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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: October 19, 2017 10:57 AM
From: Senator John P. Sabatina, Jr. and Sen. Randy Vulakovich
To: All Senate members
Subject: Using Child Protective Services Records to Keep Children Safe, Expungement Reform.

In the near future, Senator Vulakovich and I plan to introduce legislation that will amend Title 23, Chapter 63, Section 6337, of the Child Protective Services Law, reforming expungement guidelines for the Statewide Database of Protective Services within the Department of Human Services and County Child Protective Services Databases.

This legislation extends the expunction of valid general protective services reports, within the Statewide Database, from five to ten years or until the child who is the subject of the report attains 23 years of age, whichever occurs first. In addition, for county agencies the bill reflects previous practice and allows information regarding protective services reports to be maintained, but only on the county database. This would only allow the information to be viewable by the county’s child welfare administrators for the purpose of protecting children and those who investigate. The information would not be accessible to the public nor would it be subject to any background check request or review.

The need for this update stems from the establishment of Act 29 of 2014, which created the Statewide Database of Protective Services within the Department of Human Services. The Statewide Database is an effective tool for tracking child abuse reports, however the language of the law requires counties to delete records in their own database whenever the State deletes information from its central database, based on certain timeframes. This has already affected county agencies, requiring them to expunge critical historical information from their county databases. Continuing to expunge this critical historical information will create unforeseen problems for the way counties utilize data to protect children and investigators and could put them both at potential risk.

I hope you will join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB938