AN ACT

 

1Amending Title 23 (Domestic Relations) of the Pennsylvania
2Consolidated Statutes, in child protective services, <-further 
3providing for definitions; providing for electronic 
4reporting; further providing for mandatory reporting and post 
5mortem investigation of deaths; providing for responsibility 
6for investigation, for access to reports, for disposition of 
7initial reports, for disposition of reports, for cooperation 
8with county agency and for access to information in Statewide 
9database; further providing for information in Statewide 
10central register, for confidentiality of reports and for 
11release of information in confidential reports; and providing 
12for background checks. <-further providing for definitions; 
13providing for electronic reporting and for regulations; 
14further providing for mandatory reporting and postmortem 
15investigation of deaths, for establishment of pending 
16complaint file, Statewide central register and file of 
17unfounded reports, for establishment of Statewide toll-free 
18telephone number, for continuous availability of department 
19and for disposition of complaints received; providing for 
20responsibility for investigation; and further providing for 
21information in pending complaint and unfounded report files, 
22for information in Statewide central register, for 
23disposition of unfounded reports, for disposition of founded 
24and indicated reports, for confidentiality of reports, for 
25release of information in confidential reports, for studies 
26of data in records, for information relating to prospective 
27child-care personnel, for information relating to family day-
28care home residents, for cooperation of other agencies, for
 

1reports to Governor and General Assembly, for penalties and 
2for county agency requirements for general protective 
3services.

4The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
5hereby enacts as follows:

<-6Section 1. Section 6303(a) of Title 23 of the Pennsylvania
7Consolidated Statutes is amended by adding definitions to read:

8§ 6303. Definitions.

9(a) General rule.--The following words and phrases when used
10in this chapter shall have the meanings given to them in this
11section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

12* * *

13"Electronic technologies." The transfer of information in
14whole or in part by technology having electrical, digital,
15magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, photo-electronic
16or photo-optical systems, or similar capabilities. The term
17includes e-mail, Internet communication or other means of
18electronic transmission.

19* * *

20"Law enforcement official." The term includes the following:

21(1) The Attorney General.

22(2) A county district attorney.

23(3) A Pennsylvania State Police officer.

24(4) A county sheriff.

25(5) A county police officer.

26(6) A county detective.

27(7) A local or municipal police officer.

28* * *

29Section 2. Title 23 is amended by adding a section to read:

30§ 6304. Electronic reporting.

31(a) Departmental procedures.--The department shall establish

1procedures for the secure use of electronic technologies to
2transmit information under this chapter.

3(b) Confirmation of reports.--A confirmation by the
4department of the receipt of a report of suspected child abuse
5submitted electronically shall relieve the person making the
6report of making an additional oral or written report of
7suspected child abuse, subject to section 6313 (relating to
8reporting procedure).

9(c)  Effect on other law.--Nothing in this chapter shall be
10construed to supersede the act of December 16, 1999 (P.L.971,
11No.69), known as the Electronic Transactions Act.

12Section 3. Section 6317 of Title 23 is amended to read:

13§ 6317. Mandatory reporting and postmortem investigation of
14deaths.

15A person or official required to report cases of suspected
16child abuse, including employees of a county agency, who has
17reasonable cause to suspect that a child died as a result of
18child abuse shall report that suspicion to the appropriate
19coroner or medical examiner. The coroner or medical examiner
20shall accept the report for investigation and shall report his
21finding to the police, the district attorney, the appropriate
22county agency and, if the report is made by a hospital, the
23hospital.

24Section 4. Chapter 63 of Title 23 is amended by adding a
25subchapter to read:

26SUBCHAPTER B.1

27INVESTIGATION AND REPORTING

28Sec.

296321. Access to reports.

306322. Responsibility for investigation.

16323. Disposition of initial reports.

26324. Disposition of reports.

36325. (Reserved).

46326. (Reserved).

56327. Cooperation.

6§ 6321. Access to reports.

7(a)  Continuous access.--The department shall be capable of
8the following on a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week basis:

9(1)  Receiving reports and referrals of suspected child
10abuse and children in need of protective services.

11(2)  Responding to requests for information from county
12agencies and law enforcement officials under section 6335.1
13(relating to access to information in Statewide database).

14(3)  Monitoring the provision of protective services.

15(b) Continuous availability.--Each county agency shall, on a
1624-hour, seven-day-a-week basis, receive reports of suspected
17child abuse from the department under section 6323(b) (relating
18to disposition of initial reports) or the general public in
19accordance with the county agency child protective services
20plan.

21(c) Verification of need.--Information may be released under
22section 6335.1 if a request for information is made orally or in
23writing and the department has done all of the following:

24(1)  Identified the requester, including electronic
25verification of the requester's identity.

26(2)  Determined whether the requester is authorized to
27obtain the information under section 6335.1.

28(3)  Provided notice to the requester that access and
29dissemination of the information is restricted as provided by
30this chapter.

1§ 6322. Responsibility for investigation.

2The department shall establish procedures regarding the
3following different responses to address suspected child abuse
4and protective services depending on the person allegedly
5committing the suspected child abuse or causing a child to be in
6need of protective services:

7(1)  If the suspected child abuse is alleged to have been
8committed by a perpetrator, the appropriate county agency
9shall investigate the allegation.

10(2)  If the suspected child abuse is alleged to have been
11committed by a perpetrator and the behavior constituting the
12suspected child abuse may include a criminal offense, the
13appropriate county agency and law enforcement official shall
14jointly investigate the allegation as required by this
15chapter.

16(3)  If the suspected child abuse is alleged to have been
17committed by a person who is not a perpetrator, law
18enforcement officials where the suspected child abuse is
19alleged to have occurred shall be solely responsible for
20investigating the allegation.

21(4)  If a child is alleged to be in need of other
22protective services, the appropriate county agency shall
23assess the needs of the child as provided under this chapter.

24§ 6323. Disposition of initial reports.

25(a) Receipt of reports.--The department shall immediately
26transmit a written notice, which may be submitted
27electronically, to the county agency and law enforcement
28officials where the suspected child abuse is alleged to have
29occurred. The notice shall contain the following information:

30(1) Notice that a report of suspected child abuse by a

1perpetrator has been received.

2(2)  The substance of the report.

3(3)  The existence of a prior report or a current
4investigation concerning a subject of the report.

5(b)  Receipt of reports by county.--After ensuring the
6immediate safety of the child and any other child in the child's
7home, a county agency or law enforcement official that receives
8a report of suspected child abuse shall immediately notify the
9department of the report. If the report is an oral report, the
10county agency or law enforcement official shall collect the
11required information and submit a written report to the
12department within 48 hours.

13(c)  Referral to law enforcement.--If the department receives
14a report of suspected child abuse that alleges that a criminal
15offense has been committed, the department shall immediately
16transmit an oral or written notice to law enforcement officials
17in the county where the suspected child abuse is alleged to have
18occurred. The notice shall contain the following information in
19accordance with this chapter:

20(1)  Receipt of a report of suspected child abuse.

21(2)  The substance of the report.

22(3) The existence of a prior report or a current
23investigation concerning a subject of the report.

24(d)  Notice of joint referrals.--When a report is referred to
25the county agency under subsection (a) or (c), the notice shall
26include the name and contact information of any persons
27receiving the referral, if known.

28(e) Ability of law enforcement to receive reports.--The
29district attorney of the county where the suspected child abuse
30is alleged to have occurred shall designate up to three

1recipients to receive reports under subsection (c) and shall
2provide contact information for each recipient to the department
3for that purpose.

4(f)  Jurisdictional overlap.--If the residency of any subject
5of a report is a factor that requires the cooperation of more
6than one county agency or an agency of another state that
7performs protective services analogous to those services
8performed by county agencies or the department, the department
9shall ensure the cooperation of those agencies in carrying out
10the requirements of this chapter.

11(g)  Referral.--If the report received does not indicate a
12need for protective services, but indicates a need for other
13services, or investigation, the department shall transmit the
14information to the county agency or other public agency for
15appropriate action. The information shall not be considered a
16child abuse report unless the county agency has reasonable cause
17to suspect that abuse occurred. If the county agency
18investigation indicates reasonable cause to suspect that abuse
19occurred, the county agency shall notify the department and the
20initial report shall be considered to be a child abuse report.

21§ 6324. Disposition of reports.

22(a)  Resident child.--A report of suspected child abuse by a
23perpetrator occurring in another state shall be referred by the
24department to the county agency and, where appropriate, to law
25enforcement officials when the child resides in this
26Commonwealth and shall be investigated as any other report of
27suspected child abuse by a perpetrator if all of the following
28apply:

29(1)  The child victim is a resident of this Commonwealth.

30(2)  The other state's child protective services agency

1fails to investigate the report.

2(b)  Resident alleged perpetrator.--

3(1)  If suspected child abuse occurs in a jurisdiction
4other than this Commonwealth and the alleged perpetrator is a
5resident of this Commonwealth, the report of suspected child
6abuse shall be referred to the county agency where the
7alleged perpetrator resides.

8(2)  The county agency shall do all of the following:

9(i)  Contact the children and youth social service
10agency of the jurisdiction in which the suspected child
11abuse occurred.

12(ii)  Investigate the suspected child abuse, either
13alone or in cooperation with the other agency.

14(c)  Copies of report.--A copy of the report of suspected
15child abuse shall be provided to the other state's child
16protective services agency and, if appropriate, to law
17enforcement officials where the incident occurred.

18(d)  Communication.--Reports and information under this
19section shall be provided within seven calendar days of
20completion of the investigation.

21§ 6325. (Reserved).

22§ 6326. (Reserved).

23§ 6327. Cooperation.

24(a)  General rule.--Commonwealth agencies, political
25subdivisions, a county agency, law enforcement official or any
26other agency providing services under the county plan for
27protective services shall provide any assistance and data to the
28department that will enable the department, the county agency
29and law enforcement officials to fulfill their responsibilities.

30(b)  Willful failure to cooperate.--

1(1)  At the request of the department or county agency
2school, hospital, health care provider or an employee or
3independent contractor shall immediately provide information
4requested to the department or county agency if the
5information relates to suspected child abuse or the need for
6general protective services.

7(2)  No individual may prohibit the department or county
8agency from interviewing the child who is the subject of
9suspected child abuse. Parental consent shall not be required
10prior to the child's being interviewed by the department or
11county agency.

12(3)  The following shall apply:

13(i)  Any person failing to timely produce the
14requested information under this section commits a
15misdemeanor of the third degree.

16(ii)  Any person barring, inhibiting or precluding
17sufficient access to the subject child commits a
18misdemeanor of the second degree.

19(c)  Cooperation of county and law enforcement.--A county
20agency and law enforcement official shall cooperate, to the
21fullest extent possible, to respond to and investigate reports
22of suspected child abuse. Counties shall exchange information
23and cooperate to investigate reports and provide services to
24children who may move from one county to another.

25(d)  Advice to county agency.--If a report of suspected child
26abuse is referred from a county agency to a law enforcement
27official under section 6340(a)(9) and (10) (relating to release
28of information in confidential reports), the law enforcement
29official shall expeditiously advise the county agency of the
30progress of a criminal investigation, the results of the

1investigation and any criminal prosecution. The county agency
2shall refer the information to the Statewide database.

3Section 5. Title 23 is amended by adding a section to read:

4§ 6335.1. Access to information in Statewide database.

5(a) Use for assessment or investigation.--A county agency or
6law enforcement official shall use the Statewide toll-free
7telephone number, or any manner prescribed by the department, to
8determine the existence of any prior reports involving a
9subject of the report. If the Statewide database contains
10information indicating a prior report or a pending
11investigation concerning a subject of the report, the department
12shall immediately convey this information to the county agency
13or law enforcement official.

14(b) Use by county agency or law enforcement official.--A
15county agency or law enforcement official may only request the
16information under subsection (a) for the purposes of assessing
17and investigating reports of child abuse, allegations that a
18child is in need of general protective services or investigating 
19a crime against a child.

20(c) Authorized releases for governmental functions.--No 
21person, other than an employee of the department in the course 
22of official duties in connection with the responsibilities of 
23the department under this chapter, shall have access to any 
24information in the Statewide database except as provided under 
25this section and the following:

26(1) Section 6323 (relating to disposition of initial
27reports).

28(2) Section 6340 (relating to release of information in
29confidential reports).

30(3) Section 6342 (relating to studies of data in

1records).

2(d) Clearances.--Information provided in response to
3inquiries under section 6344 (relating to information relating
4to prospective child-care personnel), 6344.1 (relating to
5information relating to family day-care home residents) or
66344.2 (relating to information relating to other persons having
7contact with children) shall be limited to the following:

8(1) Whether the person was named as a perpetrator of
9child abuse in a founded or indicated report.

10(2) Whether there is an investigation pending in which
11the individual is an alleged perpetrator.

12(3) The number, date of the incidents upon which the
13report is based and the type of abuse or neglect involved in
14any reports identified under paragraph (1).

15(e) Electronic technologies.--Requests under this section
16may be made using electronic technologies, if appropriate
17verification is made in accordance with section 6322(c)
18(relating to access to reports).

19Section 6. Section 6336 of Title 23 is repealed:

20[§ 6336. Information in Statewide central register.

21(a) Information authorized.--The Statewide central register
22shall include and shall be limited to the following information:

23(1) The names, Social Security numbers, age and sex of
24the subjects of the reports.

25(2) The date or dates and the nature and extent of the
26alleged instances of suspected child abuse.

27(3) The home addresses of the subjects of the report.

28(4) The county in which the suspected abuse occurred.

29(5) Family composition.

30(6) The name and relationship to the abused child of

1other persons named in the report.

2(7) Factors contributing to the abuse.

3(8) The source of the report.

4(9) Services planned or provided.

5(10) Whether the report is a founded report or an
6indicated report.

7(11) Information obtained by the department in relation
8to a perpetrator's or school employee's request to release,
9amend or expunge information retained by the department or
10the county agency.

11(12) The progress of any legal proceedings brought on
12the basis of the report of suspected child abuse.

13(13) Whether a criminal investigation has been
14undertaken and the result of the investigation and of any
15criminal prosecution.

16No information other than that permitted in this subsection
17shall be retained in the Statewide central register.

18(b) Type of information released.--Except as provided in
19sections 6334 (relating to disposition of complaints received),
206335 (relating to information in pending complaint and unfounded
21report files), 6340 (relating to release of information in
22confidential reports) and 6342 (relating to studies of data in
23records), persons receiving information from the Statewide
24central register or pending complaint file may be informed only
25as to:

26(1) Whether the report is a founded or indicated abuse
27or is under investigation.

28(2) The number of such reports.

29(3) The nature and extent of the alleged or actual
30instances of suspected child abuse.

1(4) The county in which the reports are investigated.

2(5) Any other information available which would further
3the purposes of this chapter.

4(c) Limitation on release of information.--Except as
5provided in sections 6334, 6335, 6340 and 6342, no information
6shall be released from the Statewide central register or pending
7complaint file unless pursuant to section 6332 (relating to
8establishment of Statewide toll-free telephone number) and
9unless the department has positively identified the
10representative of the county agency requesting the information
11and the department has inquired into and is satisfied that the
12representative has a legitimate need, within the scope of
13official duties and the provisions of section 6332, to obtain
14the information. Information in the Statewide central register
15or pending complaint file shall not be released for any purpose
16or to any individual not specified in section 6340.]

17Section 7. Sections 6339 and 6340(a)(2), (9), (10), (12) and 
18(13), (b), (c) and (d) of Title 23 are amended to read:

19§ 6339. Confidentiality of reports.

20Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, reports made
21pursuant to this chapter, including, but not limited to, report
22summaries of child abuse and [written] reports made pursuant to
23section [6313(b) and (c)] 6313 (relating to reporting procedure)
24as well as any other information obtained, reports written or
25photographs or X-rays taken concerning alleged instances of
26child abuse in the possession of the department or a county
27agency shall be confidential.

28§ 6340. Release of information in confidential reports.

29(a) General rule.--Reports specified in section 6339
30(relating to confidentiality of reports) shall only be made

1available to:

2* * *

3[(2) A physician examining or treating a child or the
4director or a person specifically designated in writing by
5the director of any hospital or other medical institution
6where a child is being treated when the physician or the
7director or the designee of the director suspects the child
8of being an abused child or a child alleged to be in need of
9protection under this chapter.]

10* * *

11(9) Law enforcement officials of any jurisdiction, as
12long as the information is relevant in the course of
13investigating cases of:

14(i) Homicide or other criminal offense set forth in
15section 6344(c) (relating to information relating to
16prospective child-care personnel), sexual abuse[, sexual]
17or exploitation, bodily injury or serious bodily injury
18[or serious physical injury perpetrated by persons
19whether or not related to the victim] caused by a
20perpetrator or nonperpetrator.

21(ii) [Child abuse perpetrated by persons who are not
22family members.] Child abuse other than that identified
23under subparagraph (i) by a nonperpetrator.

24(iii) Repeated physical injury to a child under
25circumstances which indicate that the child's health,
26safety or welfare is harmed or threatened.

27(iv) A missing child report.

28(10) The district [attorney or his designee] attorney's
29office or other law enforcement official, as set forth in
30[the] county protocols for multidisciplinary investigative

1teams required in section 6365(c) (relating to services for
2prevention, investigation and treatment of child abuse),
3shall receive, immediately after the county agency has
4ensured the safety of the child, reports of abuse [, either
5orally or in writing,] according to regulations [promulgated
6by the department], from the department or county agency in
7which the initial report of suspected child abuse or initial
8inquiry into the report gives evidence that the abuse is:

9(i) a criminal offense set forth [in] under section
106344(c), not including an offense under 18 Pa.C.S. § 4304
11(relating to endangering welfare of children) or an
12equivalent crime under Federal law or [the] law of
13another state[, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or
14serious bodily injury perpetrated by persons, whether or
15not related to the victim]; or

16(ii) child abuse [perpetrated by persons who are not
17family members; or

18(iii) serious physical injury involving extensive
19and severe bruising, burns, broken bones, lacerations,
20internal bleeding, shaken baby syndrome or choking or an
21injury that significantly impairs a child's physical
22functioning, either temporarily or permanently] under
23section 6321(2) or (3) (relating to responsibility for
24investigation).

25* * *

26(12) A mandated reporter of suspected child abuse [as
27defined in] under section 6311 (relating to persons required
28to report suspected child abuse) who made a report of abuse
29involving the subject child, [but the information permitted
30to be released to the mandated reporter] shall be limited to

1the following:

2(i) [The final status of] Whether the child abuse
3report [following the investigation, whether it be] is
4indicated, founded or unfounded.

5(ii) Any services provided, arranged for or to be
6provided by the county agency to protect the child.

7(13) [Persons required to make reports under Subchapter
8C.1 (relating to students in public and private schools).
9Information under this paragraph shall be limited to the
10final status of the report following the investigation as to
11whether the report is indicated, founded or unfounded.]
12School administrators, if the alleged perpetrator is a school
13employee, shall receive notice of a pending allegation and
14the final status of the report following the investigation as
15to whether the report is indicated, founded or unfounded.
16Information disclosed pursuant to this paragraph shall be
17provided to the school administrator within ten days of the
18completion of the investigation.

19* * *

20(b) Release of information to subject [of report].--[At any
21time and upon] Upon a written request, a subject of a report may
22receive a copy of all information, except that prohibited from
23being disclosed by subsection (c), contained in the Statewide
24[central register] database or in any report filed pursuant to
25section 6313 (relating to reporting procedure).

26(c) Protecting identity [of person making report].--Except
27for reports [pursuant to] under subsection (a)(9) and (10), and
28in response to a law enforcement official investigating
29allegations of false reports under 18 Pa.C.S. § 4906.1 (relating
30to false reports of child abuse), the release of data that would

1identify the person who made a report of suspected child abuse
2or [the person] who cooperated in a subsequent investigation is
3prohibited unless the [secretary] department finds that the
4release will not be detrimental to the safety of [that] the
5person. Law enforcement officials shall treat all reporting
6sources as confidential informants.

7(d) Exclusion of [administrative] information.--Information
8maintained in the Statewide [central register which was]
9database obtained from an investigating agency in relation to an
10appeal request shall not be released to any person except a
11department official [, as provided by regulation].

12Section 8. Title 23 is amended by adding a section to read:

13§ 6387. Background checks.

14Payment for a background check relating to child abuse may be
15paid for by an individual or organization by check, money order 
16or by credit or debit card when the system becomes available.

17Section 9. This act shall take effect January 1, 2014.

<-18Section 1. Section 6303(a) of Title 23 of the Pennsylvania
19Consolidated Statutes is amended by adding definitions to read:

<-20Section 1. The definitions of "child-care services" in 
21section 6303(a) of Title 23 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated 
22Statutes, added December 18, 2013 (P.L.1201, No.119), are 
23amended and the section is amended by adding definitions to 
24read:

25§ 6303. Definitions.

26(a) General rule.--The following words and phrases when used
27in this chapter shall have the meanings given to them in this
28section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

29* * *

<-30"Child-care services." [Child day-care centers, group and

1family day-care homes, foster homes, adoptive parents, boarding
2homes for children, juvenile detention center services or
3programs for delinquent or dependent children; mental health,
4mental retardation, early intervention and drug and alcohol
5services for children; and other child-care services which are
6provided by or subject to approval, licensure, registration or
7certification by the Department of Public Welfare or a county
8social services agency or which are provided pursuant to a
9contract with these departments or a county social services
10agency. The term does not include such services or programs
11which may be offered by public and private schools, intermediate
12units or area vocational-technical schools.

13"Child-care services."]  Includes any of the following:

14(1)  Child day-care centers.

15(2)  Group day-care homes.

16(3)  Family day-care homes.

17(4)  Foster homes.

18(5)  Adoptive parents.

19(6)  Boarding homes for children.

20(7)  Juvenile detention center services or programs for
21delinquent or dependent children.

22(8)  Mental health services for children.

23(9)  Services for children with intellectual
24disabilities.

25(10)  Early intervention services for children.

26(11)  Drug and alcohol services for children.

27(12)  Day-care services or programs that are offered by a
28school.

29(13)  Other child-care services that are provided by or
30subject to approval, licensure, registration or certification

1by the Department of Public Welfare or a county social
2services agency or that are provided pursuant to a contract
3with the Department of Public Welfare or a county social
4services agency.

5* * *

6"Electronic technologies." The transfer of information in
7whole or in part by technology having electrical, digital,
8magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, photo-electronic
9or photo-optical systems, or similar capabilities. The term
10includes, but is not limited to, e-mail, Internet communication
11or other means of electronic transmission.

12* * *

13"Law enforcement official." The term includes the following:

14(1) The Attorney General.

15(2) A Pennsylvania district attorney.

16(3) A Pennsylvania State Police officer.

17(4) A municipal police officer.

18"Mandated reporter." A person who is required by this
19chapter to make a report of suspected child abuse.

20* * *

21Section 2. Title 23 is amended by adding sections to read:

<-22§ 6304. (Reserved).

23§ 6305. Electronic reporting.

24(a) Departmental procedures.--The department shall establish
25procedures for the secure and confidential use of electronic
26technologies to transmit information under this chapter,
27including:

28(1) the filing of reports and other required records,
29including those of the county agency; and

30(2) the verification of records and signatures on forms.

1(b) Confirmation of reports.--A confirmation by the
2department of the receipt of a report of suspected child abuse
3submitted electronically shall relieve the person making the
4report of making an additional oral or written report of
5suspected child abuse, subject to section 6313 (relating to
6reporting procedure).

7(c)  Effect on other law.--Nothing in this chapter shall be
8construed to supersede the act of December 16, 1999 (P.L.971,
9No.69), known as the Electronic Transactions Act. Any procedures
10developed by the department under this section shall comply with
11all applicable Federal and State laws regarding confidentiality
12of personally identifiable information.

13§ 6306. Regulations.

14The department shall promulgate regulations necessary to
15implement this chapter.

<-16Section 3. Sections 6317, 6331, 6332(a), 6333 and 6334 of
17Title 23 are amended to read:

<-18Section 3. Section 6317 of Title 23 is amended to read:

19§ 6317. Mandatory reporting and postmortem investigation of
20deaths.

21A person or official required to report cases of suspected 
22child abuse, including employees of a county agency, who has 
23reasonable cause to suspect that a child died as a result of 
24child abuse shall report that suspicion to the appropriate 
25coroner or medical examiner. The coroner or medical examiner 
26shall accept the report for investigation and shall report his 
27finding to the police, the district attorney, the appropriate 
28county agency and, if the report is made by a hospital, the 
29hospital.

<-30§ 6331. Establishment of [pending complaint file, Statewide

1central register and file of unfounded reports]
2Statewide database.

3There shall be established in the department[:

4(1) A pending complaint file of child abuse reports
5under investigation and a file of reports under investigation
6pursuant to Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in public
7and private schools).

8(2) A Statewide central register of child abuse which
9shall consist of founded and indicated reports.

10(3) A file of unfounded reports awaiting expunction.]

11a Statewide database of protective services, which shall
12include the following, as provided by section 6336 (relating to
13information in Statewide database):

<-14Section 3.1. Section 6331 of Title 23, amended December 18,
152013 (P.L.1201, No.119), is amended to read:

16§ 6331. Establishment of Statewide database.

17There shall be established in the department a Statewide 
18database of protective services, which shall include the 
19following, as provided by section 6336 (relating to information 
20in Statewide [central register):

21(1) A pending complaint file of child abuse reports
22under investigation and a file of reports under investigation
23pursuant to Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in public
24and private schools).

25(2) A Statewide central register of child abuse which
26shall consist of founded and indicated reports.

27(3) A file of unfounded reports awaiting expunction.

28(4) False reports of child abuse pursuant to a 
29conviction under 18 Pa.C.S. § 4906.1 (relating to false 
30reports of child abuse) and invalid general protective
 

1services reports that a county agency or the department have 
2determined to be false, for the purpose of identifying and 
3tracking patterns of intentionally false reports.] database):

4(1) Reports of suspected child abuse pending
5investigation.

6(2) Reports with a status of pending juvenile court or
7pending criminal court action.

8(3) Indicated and founded reports of child abuse.

9(4) Unfounded reports of child abuse awaiting
10expunction.

11(5) Unfounded reports accepted for services.

12(6) Reports alleging the need for general protective
13services.

14(7) General protective services reports that have been
15determined to be valid.

16(8) Reports alleging the need for general protective
17services that have been determined invalid and are awaiting
18expunction.

19(9) A family case record for all reports accepted for
20investigation, assessment or services.

21(10) Information on reports made to the agency, but not
22accepted for investigation or assessment.

<-23(11) False reports of child abuse pursuant to a
24conviction under 18 Pa.C.S. § 4906.1 (relating to false
25reports of child abuse) and invalid general protective
26services reports that a county agency or the department have
27determined to be false, for the purpose of identifying and
28tracking patterns of intentionally false reports.

29Section 3.2. Sections 6332(a), 6333 and 6334 of Title 23 are
30amended to read:

1§ 6332. Establishment of Statewide toll-free telephone number.

2(a) General rule.--The department shall establish a single
3Statewide toll-free telephone number that all persons, whether
4mandated by law or not, may use to report cases of suspected
5child abuse or children allegedly in need of general protective 
6services. A county agency or law enforcement official shall use
7the Statewide toll-free telephone number or electronic 
8technologies for determining the existence of [prior founded or
9indicated] reports of child abuse or general protective services 
10reports in the Statewide [central register] database or reports
11under investigation [in the pending complaint file].

12* * *

13§ 6333. Continuous availability of department.

14The department shall be capable of receiving oral reports of
15child abuse [made], reports of children in need of general
16protective services, reports made by electronic technologies
17pursuant to this chapter[, reports under section 6353.2
18(relating to responsibilities of county agency)] and report
19summaries [of child abuse] from county agencies [and]. The
20department shall be capable of immediately identifying prior
21reports [of child abuse and prior reports of abuse or injury
22under Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in public and private
23schools) in the Statewide central register] in the Statewide
24database and reports under investigation [in the pending
25complaint file] with a pending status and of monitoring the
26provision of child protective services 24 hours a day, seven
27days a week.

28§ 6334. Disposition of complaints received.

29[(a) Notice to county agency.--Upon receipt of a complaint
30of suspected child abuse, the department shall immediately

1transmit orally to the appropriate county agency notice that the
2complaint of suspected child abuse has been received and the
3substance of the complaint. If the Statewide central register or
4the pending complaint file contains information indicating a
5prior report or a current investigation concerning a subject of
6the report, the department shall immediately notify the
7appropriate county agency of this fact. The appropriate county
8agency shall mean the agency in the county where the suspected
9child abuse occurred. If the residency of the subjects is a
10factor that requires the cooperation of more than one county
11agency, the department shall develop regulations to ensure the
12cooperation of those agencies in carrying out the requirements
13of this chapter.

14(b) Referral for services or investigation.--If the
15complaint received does not suggest suspected child abuse but
16does suggest a need for social services or other services or
17investigation, the department shall transmit the information to
18the county agency or other public agency for appropriate action.
19The information shall not be considered a child abuse report
20unless the agency to which the information was referred has
21reasonable cause to suspect after investigation that abuse
22occurred. If the agency has reasonable cause to suspect that
23abuse occurred, the agency shall notify the department, and the
24initial complaint shall be considered to have been a child abuse
25report.

26(c) Recording in pending complaint file.--Upon receipt of a
27complaint of suspected child abuse, the department shall
28maintain a record of the complaint of suspected child abuse in
29the pending complaint file. Upon receipt of a report under
30section 6353.2 (relating to responsibilities of county agency),

1the department shall maintain a record of the report in the
2report file under section 6331 (relating to establishment of
3pending complaint file, Statewide central register and file of
4unfounded reports).

5(d) Incidents occurring outside of this Commonwealth.--

6(1) A report of suspected child abuse occurring in
7another state where the child victim is identified as a
8resident of this Commonwealth and the other state child
9protective services agency cannot investigate the report
10because of statutory or policy limitations shall be assigned
11as a general protective services report to the county of the
12child's residence or as determined by the department.

13(2) In addition to complying with the other requirements
14of this chapter and applicable regulations, a copy of the
15report shall be provided to the other state's child
16protective services agency and, when applicable under
17Pennsylvania law, to law enforcement officials where the
18incident occurred.

19(3) Reports and information under this subsection shall
20be provided within seven calendar days of completion of the
21general protective services assessment under section 6375
22(relating to county agency requirements for general
23protective services).]

24(a) Receipt of reports by county agencies and law
25enforcement.--After ensuring the immediate safety of the child
26and any other child in the child's home, a county agency or law
27enforcement official that receives a report of suspected child
28abuse shall immediately notify the department of the report. If
29the report is an oral report by telephone, the county agency or
30law enforcement official shall attempt to collect as much of the

1information listed in section 6313(c) (relating to reporting
2procedure) as possible and shall submit the information to the
3department within 48 hours through a report in writing or by
4electronic technologies.

5(b) Receipt of reports by department and referral to county
6agency.--The department shall immediately transmit an oral
7notice or a notice by electronic technologies to the county
8agency of the county where the suspected child abuse is alleged
9to have occurred. The notice shall contain the following
10information:

11(1) That a report of suspected child abuse by a
12perpetrator has been received.

13(2) The substance of the report.

14(3) The existence in the Statewide database of a prior
15report or a current investigation or assessment concerning a
16subject of the report.

17(c) Receipt of reports by department and referral to law
18enforcement.--If the department receives a report of suspected
19child abuse that also alleges that a criminal offense has been
20committed against the child, the department shall immediately
21transmit an oral notice or notice by electronic technologies to
22the appropriate law enforcement official in the county where the
23suspected child abuse is alleged to have occurred. The notice
24shall contain the following information, consistent with section
256340(a)(9) and (10) (relating to release of information in
26confidential reports):

27(1) That a report of suspected child abuse has been
28received.

29(2) The substance of the report.

30(3) The existence in the Statewide database under

1section 6331 (relating to establishment of Statewide
2database) of a prior report or a current investigation or
3assessment concerning a subject of the report.

4(d) Notice of joint referrals.--When a report is referred to
5the county agency under subsection (b) and is also referred to a
6law enforcement official under subsection (c), the notice shall
7include information as to the name and contact information of
8any persons receiving the referral, if known.

9(e) Jurisdictional overlap.--If the residency of any subject
10of a report is a factor that requires the cooperation of more
11than one county agency, the department shall develop procedures
12to ensure the cooperation of those agencies in carrying out the
13requirements of this chapter.

14(f) Referral for services or investigation.--If the report
15received does not suggest a need for protective services but
16does suggest a need for social services or other services or
17investigation, the department shall transmit the information to
18the county agency or other public agency for appropriate action.
19The information shall not be considered a child abuse report
20unless the agency to which the information was referred has
21reasonable cause to suspect after investigation that abuse
22occurred. If the agency has reasonable cause to suspect that
23abuse occurred, the agency shall notify the department, and the
24initial report shall be considered to have been a child abuse
25report.

26(g) Recording of pending reports.--Upon receipt of a report
27of suspected child abuse, the department shall maintain a record
28of the complaint of suspected child abuse in the Statewide
29database. Upon receipt of a report under section 6353.2
30(relating to responsibilities of county agency), the department

1shall maintain a record of the report in the Statewide database
2under section 6331 (relating to establishment of statewide
3database).

4(h) Child abuse in another state where the victim child and
5the alleged perpetrator are residents of the Commonwealth.--A
6report of suspected child abuse by a resident perpetrator
7occurring in another state shall be referred by the department
8to the county agency where the child resides in this
9Commonwealth and shall be investigated by the county agency as
10any other report of suspected child abuse by a perpetrator if
11the other state's child protective services agency cannot or
12will not investigate the report.

13(i) Child abuse in another state where only the alleged
14perpetrator is a resident of this Commonwealth.--If suspected
15child abuse occurs in a jurisdiction other than this
16Commonwealth and only the alleged perpetrator is a resident of
17this Commonwealth, the report of suspected child abuse shall be
18referred to the county agency where the alleged perpetrator
19resides. The county agency shall do all of the following:

20(1) Notify the children and youth social service agency
21of the jurisdiction in which the suspected child abuse
22occurred.

23(2) If requested by the other agency, assist in
24investigating the suspected child abuse.

25(j) Child abuse in another state where only the victim child
26is a resident of this Commonwealth.-A report of suspected child
27abuse occurring in another state where only the victim child
28resides in this Commonwealth, and where the other state's child
29protective services agency cannot or will not investigate the
30report, shall be assigned as a general protective services

1report to the county agency where the child resides.

2(k) Copies of report.--A copy of a report of suspected child
3abuse under subsections (h), (i) and (j) shall be provided to
4the other state's child protective services agency and, if
5appropriate, to law enforcement officials where the incident
6occurred.

7(l) Communication.--Reports and information under
8subsections (h), (i) and (j) shall be provided within seven
9calendar days of completion of the investigation.

10Section 4. Title 23 is amended by adding a section to read:

11§ 6334.1. Responsibility for investigation.

12The department shall establish procedures regarding the
13following different responses to address suspected child abuse
14and protective services depending on the person's allegedly
15committing the suspected child abuse or causing a child to be in
16need of protective services:

17(1) If the suspected child abuse is alleged to have been
18committed by a perpetrator, the appropriate county agency
19shall investigate the allegation as provided in this chapter.

20(2) If the suspected child abuse is alleged to have been
21committed by a perpetrator and the behavior constituting the
22suspected child abuse may include a violation of a criminal
23offense, the appropriate county agency and law enforcement
24officials shall jointly investigate the allegation through
25the investigative team established in section 6365(c)
26(relating to services for prevention, investigation and
27treatment of child abuse) and as provided in this chapter.

28(3) If the suspected child abuse is alleged to have been
29committed by a person who is not a perpetrator, and the
30behavior constituting the suspected child abuse may include a

1violation of a criminal offense, law enforcement officials
2where the suspected child abuse is alleged to have occurred
3shall be solely responsible for investigating the allegation.

4(4) If a child is alleged to be in need of other
5protective services, the appropriate county agency shall
6assess the needs of the child as provided in this chapter.

7Section 5. Sections 6335, <-6336, 6337, 6338(a) and (c), 6339, 
86340(a)(9), (10), (12) and (13), (b), (c) and (d) and 6342(a) 
<-96336 and 6337 of Title 23 are amended to read:

10§ 6335. [Information in pending complaint and unfounded report
11files.

12(a) Information authorized.--The information contained in
13the pending complaint file shall be limited to the information
14required in sections 6313(c) (relating to reporting procedure)
15and 6353.2 (relating to responsibilities of county agency). The
16information contained in the file for unfounded reports shall be
17limited to the information required by section 6336 (relating to
18information in Statewide central register).

19(b) Access to information.--Except as provided in sections
206332 (relating to establishment of Statewide toll-free telephone
21number), 6334 (relating to disposition of complaints received),
226340 (relating to release of information in confidential
23reports) and 6342 (relating to studies of data in records), no
24person, other than an employee of the department in the course
25of official duties in connection with the responsibilities of
26the department under this chapter, shall at any time have access
27to any information in the pending complaint file or Statewide
28central register. Information in the file of unfounded reports
29shall be available only to employees of the department pursuant
30to this subsection, to subjects of a report or law enforcement

1officials pursuant to section 6340 and to the Office of Attorney
2General pursuant to section 6345 (relating to audits by Attorney
3General) until the reports are expunged pursuant to section 6337
4(relating to disposition of unfounded reports).]

5 Access to information in Statewide database.

6(a) Request for information.--A county agency or law
7enforcement official shall use the Statewide toll-free telephone
8number, or any manner prescribed by the department, to determine
9the existence of any prior reports involving a subject of the
10report. If the Statewide database contains information related
11to a report or a pending investigation or assessment concerning
12a subject of the report, the department shall immediately convey
13this information to the county agency or law enforcement 
14official.

15(b) Verification of need.--Information may be released under
16this section if a request for information is made orally or in
17writing and the department has done all of the following:

18(1) Identified the requester, including electronic
19verification of the requester's identity.

20(2) Determined whether the requester is authorized to
21obtain the information under this section.

22(3) Provided notice to the requester that access and
23dissemination of the information is restricted as provided by
24this chapter.

25(4) Obtained an affirmation by the requester that the
26request is within the scope of that person's official duties
27and the provisions of this chapter.

28(c) Use by county agency or law enforcement official.--A
29county agency or law enforcement official may only request the
30information under subsection (a) for the purposes of

1investigating reports of child abuse, assessing allegations that
2a child is in need of general protective services, providing
3protective services to a child or investigating a crime against
4a child criminal offense. The following shall apply where
5information is requested pursuant to this section:

6(1) A law enforcement official may use information
7contained in the Statewide database for the purpose of
8investigating a criminal offense as follows:

9(i) Information regarding indicated and founded
10reports may be used for any purpose authorized by this
11chapter.

12(ii) Information on all other reports may be used
13for the purposes of investigating a crime involving harm
14or threatened harm to a child, an alleged violation of
15section 6319 (relating to penalties for failure to report
16or to refer) or section 6349 (relating to penalties), or
17an alleged violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 4906.1 (relating to
18false reports of child abuse) or 4958 (relating to
19intimidation, retaliation or obstruction in child abuse
20cases).

21(2) A county agency may use information contained in the
22Statewide database as follows:

23(i) Information regarding indicated or founded
24reports may be used for any purpose authorized by this
25chapter.

26(ii) Information on all other reports may be used
27for any purpose authorized by this chapter, except that
28information in reports that are not founded or indicated
29may not be used as evidence by the county agency when
30determining that a new report of suspected abuse is an

1indicated report.

2(3) The department may use information contained in the
3Statewide database as follows:

4(i) Information regarding indicated or founded
5reports may be used for any purpose authorized by this
6chapter.

7(ii) Information on all other reports may be used
8for any purpose authorized by this chapter, except that
9information in reports that are not founded or indicated
10may not be used as evidence by the department when
11determining that a new report of suspected abuse is an
12indicated report.

13(4) Information in the Statewide database may not be used
14for any purpose not authorized by this chapter.

15(d) Authorized releases for governmental functions.--No
16person, other than an employee of the department in the course
17of official duties in connection with the responsibilities of
18the department under this chapter, shall have access to any
19information in the Statewide database except as provided under
20this section and the following:

21(1) Section 6334 (relating to disposition of complaints
22received).

23(2) Section 6340 (relating to release of information in
24confidential reports).

25(3) Section 6342 (relating to studies of data in
26records).

27(4) Section 6343 (relating to investigating performance
28of county agency).

29(5) Section 6343.1 (relating to citizen review panels).

30(6) Section 6347 (relating to reports to Governor and

1General Assembly).

2(e) Clearances.--Information provided in response to
3inquiries under section 6344 (relating to information relating
4to prospective child-care personnel), 6344.1 (relating to
5information relating to family day-care home residents) or
66344.2 (relating to information relating to other persons having
7contact with children) shall not include unfounded reports of
8child abuse or reports related to general protective services
9and shall be limited to the following:

10(1) Whether the person was named as a perpetrator of
11child abuse in a founded or indicated report.

12(2) Whether there is an investigation pending in which
13the individual is an alleged perpetrator.

14(3) The number, date of the incidents upon which the
15report is based and the type of abuse or neglect involved in
16any reports identified under paragraph (1).

17(f) Electronic technologies.--Requests under this section
18may be made using electronic technologies, if appropriate
19verification is made in accordance with subsection (b).

20§ 6336. Information in Statewide [central register] database.

21(a) Information authorized.--The Statewide [central
22register] database shall include and shall be limited to the
23following information:

24(1) The names, Social Security numbers, age, race, 
25ethnicity and sex of the subjects of the reports.

26(2) The date or dates and the nature and extent of the
27alleged instances [of suspected child abuse] that created the 
28need for protective services.

29(3) The home addresses of the subjects of the report.

30(4) The county in which the [suspected abuse occurred]

1alleged incidents that created the need for protective 
2services occurred.

3(5) Family composition.

4(6) The name and relationship to the [abused] child in 
5question and of other persons named in the report.

6(7) Factors contributing to the [abuse] need for 
7protective services.

8(8) The source of the report.

9(9) Services planned or provided.

10(10) [Whether the report is a founded report or an
11indicated report.] If the report alleges child abuse, whether 
12the report was determined to be founded, indicated or 
13unfounded.

14(11) If the report alleged the child was in need of
15general protective services, whether the report was valid or
16invalid.

17(12) If the report was accepted for services and the
18reasons for the acceptance.

19(13) If the report was not accepted for services, the
20reason the report was not accepted and whether the family was
21referred to other community services.

22[(11)] (14) Information obtained by the department in
23relation to a perpetrator's or school employee's request to
24release, amend or expunge information retained by the
25department or the county agency.

26[(12)] (15) The progress of any legal proceedings brought
27on the basis of the report of suspected child abuse.

28[(13)] (16) Whether a criminal investigation has been
29undertaken and the result of the investigation and of any
30criminal prosecution.

1(17) In the case of an unfounded or invalid report, if
2it is later determined that the initial report was a false
3report, a notation to that effect regarding the status of the
4report.

5(18) Unfounded reports of child abuse, limited to the
6information authorized under section 6337 (relating to
7disposition and expunction of unfounded reports and general
8protective services reports).

9(19) Any additional information provided in section
106313(c) (relating to reporting procedure).

11(20) Any additional demographic information that the
12department requires to comply with section 6342 (relating to
13studies of data in records).

14(21) A family case record for each family accepted for
15investigation, assessment or services which shall be
16maintained consistent with regulatory requirements.

17(22) With respect to cases that are not accepted for
18child abuse investigation or general protective services
19assessment or are referred to community services:

20(i) The reason the report was not accepted.

21(ii) Any information provided to the referral source
22or the family related to other services or option
23available to address the report.

24(23) Any other information that is necessary to maintain
25the names of persons convicted of a violation under 18
26Pa.C.S. § 4906.1 (relating to false reports of child abuse)
27or the names of persons who made a false report of the need
28for general protective services.

29No information other than that permitted in this subsection
30shall be retained in the Statewide central register.

1[(b) Type of information released.--Except as provided in
2sections 6334 (relating to disposition of complaints received),
36335 (relating to information in pending complaint and unfounded
4report files), 6340 (relating to release of information in
5confidential reports) and 6342 (relating to studies of data in
6records), persons receiving information from the Statewide
7central register or pending complaint file may be informed only
8as to:

9(1) Whether the report is a founded or indicated abuse
10or is under investigation.

11(2) The number of such reports.

12(3) The nature and extent of the alleged or actual
13instances of suspected child abuse.

14(4) The county in which the reports are investigated.

15(5) Any other information available which would further
16the purposes of this chapter.

17(c) Limitation on release of information.--Except as
18provided in sections 6334, 6335, 6340 and 6342, no information
19shall be released from the Statewide central register or pending
20complaint file unless pursuant to section 6332 (relating to
21establishment of Statewide toll-free telephone number) and
22unless the department has positively identified the
23representative of the county agency requesting the information
24and the department has inquired into and is satisfied that the
25representative has a legitimate need, within the scope of
26official duties and the provisions of section 6332, to obtain
27the information. Information in the Statewide central register
28or pending complaint file shall not be released for any purpose
29or to any individual not specified in section 6340.]

30§ 6337. Disposition [of unfounded reports] and expunction of
 

1unfounded reports and general protective services 
2reports.

3(a) General rule.--When a report of suspected child abuse is
4determined by the appropriate county agency to be an unfounded
5report, the information concerning that report of suspected
6child abuse shall be maintained for a period of one year.
7Following the expiration of one year after the date the report
8was received by the department, the report shall be expunged
9from the [pending complaint file] Statewide database, as soon as
10possible, but no later than 120 days after the one-year period
11following the date the report was received by the department,
12and no information other than that authorized by subsection (b),
13which shall not include any identifying information on any
14subject of the report, shall be retained by the department. The 
15expunction shall be mandated and guaranteed by the department.

16(b) Absence of other determination.--If an investigation of
17a report of suspected child abuse conducted by the appropriate
18county agency pursuant to this chapter does not determine within
1960 days of the date of the initial report of the instance of
20suspected child abuse that the report is a founded report, an
21indicated report or an unfounded report, or unless within that
22same 60-day period court action has been initiated and is
23responsible for the delay, the report shall be considered to be
24an unfounded report, and all information identifying the
25subjects of the report shall be expunged no later than 120 days
26following the expiration of one year after the date the report
27was received by the department. The agency shall advise the
28department that court action or an arrest has been initiated so
29that the [pending complaint file] Statewide database is kept
30current regarding the status of all legal proceedings and

1expunction is delayed.

2(c) [Expunction of information.--All information identifying
3the subjects of any report of suspected child abuse and of any
4report under Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in public and
5private schools) determined to be an unfounded report shall be
6expunged from the pending complaint file pursuant to this
7section. The expunction shall be mandated and guaranteed by the
8department.] Unfounded reports accepted for services.--
9Information on an unfounded report shall be retained in the 
10Statewide database if the county agency has accepted the family 
11for services and the report of suspected child abuse is clearly 
12identified as an unfounded report. The county agency shall 
13notify the department immediately upon closure of the case and 
14the report shall be expunged as soon as possible, but no later 
15than 120 days after the one-year period following the date the 
16family case was closed. If the subject child of the unfounded 
17report becomes 23 years of age prior to the closure of the 
18family case, the unfounded report shall be expunged when the 
19subject child reaches 23 years of age.

20(d) Expunction of valid general protective services
21reports.--Information concerning valid general protective
22services reports shall be maintained in the Statewide database
23as follows:

24(1) Reports that are assessed by the county agency and
25are determined to be valid, but are not accepted for
26services, shall be reported to the department and entered
27into the Statewide database. The reports shall be maintained
28for a period of five years. Following the expiration of five
29years after the date the report was received by the
30department, the report shall be expunged from the Statewide

1database as soon as possible, but no later than 120 days
2after the five-year period following the date the report was
3received by the department.

4(2) Reports that are assessed by the county agency and
5accepted for services shall be reported to the department and
6entered into the Statewide database. The reports shall be
7maintained for a period of five years after the closure of
8services by the county agency. Following the expiration of
9five years after the closure of services by the county
10agency, the report shall be expunged from the Statewide
11database as soon as possible, but no later than 120 days
12after the five-year period following the closure of services
13by the county agency.

14(3) The expunction of information on general protective
15services under this subsection shall be mandated and
16guaranteed by the department.

17(e) Expunction of invalid general protective services
18reports.--When a report alleging the need for general protective
19services is determined by the appropriate county agency to be an
20invalid report, the information concerning that report shall be
21maintained for a period of one year. Following the expiration of
22one year after the date the report was received by the
23department, the report shall be expunged as soon as possible,
24but no later than 120 days after the one-year period following
25the date the report was received by the department. The
26expunction shall be mandated and guaranteed by the department.

27(f) County agency records.--County agency records of
28protective services shall be used and maintained in a manner
29that is consistent with the use and maintenance of information
30in the Statewide database, as provided under this chapter. If

1required under this chapter to amend or expunge information in
2the Statewide database, the department shall notify the
3appropriate county agency of the amendment or expungement within
4ten days. The county agency shall amend or expunge its records
5in a commensurate manner within ten days of receiving
6notification from the department.

<-7Section 5.1. Section 6338(a) and (c) of Title 23, amended
8December 18, 2013 (P.L.1170, No.108), are amended to read:

9§ 6338. Disposition of founded and indicated reports.

<-10(a) General rule.--When a report of suspected child abuse or
11a report under Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in public
12and private schools) is determined by the appropriate county
13agency to be a founded report or an indicated report, the
14[information concerning that report of suspected child abuse
15shall be expunged immediately from the pending complaint file,
16and an appropriate entry shall be made in the Statewide central
17register] status of the report shall be changed from pending to
18founded or indicated in the Statewide database. Notice of the
19determination must be given to the subjects of the report, other
20than the abused child, and to the parent or guardian of the
21affected child or student along with an explanation of the
22implications of the determination. Notice given to perpetrators
23of child abuse and to school employees who are subjects of
24indicated reports for school employees or founded reports for
25school employees shall include notice that their ability to
26obtain employment in a child-care facility or program or a
27public or private school may be adversely affected by entry of
28the report in the Statewide [central register] database. The
29notice shall also inform the recipient of his right, within 45
30days after being notified of the status of the report, to appeal

1an indicated report, and his right to a hearing if the request
2is denied.

<-3(a) General rule.--When a report of suspected child abuse or 
4a report under Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in public 
5and private schools) is determined by the appropriate county 
6agency to be a founded report or an indicated report, the 
7[information concerning that report of suspected child abuse 
8shall be expunged immediately from the pending complaint file, 
9and an appropriate entry shall be made in the Statewide central 
10register] status of the report shall be changed from pending to 
11founded or indicated in the Statewide database. Notice of the 
12determination that a report is a founded, indicated or unfounded 
13report shall be made as provided in section 6368(f) (relating to 
14investigation of reports).

15* * *

16(c) Retention of information.--[A subfile shall be
17established in the Statewide central register to] The Statewide 
18database shall indefinitely retain the names of perpetrators of
19child abuse and school employees who are subjects of founded or
20indicated reports only if the individual's Social Security
21number or date of birth is known to the department. The
22[subfile] entry in the Statewide database shall not include
23identifying information regarding other subjects of the report.

<-24Section 5.2. Sections 6339, 6340(a)(9), (10), (12) and (13),
25(b), (c) and (d) and 6342(a) of Title 23 are amended to read:

26§ 6339. Confidentiality of reports.

27Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, reports made
28pursuant to this chapter, including, but not limited to, report
29summaries of child abuse and [written] reports made pursuant to
30section [6313(b) and (c)] 6313 (relating to reporting procedure)

1as well as any other information obtained, reports written or
2photographs or X-rays taken concerning alleged instances of
3child abuse in the possession of the department or a county
4agency shall be confidential.

5§ 6340. Release of information in confidential reports.

6(a) General rule.--Reports specified in section 6339
7(relating to confidentiality of reports) shall only be made
8available to:

9* * *

10(9) Law enforcement officials of any jurisdiction, as
11long as the information is relevant in the course of
12investigating cases of:

13(i) Homicide or other criminal offense set forth in
14section 6344(c) (relating to information relating to
15prospective child-care personnel), sexual abuse[, sexual]
16or exploitation, bodily injury or serious bodily injury
17[or serious physical injury perpetrated by persons
18whether or not related to the victim] caused by a 
19perpetrator or nonperpetrator.

20(ii) [Child abuse perpetrated by persons who are not
21family members.] Child abuse other than that identified 
22under subparagraph (i) by a nonperpetrator.

23(iii) Repeated physical injury to a child under
24circumstances which indicate that the child's health,
25safety or welfare is harmed or threatened.

26(iv) A missing child report.

27(10) The district [attorney or his designee] attorney's 
28office or other law enforcement official, as set forth in
29[the] county protocols for multidisciplinary investigative
30teams required in section 6365(c) (relating to services for

1prevention, investigation and treatment of child abuse),
2shall receive, immediately after the county agency has
3ensured the safety of the child, reports of abuse [, either
4orally or in writing,] according to regulations [promulgated
5by the department], from the department or county agency in
6which the initial report of suspected child abuse or initial
7inquiry into the report gives evidence that the abuse is:

8(i) a criminal offense set forth [in] under section
9[6344(c)] 6344.3 (relating to grounds for denying 
10employment or participation in program, activity or 
11service), not including an offense under 18 Pa.C.S. § 
124304 (relating to endangering welfare of children) or an
13equivalent crime under Federal law or [the] law of
14another state[, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or
15serious bodily injury perpetrated by persons, whether or
16not related to the victim]; or

17(ii) child abuse [perpetrated by persons who are not
18family members; or

19(iii) serious physical injury involving extensive
20and severe bruising, burns, broken bones, lacerations,
21internal bleeding, shaken baby syndrome or choking or an
22injury that significantly impairs a child's physical
23functioning, either temporarily or permanently] under 
24section 6334.1 (relating to responsibility for 
25investigation).

26* * *

27(12) A mandated reporter of suspected child abuse [as
28defined in] under section 6311 (relating to persons required
29to report suspected child abuse) who made a report of abuse
30involving the subject child, [but the information permitted

1to be released to the mandated reporter] shall be limited to
2the following:

3(i) [The final status of] Whether the child abuse
4report [following the investigation, whether it be] is
5indicated, founded or unfounded.

6(ii) Any services provided, arranged for or to be
7provided by the county agency to protect the child.

8(13) [Persons required to make reports under Subchapter
9C.1 (relating to students in public and private schools).
10Information under this paragraph shall be limited to the
11final status of the report following the investigation as to
12whether the report is indicated, founded or unfounded.]
13School administrators and child care service employers, as 
14provided under this paragraph. The following shall apply:

15(i) If the alleged perpetrator is a school employee
16or child care service employee, school administrators and
17child care service employers shall receive notice of a
18pending allegation and the final status of the report
19following the investigation as to whether the report is
20indicated, founded or unfounded.

21(ii) Information disclosed pursuant to this
22paragraph shall be provided to the school administrator
23or child care service employer within ten days of the
24completion of the investigation.

25(iii) If the perpetrator is a school employee, the
26notice of the final status of the report shall be sent to
27the Department of Education within ten days of the
28completion of the investigation.

29* * *

30(b) Release of information to subject [of report].--[At any

1time and upon] Upon a written request, a subject of a report may
2receive a copy of all information, except that prohibited from
3being disclosed by subsection (c), contained in the Statewide
4[central register] database or in any report filed pursuant to
5section 6313 (relating to reporting procedure).

6(c) Protecting identity [of person making report].--Except
7for reports [pursuant to] under subsection (a)(9) and (10), and 
8in response to a law enforcement official investigating 
9allegations of false reports under 18 Pa.C.S. § 4906.1 (relating 
10to false reports of child abuse), the release of data that would
11identify the person who made a report of suspected child abuse
12or [the person] who cooperated in a subsequent investigation is
13prohibited unless the [secretary] department finds that the
14release will not be detrimental to the safety of [that] the
15person. Law enforcement officials shall treat all reporting
16sources as confidential informants.

17(d) Exclusion of [administrative] information.--
18[Information] Except as provided under section 6341(c.2)(4) 
19(relating to amendment or expunction of information), 
20information maintained in the Statewide [central register which
21was] database obtained from an investigating agency in relation
22to an appeal request shall not be released to any person except
23a department official [, as provided by regulation]. Information 
24in the Statewide database or a confidential report provided 
25under section 6341(c.2)(4) shall be subject to subsection (c).

26§ 6342. Studies of data in records.

27(a) Studies.--The department may conduct or authorize the
28conducting of studies of the data contained in the [pending
29complaint file and the Statewide central register and] Statewide 
30database and by county agencies and distribute the results of

1the studies. No study may contain the name or other information
2by which a subject of a report could be identified. The
3department may allow Federal auditors access to nonidentifiable
4duplicates of reports in the [pending complaint file and the
5Statewide central register] Statewide database if required for
6Federal financial participation in funding of agencies.

7* * *

8Section 6. Section 6344(b)(2), (o)(1) and (p)(1) of Title 23
9are amended and the section is amended by adding a subsection to
10read:

11§ 6344. Information relating to prospective child-care
12personnel.

13* * *

14(b) Information submitted by prospective employees.--
15Administrators of child-care services shall require applicants
16to submit with their applications the following information
17obtained within the preceding one-year period:

18* * *

19(2) A certification from the department as to whether
20the applicant is named in the [central register] Statewide 
21database as the alleged perpetrator in a pending child abuse 
22investigation or as the perpetrator of a founded report of
23child abuse, indicated report of child abuse, founded report
24for school employee or indicated report for school employee.

25* * *

26(h.1) Form of payment.--Payment of the fee authorized under
27subsection (h) may be made by an individual or organization by
28check, money order, credit card or debit card.

29* * *

30(o) Use of information.--A foster family care agency may not

1approve a prospective foster parent if the prospective foster
2parent or an individual 14 years of age or older who resides for
3at least 30 days in a calendar year with the prospective foster
4parent meets either of the following:

5(1) Is named in the [central register] Statewide 
6database as the perpetrator of a founded report of child
7abuse committed within the five-year period immediately
8preceding verification pursuant to this section or is named
9in the [central register] Statewide database as the
10perpetrator of a founded report for a school employee
11committed within the five-year period immediately preceding
12verification pursuant to this section.

13* * *

14(p) Use of information.--A prospective adoptive parent may
15not be approved if the prospective adoptive parent or an
16individual 14 years of age or older who resides for at least 30
17days in a calendar year with the prospective adoptive parent
18meets either of the following:

19(1) Is named in the [central register] Statewide 
20database as the perpetrator of a founded report of child
21abuse committed within the five-year period immediately
22preceding verification pursuant to this section or is named
23in the [central register] Statewide database as the
24perpetrator of a founded report for a school employee
25committed within the five-year period immediately preceding
26verification pursuant to this section.

27* * *

28Section 7. Sections 6344.1(b) and (c)(1), 6346 and 6347 of
29Title 23 are amended to read:

30§ 6344.1. Information relating to family day-care home

1residents.

2* * *

3(b) Required information.--Child abuse record information
4required under subsection (a) shall include certification by the
5department as to whether the applicant is named in the [central
6register] Statewide database as the perpetrator of a founded
7report, indicated report, founded report for school employee or
8indicated report for school employee.

9(c) Effect on registration.--The department shall refuse to
10issue or renew a registration certificate or shall revoke a
11registration certificate if the family day-care home provider or
12individual 18 years of age or older who has resided in the home
13for at least 30 days in a calendar year:

14(1) is named in the [central register] Statewide 
15database on child abuse established under Chapter 63
16(relating to child protective services) as the perpetrator of
17a founded report committed within the immediately preceding
18five-year period; or

19* * *

20§ 6346. Cooperation of other agencies.

21(a) General rule.--The secretary may request and shall
22receive from Commonwealth agencies, political subdivisions, an
23authorized agency or any other agency providing services under
24the local protective services plan any assistance and data that
25will enable the department and the county agency to fulfill
26their responsibilities properly, including law enforcement
27[personnel] officials when assistance is needed in conducting an
28investigation or an assessment of safety or risk to the child.
29School districts shall cooperate with the department and the
30agency by providing them upon request with the information as is

1consistent with law.

2(b) Willful failure to cooperate.--Any agency, school
3district or facility or any person acting on behalf of an
4agency, school district or facility that violates this section
5by willfully failing to cooperate with the department or a
6county agency when investigating a report of suspected child
7abuse or a report under Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in
8public and private schools) or when assessing safety or risk to
9a child commits a [summary offense] misdemeanor of the third 
10degree for a first violation and a misdemeanor of the [third]
11second degree for subsequent violations.

12(c) Cooperation of county agency and law enforcement
13[agencies] officials.--Consistent with the provisions of this
14chapter, the county agency and law enforcement [agencies]
15officials shall cooperate and coordinate, to the fullest extent
16possible, their efforts to respond to and investigate reports of
17suspected child abuse and to reports under Subchapter C.1.

18(d) Advice to county agency.--Whenever a report of suspected
19child abuse is referred from a county agency to a law
20enforcement [agency] official pursuant to section 6340(a)(9) and
21(10) (relating to release of information in confidential
22reports), as soon as possible, and without jeopardizing the
23criminal investigation or prosecution, the law enforcement
24[agency] official shall advise the county agency as to whether a
25criminal investigation has been undertaken and the results of
26the investigation and of any criminal prosecution. The county
27agency shall ensure that the information is referred to the
28Statewide [central register] database.

29§ 6347. Reports to Governor and General Assembly.

30(a) General rule.--No later than May 1 of every year, the

1secretary shall prepare and transmit to the Governor and the
2General Assembly a report on the operations of the [central
3register of child abuse and child] Statewide database and
4protective services provided by county agencies. The report
5shall include a full statistical analysis of the reports of
6suspected child abuse made to the department, the reports of 
7general protective services made to the department or county 
8agencies and the reports under Subchapter C.1 (relating to
9students in public and private schools), together with a report
10on the implementation of this chapter and its total cost to the
11Commonwealth, the evaluation of the secretary of services
12offered under this chapter and recommendations for repeal or for
13additional legislation to fulfill the purposes of this chapter.
14All such recommendations should contain an estimate of increased
15or decreased costs resulting therefrom. The report shall also
16include an explanation of services provided to children who were
17the subjects of founded or indicated reports while receiving
18child-care services. The department shall also describe its
19actions in respect to the perpetrators of the abuse.

20* * *

21Section 8. Section 6349(a) and (b) of Title 23 are amended
22and the section is amended by adding a subsection to read:

23§ 6349. Penalties.

24(a) Failure to amend or expunge information.--

25(1) A person or official authorized to keep the records
26mentioned in section 6337 (relating to disposition [of
27unfounded reports] and expunction of unfounded reports and 
28general protective services reports) or 6338 (relating to
29disposition of founded and indicated reports) who willfully
30fails to amend or expunge the information when required

1commits a [summary offense] misdemeanor of the third degree
2for the first violation and a misdemeanor of the [third]
3second degree for a second or subsequent violation.

4(2) A person who willfully fails to obey a final order
5of the secretary or designated agent of the secretary to
6amend or expunge the summary of the report in the Statewide
7[central register] database or the contents of any report
8filed pursuant to section 6313 (relating to reporting
9procedure) commits a [summary offense] misdemeanor of the 
10third degree.

11(b) Unauthorized release of information.--A person who
12willfully releases or permits the release of any information
13contained in the [pending complaint file, the Statewide central
14register] Statewide database or the county agency records
15required by this chapter to persons or agencies not permitted by
16this chapter to receive that information commits a misdemeanor
17of the [third] second degree. Law enforcement [agencies]
18officials shall insure the confidentiality and security of
19information under this chapter. A person, including [an employee
20of] a law enforcement [agency] official, who violates the
21provisions of this subsection shall, in addition to other civil
22or criminal penalties provided by law, be denied access to the
23information provided under this chapter.

24(b.1) Unauthorized access or use of information.--A person
25who willfully accesses, attempts to access or uses information
26in the Statewide database for a purpose not authorized under
27this chapter commits a misdemeanor of the second degree. A
28person who uses information in the Statewide database for a
29purpose not authorized under this chapter with intent to harass,
30embarrass or harm another person commits a misdemeanor of the

1first degree.

2(c) Noncompliance with child-care personnel regulations.--An
3administrator, or other person responsible for employment
4decisions in a child-care facility or program, who willfully
5fails to comply with the provisions of section 6344 (relating to
6information relating to prospective child-care personnel)
7commits a violation of this chapter and shall be subject to a
8civil penalty as provided in this subsection. The department
9shall have jurisdiction to determine violations of section 6344
10and may, following a hearing, assess a civil penalty not to
11exceed $2,500. The civil penalty shall be payable to the
12Commonwealth.

13Section 9. Section 6375(c) of Title 23 is amended to read:

14§ 6375. County agency requirements for general protective
15services.

16* * *

17(c) Assessment for services.--

18(1) Within 60 days of receipt of a report, an assessment
19shall be completed and a decision on whether to accept the
20family for service shall be made. The county agency shall
21provide or arrange for services necessary to protect the
22child during the assessment period.

23(1.1) The county agency shall immediately notify the
24department upon the completion of the assessment whether the
25report was determined to be valid or invalid and whether the
26family was accepted for services or referred to community
27services.

28(1.2) The county agency shall immediately notify the
29department upon the closure of services for a child or family
30that has been accepted for services.

1(2) Each county agency shall implement a State-approved
2risk assessment process in performance of its duties.

3* * *

4Section 10. This act shall take effect December 31, 2014.

 

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