|Posted:||February 25, 2013 10:51 AM|
|From:||Senator Kim L. Ward and Sen. John P. Blake|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Child Abuse updates: Mandatory Reporters|
I plan to introduce legislation to address the recommendations made by the Task Force on Child Protection established by Senate Resolution 250. My legislation will clarify who is a mandatory reporter in Pennsylvania, or persons required to make a report of suspected child abuse. The bill incorporates suggestions made by the report recently released by the Task Force.
Current law (23 Pa.C.S. §6311) requires a person to report suspected child abuse if they, in the course of employment, occupation or practice of a profession, come into contact with children. The law goes on to identify twenty-four professions as mandatory reporters, but stipulates that the list is not limited to these professions. The Task Force found this vague and confusing.
As such, the Task Force recommended that the section be rewritten to read that any person who, in the course of their employment, occupation or practice of a profession, comes in contact with a child, or is directly responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or training of a child, is a mandatory reporter. The bill also modernizes the list of enumerated mandatory reporters. In addition to those professions already included as mandated reporters by law, the bill includes all health care professionals and health care facilities, school employees, coaches and independent contractors in schools, and any individual paid or unpaid who accepts direct responsibility for a child.
The bill also does the following:
Introduced as SB21