PRIOR PRINTER'S NOS. 680, 1385, 1427,
PRINTER'S NO. 1917
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 AMENDED ON SECOND CONSIDERATION, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, APRIL 2, 2014
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* * *
30Section 2. Sections 6311(a),(b) and (c), 6312, 6313 and 6314
1of title 23 are<- amended to read:
2§ 6311. Persons required to report suspected child abuse.
3[(a) General rule.--A person who, in the course of
4employment, occupation or practice of a profession, comes into
5contact with children shall report or cause a report to be made
6in accordance with section 6313 (relating to reporting
7procedure) when the person has reasonable cause to suspect, on
8the basis of medical, professional or other training and
9experience, that a child under the care, supervision, guidance
10or training of that person or of an agency, institution,
11organization or other entity with which that person is
12affiliated is a victim of child abuse, including child abuse by
13an individual who is not a perpetrator. Except with respect to
14confidential communications made to a member of the clergy which
15are protected under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5943 (relating to confidential
16communications to clergymen), and except with respect to
17confidential communications made to an attorney which are
18protected by 42 Pa.C.S. § 5916 (relating to confidential
19communications to attorney) or 5928 (relating to confidential
20communications to attorney), the privileged communication
21between any professional person required to report and the
22patient or client of that person shall not apply to situations
23involving child abuse and shall not constitute grounds for
24failure to report as required by this chapter.
25(b) Enumeration of persons required to report.--Persons
26required to report under subsection (a) include, but are not
27limited to, any licensed physician, osteopath, medical examiner,
28coroner, funeral director, dentist, optometrist, chiropractor,
29podiatrist, intern, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse,
30hospital personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care
1or treatment of persons, Christian Science practitioner, member
2of the clergy, school administrator, school teacher, school
3nurse, social services worker, day-care center worker or any
4other child-care or foster-care worker, mental health
5professional, peace officer or law enforcement official.<-]
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.
17(4) A school employee.
30(9) A peace officer or law enforcement official.
5(12) An individual supervised or managed by a person
6listed under paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7),
7(8), (9), (10) and (11), who has direct contact with children
8in the course of employment.
9(13) An independent contractor.
<-10(14) An attorney affiliated with an agency, institution,
11organization or other entity, including a school or regularly
12established religious organization that is responsible for
13the care, supervision, guidance or control of children.
14(b) Basis to report.--
15(1) A mandated reporter enumerated in subsection (a)
16shall make a report of suspected child abuse or cause a
17report to be made in accordance with section 6313 (relating
18to reporting procedure), if the mandated reporter has
19reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child
20abuse under any of the following circumstances:
25(ii) The mandated reporter is directly responsible
26for the care, supervision, guidance or training of the
27child, or is affiliated with an agency, institution,
28organization, school, regularly established church or
29religious organization or other entity that is directly
30responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or
1training of the child.
14(c) Staff members of institutions, etc.--Whenever a person
15is required to report under subsection (b) in the capacity as a
16member of the staff of a medical or other public or private
17institution, school, facility or agency, that person shall
18report immediately in accordance with section 6313 and shall<-
19immediately <-thereafter notify the person in charge of the
20institution, school, facility or agency or the designated agent
21of the person in charge. Upon notification, the person in charge
22or the designated agent, if any, shall assume the responsibility
23[<-and have the legal obligation to report or cause a report to be
24made in accordance with section 6313<-] for facilitating the
25cooperation of the institution, school, facility or agency with
26the investigation of the report. This chapter does not require
27more than one report from any such institution, school, facility
1report or cause a report of suspected child abuse to be made and
2who, in good faith, makes or causes the report to be made and,
3as a result thereof, is discharged from his employment or in any
4other manner is discriminated against with respect to
5compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of
6employment, may commence an action in the court of common pleas
7of the county in which the alleged unlawful discharge or
8discrimination occurred for appropriate relief. If the court
9finds that the person is an individual who, under this section,
10is required to report or cause a report of suspected child abuse
11to be made and who, in good faith, made or caused to be made a
12report of suspected child abuse and, as a result thereof, was
13discharged or discriminated against with respect to
14compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of
15employment, it may issue an order granting appropriate relief,
16including, but not limited to, reinstatement with back pay. The
17department may intervene in any action commenced under this
19(a) Mandated reporters.--The following adults shall make a
20report of suspected child abuse, subject to subsection (b), if
21the person has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a
22victim of child abuse:
26(2) A medical examiner, coroner or funeral director.
30(4) A school administrator, teacher, nurse, guidance
1counselor, coach or other school employee.
2(5) A child-care services provider.
11(8) A social services worker.
12(9) A peace officer or law enforcement official.
19(12) An independent contractor.
20(b) Basis to report.--
21(1) Any of the following circumstances shall require a
22mandated reporter under subsection (a), with reasonable cause
23to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse, to make a
24report in accordance with section 6313 (relating to reporting
30(ii) The mandated reporter is directly responsible
1for the care, supervision, guidance or training of the
2child, or is affiliated with an agency, institution,
3organization, school, regularly established church or
4religious organization or other entity that is directly
5responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or
6training of the child.
19* * *<-
<-20Section 3. Title 23 is amended by adding a section to read:
21§ 6311.1. Privileged communications.
25(1) Apply to a situation involving child abuse.
30(1) Confidential communications made to a member of the
3(2) Confidential communications made to an attorney are
4subject to 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 5916 (relating to confidential
5communications to attorney) and 5928 (relating to
6confidential communications to attorney), but only to the
7extent that such communications are protected under the rules
8of professional conduct for attorneys.
13[In addition to those persons and officials required to
14report suspected child abuse, any] Any person may make [such a
15report] an oral or written report of suspected child abuse,
16which may be submitted electronically, or cause a report of
17suspected child abuse to be made to the department, county
18agency or law enforcement, if that person has reasonable cause
19to suspect that a child is [an abused child] a victim of child
21§ 6313. Reporting procedure.
22[(a) General rule.--Reports from persons required to report
23under section 6311 (relating to persons required to report
24suspected child abuse) shall be made immediately by telephone
25and in writing within 48 hours after the oral report.
26(b) Oral reports.--Oral reports shall be made to the
27department pursuant to Subchapter C (relating to powers and
28duties of department) and may be made to the appropriate county
29agency. When oral reports of suspected child abuse are initially
30received at the county agency, the protective services staff
1shall, after seeing to the immediate safety of the child and
2other children in the home, immediately notify the department of
3the receipt of the report, which is to be held in the pending
4complaint file as provided in Subchapter C. The initial child
5abuse report summary shall be supplemented with a written report
6when a determination is made as to whether a report of suspected
7child abuse is a founded report, an unfounded report or an
9(c) Written reports.--Written reports from persons required
10to report under section 6311 shall be made to the appropriate
11county agency in a manner and on forms the department prescribes
12by regulation. The written reports shall include the following
13information if available:
17(2) Where the suspected abuse occurred.
18(3) The age and sex of the subjects of the report.
25(6) Family composition.
26(7) The source of the report.
1the child or notifying the medical examiner or coroner.
4(d) Failure to confirm oral report.--The failure of a person
5reporting cases of suspected child abuse to confirm an oral
6report in writing within 48 hours shall not relieve the county
7agency from any duties prescribed by this chapter. In such
8event, the county agency shall proceed as if a written report
9were actually made.]
10(a) Report by mandated reporter.--
11(1) A mandated reporter shall immediately make an oral
12report of suspected child abuse to the department via the
13Statewide toll-free telephone number under section 6332
14(relating to establishment of Statewide toll-free telephone
15number) or a written report using electronic technologies
16under section <-6304 6305 (relating to electronic reporting).
17(2) A mandated reporter making an oral report under
18paragraph (1) of suspected child abuse shall also make a
19written report, which may be submitted electronically, within
2048 hours to the department or county agency assigned to the
21case in a manner and format prescribed by the department.
22(3) The failure of the mandated reporter to file the
23report under paragraph (2) shall not relieve the county
24agency from any duty under this chapter, and the county
25agency shall proceed as though the mandated reporter complied
26with paragraph (2).
30(1) The names and addresses of the child, the child's
3(2) Where the suspected abuse occurred.
4(3) The age and sex of each subject of the report.
11(6) Family composition.
12(7) The source of the report.
16(9) The actions taken by the person making the report,
17including those actions taken under section 6314 (relating to
18photographs, medical tests and X-rays of child subject to
19report), 6315 (relating to taking child into protective
20custody), 6316 (relating to admission to private and public
21hospitals) or 6317 (relating to mandatory reporting and
22postmortem investigation of deaths).
1child who is subject to a report and, if clinically indicated,
2cause to be performed a radiological examination and other
3medical tests on the child. Medical summaries or reports of the
4photographs, X-rays and relevant medical tests taken shall be
5sent to the county agency at the time the written report is sent
6or within 48 hours after a report is made by electronic
7technologies or as soon thereafter as possible. The county
8agency shall have access to actual photographs or duplicates and
9X-rays and may obtain them or duplicates of them upon request.
10Medical summaries or reports of the photographs, x-rays and
11relevant medical tests shall be made available to law
12enforcement officials in the course of investigating cases
13pursuant to section 6340(a)(9) or (10).
16§ 6315. Taking child into protective custody.
19* * *
20(4) Subject to this section and after receipt of a court
21order, the county agency shall take a child into protective
22custody for protection from abuse. No county agency worker
23may take custody of the child without judicial authorization
24based on the merits of the situation.
25* * *
26Section <-6 4. Section 6369 of Title 23 is repealed:
27[§ 6369. Taking child into protective custody.
<-6§ 6383. Education and training.
7§ 6383. Education and training.<-
8* * *
9(a.2) Information for mandated and permissive reporters.--
10(1) In addition to the requirements of subsection (a),
11the department shall provide specific information related to
12the recognition and reporting of child abuse on its Internet
13website in forms, including, but not limited to, the
15(i) Website content.
16(ii) Printable booklets and brochures.
17(iii) Educational videos.
18(iv) Internet-based interactive training exercises.
24(ii) Persons classified as mandated reporters.
25(iii) Reporting requirements and procedures.
28(v) Penalties for failure to report.
17* * *