney which are
16protected by 42 Pa.C.S. § 5916 (relating to confidential
17communications to attorney) or 5928 (relating to confidential
18communications to attorney), the privileged communication
19between any professional person required to report and the
20patient or client of that person shall not apply to situations
21involving child abuse and shall not constitute grounds for
22failure to report as required by this chapter.
23(b) Enumeration of persons required to report.--Persons
24required to report under subsection (a) include, but are not
25limited to, any licensed physician, osteopath, medical examiner,
26coroner, funeral director, dentist, optometrist, chiropractor,
27podiatrist, intern, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse,
28hospital personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care
29or treatment of persons, Christian Science practitioner, member
30of the clergy, school administrator, school teacher, school
4(c) Staff members of institutions, etc.--Whenever a person
5is required to report under subsection (b) in the capacity as a
6member of the staff of a medical or other public or private
7institution, school, facility or agency, that person shall
8immediately notify the person in charge of the institution,
9school, facility or agency or the designated agent of the person
10in charge. Upon notification, the person in charge or the
11designated agent, if any, shall assume the responsibility and
12have the legal obligation to report or cause a report to be made
13in accordance with section 6313. This chapter does not require
14more than one report from any such institution, school, facility
16(d) Civil action for discrimination against person filing
17report.--Any person who, under this section, is required to
18report or cause a report of suspected child abuse to be made and
19who, in good faith, makes or causes the report to be made and,
20as a result thereof, is discharged from his employment or in any
21other manner is discriminated against with respect to
22compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of
23employment, may commence an action in the court of common pleas
24of the county in which the alleged unlawful discharge or
25discrimination occurred for appropriate relief. If the court
26finds that the person is an individual who, under this section,
27is required to report or cause a report of suspected child abuse
28to be made and who, in good faith, made or caused to be made a
29report of suspected child abuse and, as a result thereof, was
30discharged or discriminated against with respect to
1compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of
2employment, it may issue an order granting appropriate relief,
3including, but not limited to, reinstatement with back pay. The
4department may intervene in any action commenced under this
6(a) Mandated reporters.--The following adults shall make a
7report of suspected child abuse, subject to subsection (b), if
8the person has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a
9victim of child abuse:
13(2) A medical examiner, coroner or funeral director.
19(5) A child-care services provider.
28(8) A social services worker.
29(9) A peace officer or law enforcement official.
30(10) An emergency medical services provider certified by
1the Department of Health.
6(12) An independent contractor.
7(b) Basis to report.--
8(1) Any of the following circumstances shall require a
9mandated reporter under subsection (a), with reasonable cause
10to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse, to make a
11report in accordance with section 6313 (relating to reporting
17(ii) The mandated reporter is directly responsible
18for the care, supervision, guidance or training of the
19child, or is affiliated with an agency, institution,
20organization, school, regularly established church or
21religious organization or other entity that is directly
22responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or
23training of the child.
30(2) Nothing in this section shall require a child to
6Section 3. Title 23 is amended by adding a section to read:
7§ 6311.1. Privileged communications.
11(1) Apply to a situation involving child abuse.
19(2) Confidential communications made to an attorney are
20subject to 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 5916 (relating to confidential
21communications to attorney) and 5928 (relating to
22confidential communications to attorney), but only to the
23extent that such communications are protected under the rules
24of professional conduct for attorneys.
1report] an oral or written report of suspected child abuse,
2which may be submitted electronically, or cause a report of
3suspected child abuse to be made to the department, county
4agency or law enforcement, if that person has reasonable cause
5to suspect that a child is [an abused child] a victim of child
7§ 6313. Reporting procedure.
8[(a) General rule.--Reports from persons required to report
9under section 6311 (relating to persons required to report
10suspected child abuse) shall be made immediately by telephone
11and in writing within 48 hours after the oral report.
12(b) Oral reports.--Oral reports shall be made to the
13department pursuant to Subchapter C (relating to powers and
14duties of department) and may be made to the appropriate county
15agency. When oral reports of suspected child abuse are initially
16received at the county agency, the protective services staff
17shall, after seeing to the immediate safety of the child and
18other children in the home, immediately notify the department of
19the receipt of the report, which is to be held in the pending
20complaint file as provided in Subchapter C. The initial child
21abuse report summary shall be supplemented with a written report
22when a determination is made as to whether a report of suspected
23child abuse is a founded report, an unfounded report or an
25(c) Written reports.--Written reports from persons required
26to report under section 6311 shall be made to the appropriate
27county agency in a manner and on forms the department prescribes
28by regulation. The written reports shall include the following
29information if available:
30(1) The names and addresses of the child and the parents
3(2) Where the suspected abuse occurred.
4(3) The age and sex of the subjects of the report.
11(6) Family composition.
12(7) The source of the report.
20(d) Failure to confirm oral report.--The failure of a person
21reporting cases of suspected child abuse to confirm an oral
22report in writing within 48 hours shall not relieve the county
23agency from any duties prescribed by this chapter. In such
24event, the county agency shall proceed as if a written report
25were actually made.]
26(a) Report by mandated reporter.--
27(1) A mandated reporter shall immediately make an oral
<-28or written report, which may be submitted electronically, of
29suspected child abuse to the department <-report of suspected
30child abuse to the department via the Statewide toll-free
1telephone number under section 6332 (relating to
2establishment of Statewide toll-free telephone number) or a
3written report using electronic technologies under section
46304 (relating to electronic reporting).
5(2) A mandated reporter making an oral report under
6paragraph (1) of suspected child abuse shall also make a
7written report, which may be submitted electronically, within
848 hours to the department or county agency assigned to the
9case in a manner and format prescribed by the department.
10(3) The failure of the mandated reporter to file the
11report under paragraph (2) shall not relieve the county
12agency from any duty under this chapter, and the county
13agency shall proceed as though the mandated reporter complied
14with paragraph (2).
21(2) Where the suspected abuse occurred.
22(3) The age and sex of each subject of the report.
29(6) Family composition.
30(7) The source of the report.
3(9) The actions taken by the person making the report,
4including those actions taken under section 6314 (relating to
5photographs, medical tests and X-rays of child subject to
6report), 6315 (relating to taking child into protective
7custody), 6316 (relating to admission to private and public
8hospitals) or 6317 (relating to mandatory reporting and
9postmortem investigation of deaths).
16A person or official required to report cases of suspected
17child abuse may take or cause to be taken photographs of the
18child who is subject to a report and, if clinically indicated,
19cause to be performed a radiological examination and other
20medical tests on the child. Medical summaries or reports of the
21photographs, X-rays and relevant medical tests taken shall be
22sent to the county agency at the time the written report is sent
23or within 48 hours after a report is made by electronic
24technologies or as soon thereafter as possible. The county
25agency shall have access to actual photographs or duplicates and
26X-rays and may obtain them or duplicates of them upon request.
27Medical summaries or reports of the photographs, x-rays and
28relevant medical tests shall be made available to law
29enforcement officials in the course of investigating cases
30pursuant to section 6340(a)(9) or (10).
3§ 6315. Taking child into protective custody.
6* * *
7(4) Subject to this section and after receipt of a court
8order, the county agency shall take a child into protective
9custody for protection from abuse. No county agency worker
10may take custody of the child without judicial authorization
11based on the merits of the situation.
12* * *
13Section 6. Section 6369 of Title 23 is repealed:
14[§ 6369. Taking child into protective custody.
15Pursuant to the provisions of section 6315 (relating to
16taking child into protective custody) and after receipt of a
17court order, the county agency shall take a child into
18protective custody for protection from abuse. No county agency
19worker may take custody of the child without judicial
20authorization based on the merits of the situation.]
21Section 7. This act shall take effect January 1, 2014.