PRIOR PRINTER'S NOS. 680, 1385, 1427
PRINTER'S NO. 1585
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
AS REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE ON CHILDREN AND YOUGH, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AS AMENDED, NOVEMBER 19, 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<-; and, in miscellaneous
12provisions, further providing for education and training.
1§ 6303. Definitions.
5* * *
6"Adult." An individual 18 years of age or older.
7* * *
11* * *
15"Independent contractor." An individual who provides a
16program, activity or service to an agency, institution,
17organization or other entity, including a school or regularly
18established religious organization, that is responsible for the
19care, supervision, guidance or control of children. The term
20does not include an individual who has no direct contact with
22* * *
25* * *
30* * *
5(1) A youth camp or program.
6(2) A recreational camp or program.
7(3) A sports or athletic program.
8(4) An outreach program.
9(5) An enrichment program.
10(6) A troop, club or similar organization.
11* * *
15(1) Any school of a school district.
16(2) An area vocational-technical school.
17(3) A joint school.
18(4) An intermediate unit.
19(5) A charter school or regional charter school.
20(6) A cyber charter school.
26(9) A nonpublic school.
27(10) A community college which is an institution now or
28hereafter created pursuant to Article XIX-A of the act of
29March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School
30Code of 1949, or the act of August 24, 1963 (P.L.1132,
1No.484), known as the Community College Act of 1963.
2(11) An independent institution of higher education
3which is an institution of higher education which is operated
4not for profit, located in and incorporated or chartered by
5the Commonwealth, entitled to confer degrees as set forth in
624 Pa.C.S. § 6505 (relating to power to confer degrees) and
7entitled to apply to itself the designation "college" or
8"university" as provided for by standards and qualifications
9prescribed by the State Board of Education pursuant to 24
10Pa.C.S. Ch. 65 (relating to private colleges, universities
12(12) A State-owned university.
13(13) A State-related university.
17(15) The Hiram G. Andrews Center.
21"School employee." An individual who is employed by a
22[public or private school, intermediate unit or area vocational-
23technical school. The term includes an independent contractor
24and employees] school or who provides a program, activity or
25service sponsored by a school. The term excludes an individual
26who has no direct contact with [students] children.
27* * *
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(a) Mandated reporters.--The following adults shall make a
5report of suspected child abuse, subject to subsection (b), if
6the person has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a
7victim of child abuse:
11(2) A medical examiner, coroner or funeral director.
15(4) A school employee.
28(9) A peace officer or law enforcement official.
3(12) An individual supervised or managed by a person
4listed under paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7),
5(8), (9), (10) and (11), who has direct contact with children
6in the course of employment.
7(13) An independent contractor.
8(14) An attorney affiliated with an agency, institution,
9organization or other entity, including a school or regularly
10established religious organization that is responsible for
11the care, supervision, guidance or control of children.
12(b) Basis to report.--
13(1) A mandated reporter enumerated in subsection (a)
14shall make a report of suspected child abuse or cause a
15report to be made in accordance with section 6313 (relating
16to reporting procedure), if the mandated reporter has
17reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child
18abuse under any of the following circumstances:
23(ii) The mandated reporter is directly responsible
24for the care, supervision, guidance or training of the
25child, or is affiliated with an agency, institution,
26organization, school, regularly established church or
27religious organization or other entity that is directly
28responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or
29training of the child.
30(iii) A person makes a specific disclosure to the
12(c) Staff members of institutions, etc.--Whenever a person
13is required to report under subsection (b) in the capacity as a
14member of the staff of a medical or other public or private
15institution, school, facility or agency, that person shall
<-16report immediately in accordance with section 6313 and shall
17immediately <-thereafter notify the person in charge of the
18institution, school, facility or agency or the designated agent
19of the person in charge. Upon notification, the person in charge
20or the designated agent, if any, shall assume the responsibility
21[<-and have the legal obligation to report or cause a report to be
22made in accordance with section 6313<-] for facilitating the
23cooperation of the institution, school, facility or agency with
24the investigation of the report. This chapter does not require
25more than one report from any such institution, school, facility
<-27(d) Civil action for discrimination against person filing
28report.--Any person who, under this section, is required to
29report or cause a report of suspected child abuse to be made and
30who, in good faith, makes or causes the report to be made and,
1as a result thereof, is discharged from his employment or in any
2other manner is discriminated against with respect to
3compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of
4employment, may commence an action in the court of common pleas
5of the county in which the alleged unlawful discharge or
6discrimination occurred for appropriate relief. If the court
7finds that the person is an individual who, under this section,
8is required to report or cause a report of suspected child abuse
9to be made and who, in good faith, made or caused to be made a
10report of suspected child abuse and, as a result thereof, was
11discharged or discriminated against with respect to
12compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of
13employment, it may issue an order granting appropriate relief,
14including, but not limited to, reinstatement with back pay. The
15department may intervene in any action commenced under this
17(a) Mandated reporters.--The following adults shall make a
18report of suspected child abuse, subject to subsection (b), if
19the person has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a
20victim of child abuse:
24(2) A medical examiner, coroner or funeral director.
30(5) A child-care services provider.
9(8) A social services worker.
10(9) A peace officer or law enforcement official.
17(12) An independent contractor.
18(b) Basis to report.--
19(1) Any of the following circumstances shall require a
20mandated reporter under subsection (a), with reasonable cause
21to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse, to make a
22report in accordance with section 6313 (relating to reporting
<-17* * *
18Section 3. Title 23 is amended by adding a section to read:
19§ 6311.1. Privileged communications.
23(1) Apply to a situation involving child abuse.
1(2) Confidential communications made to an attorney are
2subject to 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 5916 (relating to confidential
3communications to attorney) and 5928 (relating to
4confidential communications to attorney), but only to the
5extent that such communications are protected under the rules
6of professional conduct for attorneys.
11[In addition to those persons and officials required to
12report suspected child abuse, any] Any person may make [such a
13report] an oral or written report of suspected child abuse,
14which may be submitted electronically, or cause a report of
15suspected child abuse to be made to the department, county
16agency or law enforcement, if that person has reasonable cause
17to suspect that a child is [an abused child] a victim of child
19§ 6313. Reporting procedure.
20[(a) General rule.--Reports from persons required to report
21under section 6311 (relating to persons required to report
22suspected child abuse) shall be made immediately by telephone
23and in writing within 48 hours after the oral report.
24(b) Oral reports.--Oral reports shall be made to the
25department pursuant to Subchapter C (relating to powers and
26duties of department) and may be made to the appropriate county
27agency. When oral reports of suspected child abuse are initially
28received at the county agency, the protective services staff
29shall, after seeing to the immediate safety of the child and
30other children in the home, immediately notify the department of
1the receipt of the report, which is to be held in the pending
2complaint file as provided in Subchapter C. The initial child
3abuse report summary shall be supplemented with a written report
4when a determination is made as to whether a report of suspected
5child abuse is a founded report, an unfounded report or an
7(c) Written reports.--Written reports from persons required
8to report under section 6311 shall be made to the appropriate
9county agency in a manner and on forms the department prescribes
10by regulation. The written reports shall include the following
11information if available:
15(2) Where the suspected abuse occurred.
16(3) The age and sex of the subjects of the report.
23(6) Family composition.
24(7) The source of the report.
30(10) Any other information which the department may
1require by regulation.
2(d) Failure to confirm oral report.--The failure of a person
3reporting cases of suspected child abuse to confirm an oral
4report in writing within 48 hours shall not relieve the county
5agency from any duties prescribed by this chapter. In such
6event, the county agency shall proceed as if a written report
7were actually made.]
8(a) Report by mandated reporter.--
9(1) A mandated reporter shall immediately make an oral
10report of suspected child abuse to the department via the
11Statewide toll-free telephone number under section 6332
12(relating to establishment of Statewide toll-free telephone
13number) or a written report using electronic technologies
14under section <-6304 6305 (relating to electronic reporting).
15(2) A mandated reporter making an oral report under
16paragraph (1) of suspected child abuse shall also make a
17written report, which may be submitted electronically, within
1848 hours to the department or county agency assigned to the
19case in a manner and format prescribed by the department.
20(3) The failure of the mandated reporter to file the
21report under paragraph (2) shall not relieve the county
22agency from any duty under this chapter, and the county
23agency shall proceed as though the mandated reporter complied
24with paragraph (2).
1(2) Where the suspected abuse occurred.
2(3) The age and sex of each subject of the report.
9(6) Family composition.
10(7) The source of the report.
14(9) The actions taken by the person making the report,
15including those actions taken under section 6314 (relating to
16photographs, medical tests and X-rays of child subject to
17report), 6315 (relating to taking child into protective
18custody), 6316 (relating to admission to private and public
19hospitals) or 6317 (relating to mandatory reporting and
20postmortem investigation of deaths).
27A person or official required to report cases of suspected
28child abuse may take or cause to be taken photographs of the
29child who is subject to a report and, if clinically indicated,
30cause to be performed a radiological examination and other
1medical tests on the child. Medical summaries or reports of the
2photographs, X-rays and relevant medical tests taken shall be
3sent to the county agency at the time the written report is sent
4or within 48 hours after a report is made by electronic
5technologies or as soon thereafter as possible. The county
6agency shall have access to actual photographs or duplicates and
7X-rays and may obtain them or duplicates of them upon request.
8Medical summaries or reports of the photographs, x-rays and
9relevant medical tests shall be made available to law
10enforcement officials in the course of investigating cases
11pursuant to section 6340(a)(9) or (10).
14§ 6315. Taking child into protective custody.
17* * *
18(4) Subject to this section and after receipt of a court
19order, the county agency shall take a child into protective
20custody for protection from abuse. No county agency worker
21may take custody of the child without judicial authorization
22based on the merits of the situation.
23* * *
24Section 6. Section 6369 of Title 23 is repealed:
25[§ 6369. Taking child into protective custody.
26Pursuant to the provisions of section 6315 (relating to
27taking child into protective custody) and after receipt of a
28court order, the county agency shall take a child into
29protective custody for protection from abuse. No county agency
30worker may take custody of the child without judicial
1authorization based on the merits of the situation.]
4§ 6383. Education and training.
5* * *
6(a.2) Information for mandated and permissive reporters.--
7(1) In addition to the requirements of subsection (a),
8the department shall provide specific information related to
9the recognition and reporting of child abuse on its Internet
10website in forms, including, but not limited to, the
12(i) Website content.
13(ii) Printable booklets and brochures.
14(iii) Educational videos.
15(iv) Internet-based interactive training exercises.
21(ii) Persons classified as mandated reporters.
22(iii) Reporting requirements and procedures.
25(v) Penalties for failure to report.
30(viii) Alternative resources to assist with concerns
1not related to child abuse.
14* * *