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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: February 25, 2013 02:31 PM
From: Senator Randy Vulakovich
To: All Senate members
Subject: Updating Procedures Used to Report Child Abuse and Neglect
I plan to introduce legislation to address the recommendations made by the Task Force on Child Protection established by Senate Resolution 250. My second bill will update procedures used to report child abuse and neglect.

The Department of Public Welfare shall establish procedures for the secure, receipt and transmission of information, including reports of child abuse.

A mandated reporter is required to report suspected child abuse to the Department by phone or electronically. An oral report must be followed by a written report within 48 hours to the appropriate county agency. Reports shall include names and addresses of the child and parent, where the abuse occurred, and the age and sex of the victim.

The Department is required to establish procedures to respond to suspected child abuse or the need for protective services by county agencies and law enforcement. The Department must be able to receive reports on a 24-hour, seven-day a week basis.

The bill will provide procedures for county agencies to respond to reports and for referral to law enforcement. The Department is required to develop regulations for cases where jurisdictions overlap and for referral of cases involving a perpetrator in another state.

The Department, when conducting an investigation or assessing risk to a child, shall receive information from Commonwealth agencies, political subdivisions, county agencies or those providing services. Willful failure to cooperate to timely production of requested information by the department or county is a 3rd degree misdemeanor. A person barring, inhibiting or precluding sufficient access to subject child commits a misdemeanor of the first degree. If a report of suspected child abuse is referred from county to law enforcement, the law enforcement agency shall advise the county whether a criminal investigation had been undertaken and the results of the investigation and of any criminal prosecution; and the county refer the information to the statewide database.

If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Nate Silcox of my staff at 717-787-6538 or nsilcox@pasen.gov.

Introduced as SB25