|Posted:||December 18, 2012 03:27 PM|
|From:||Representative Scott A. Petri|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Defining “Child Abuse”|
|I am preparing to introduce legislation that would amend the definitions of “child abuse” and related terms in the Child Protective Services Law. I believe that the time has come to reconsider how we define “child abuse” in Pennsylvania, and I intend to work with colleagues, relevant agencies and other stakeholders to develop legislation to address some of the deficiencies in the current law.
The definition of “child abuse” in the CPSL is central to our system of child protection. “Child abuse” is the conduct that, when suspected, mandated reporters are required to report (or face a potential criminal penalty). Reports of “child abuse” are what the Department of Public Welfare and county Children and Youth Agencies must investigate. And, “child abuse,” when substantiated, will cause an individual’s name to appear on the child abuse registry, which can have long-term implications.
Over the years, I have heard many complaints and concerns about the current definition of “child abuse,” and it is of the utmost importance that the General Assembly gets this definition right. We will need to come up with a definition of “child abuse,” which not only expands protection to children, but avoids unintended consequences. So, my legislation should be seen as a starting point for this important conversation. My bill is intended to:
I hope that you will consider cosponsoring this legislation. If you would like to do so, please contact Lea Farrell in my office at email@example.com or 787-9033. Likewise, if you are interested in being part of this important conversation, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Introduced as HB726