DOMESTIC RELATIONS CODE (23 PA.C.S.) - GROUNDS FOR INVOLUNTARY
  TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS, MANDATORY REPORTING OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE
     BIRTHS, RELEASE OF INFORMATION IN CONFIDENTIAL REPORTS IN CHILD
          PROTECTIVE SERVICES, CITIZEN REVIEW PANELS AND REPORTS
                 Act of Nov. 9, 2006, P.L. 1358, No. 146              Cl. 23
                             Session of 2006
                               No. 2006-146

     HB 2670

                                  AN ACT

     Amending Title 23 (Domestic Relations) of the Pennsylvania
        Consolidated Statutes, further providing for grounds for
        involuntary termination of parental rights; and, in child
        protective services, further providing for definitions,
        further providing for release of information in confidential
        reports, providing for citizen review panels and further
        providing for reports; and providing for mandatory reporting
        of substance abuse births.

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

        Section 1.  Section 2511(a) of Title 23 of the Pennsylvania
     Consolidated Statutes is amended by adding a paragraph to read:
      § 2511.  Grounds for involuntary termination.
        (a)  General rule.--The rights of a parent in regard to a
     child may be terminated after a petition filed on any of the
     following grounds:
            * * *
            (9)  The parent has been convicted of one of the
        following in which the victim was a child of the parent:
                (i)  an offense under 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 25 (relating to
            criminal homicide);
                (ii)  a felony under 18 Pa.C.S. § 2702 (relating to
            aggravated assault);
                (iii)  an offense in another jurisdiction equivalent
            to an offense in subparagraph (i) or (ii); or
                (iv)  an attempt, solicitation or conspiracy to
            commit an offense in subparagraph (i), (ii) or (iii).
        * * *
        Section 2.  Section 6303(a) of Title 23 is amended by adding
     definitions to read:
      § 6303.  Definitions.
        (a)  General rule.--The following words and phrases when used
     in this chapter shall have the meanings given to them in this
     section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
        * * *
        "Near fatality."  An act that, as certified by a physician,
     places a child in serious or critical condition.
        * * *
        "Nonaccidental."  An injury that is the result of an
     intentional act that is committed with disregard of a
     substantial and unjustifiable risk.
        * * *
        Section 3.  Section 6340(a)(1) of Title 23 is amended and the
     subsection is amended by adding a paragraph to read:
      § 6340.  Release of information in confidential reports.
        (a)  General rule.--Reports specified in section 6339
     (relating to confidentiality of reports) shall only be made
     available to:
            (1)  An authorized official of a county agency, of a
        Federal agency that has a need for such information to carry
        out its responsibilities under law to protect children from
        abuse and neglect or of an agency of another state that
        performs protective services analogous to those services
        performed by county agencies or the department in the course
        of the official's duties, multidisciplinary team members
        assigned to the case and duly authorized persons providing
        services pursuant to section 6370(a) (relating to voluntary
        or court-ordered services; findings of child abuse).
            * * *
            (16)  Members of citizen review panels convened pursuant
        to section 6343.1 (relating to citizen review panels),
        provided that such members shall not disclose to any person
        or government official any identifying information about any
        specific child protective services case with respect to which
        the panel is provided information.
        * * *
        Section 4.  Title 23 is amended by adding a section to read:
      § 6343.1.  Citizen review panels.
        (a)  Establishment.--The department shall establish a minimum
     of three citizen review panels.
        (b)  Function.--The panels shall examine all of the
     following:
            (1)  Policies, procedures and practices of State and
        local agencies and, where appropriate, specific cases to
        evaluate the extent to which State and local child protective
        services system agencies are effectively discharging their
        child protection responsibilities under section 106(b) of the
        Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (Public Law 93-247,
        42 U.S.C. § 5106a(b)).
            (2)  Other criteria the panel considers important to
        ensure the protection of children, including:
                (i)  a review of the extent to which the State and
            local child protective services system is coordinated
            with the foster care and adoption programs established
            under Part E of Title IV of the Social Security Act (49
            Stat. 620, 42 U.S.C. § 670 et seq.); and
                (ii)  a review of child fatalities and near
            fatalities.
        (c)  Membership.--The panels shall be composed of volunteer
     members who represent the community, including members who have
     expertise in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and
     neglect.
        (d)  Meetings.--Each citizen review panel shall meet not less
     than once every three months.
        (e)  Reports.--The department shall issue an annual report
     summarizing the activities and recommendations of the panels and
     summarizing the department response to the recommendations.
        Section 5.  Section 6347 heading and (b) introductory
     paragraph of Title 23 are amended, subsection (a) is carried
     without amendment, subsection (b) is amended by adding a
     paragraph and the section is amended by adding a subsection to
     read:
      § 6347.  [Annual reports] Reports to Governor and General
                Assembly.
        (a)  General rule.--No later than May 1 of every year, the
     secretary shall prepare and transmit to the Governor and the
     General Assembly a report on the operations of the central
     register of child abuse and child protective services provided
     by county agencies. The report shall include a full statistical
     analysis of the reports of suspected child abuse made to the
     department and the reports under Subchapter C.1 (relating to
     students in public and private schools), together with a report
     on the implementation of this chapter and its total cost to the
     Commonwealth, the evaluation of the secretary of services
     offered under this chapter and recommendations for repeal or for
     additional legislation to fulfill the purposes of this chapter.
     All such recommendations should contain an estimate of increased
     or decreased costs resulting therefrom. The report shall also
     include an explanation of services provided to children who were
     the subjects of founded or indicated reports while receiving
     child-care services. The department shall also describe its
     actions in respect to the perpetrators of the abuse.
        (b)  Reports from county agencies.--To assist the department
     in preparing its annual report and the quarterly reports
     required under subsection (c), each county agency shall submit a
     quarterly report to the department, including, at a minimum, the
     following information, on an aggregate basis, regarding general
     protective services, child protective services and action under
     Subchapter C.1:
            * * *
            (5)  A summary of the findings with nonidentifying
        information about each case of child abuse or neglect which
        has resulted in a child fatality or near fatality.
        (c)  Quarterly reports.--The department shall prepare and
     transmit to the Governor and the General Assembly a quarterly
     report that includes a summary of the findings with
     nonidentifying information about each case of child abuse or
     neglect that has resulted in a child fatality or near fatality.
     One of the quarterly reports may be included within the annual
     report required under subsection (a).
        Section 6.  Title 23 is amended by adding a section to read:
      § 6386.  Mandatory reporting of infants born and identified as
                being affected by illegal substance abuse.
        Health care providers who are involved in the delivery or
     care of an infant who is born and identified as being affected
     by illegal substance abuse or as having withdrawal symptoms
     resulting from prenatal drug exposure shall immediately cause a
     report to be made to the appropriate county agency. The county
     agency shall provide or arrange for appropriate services for the
     infant.
        Section 7.  This act shall take effect in 180 days.

     APPROVED--The 9th day of November, A. D. 2006.

     EDWARD G. RENDELL