PRIOR PRINTER'S NOS. 818, 2011
PRINTER'S NO. 2723
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
INTRODUCED BY STEPHENS, WATSON, AUMENT, GINGRICH, MALONEY, MOUL, YOUNGBLOOD, SCHLOSSBERG, HICKERNELL, MUNDY, ROCK, KORTZ, SACCONE, MAJOR, CUTLER, KAUFFMAN, O'NEILL, BAKER, SWANGER, R. MILLER, FLECK, C. HARRIS, CLYMER, MILNE, BENNINGHOFF, MURT, EVERETT, GIBBONS, QUINN, HARKINS, BIZZARRO, FARRY, CALTAGIRONE AND DEASY, FEBRUARY 14, 2013
SENATOR MENSCH, AGING AND YOUTH, IN SENATE, AS AMENDED, DECEMBER 3, 2013
1Amending Title 23 (Domestic Relations) of the Pennsylvania
2Consolidated Statutes, in child protective services, <-further
3providing for definitions and for persons required to report
4suspected child abuse; providing for specific persons
5required to report and for required posting of signs; and
6further providing for penalties for failure to report or to
14§ 6303. Definitions.
1* * *
2"Affiliate," "affiliate of" or "person affiliated with." A
3person that directly or indirectly, through one or more
4intermediaries, controls, is controlled by or is under common
5control with a specified person.
6"Business establishment." Includes:
12* * *
16* * *
20"Independent contractor." An individual who provides a
21program, activity or service to an agency, institution,
22organization or other entity, including a school or regularly
23established religious organization, that is directly responsible
24for the care, supervision, guidance or control of children. The
25term excludes an individual who, in his capacity as an
26independent contractor, has no direct contact with children.
27* * *
30* * *
5(1) A youth camp or program.
6(2) A recreational camp or program.
7(3) A sports or athletic program.
8(4) An outreach program.
9(5) An enrichment program.
10(6) A troop, club or similar organization.
11* * *
12"School." A facility providing elementary, secondary or
13postsecondary educational services. The term includes every
14public, nonpublic, private and parochial school, including each
15of the following:
20(3) A public or private college or university.
21(4) A community college.
22(5) A vocational-technical school.
23(6) An intermediate unit.
24(7) A charter, cyber charter or regional charter school.
1attendance requirements of the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30,
2No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, and which
3meets the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of
41964 (Public Law 88-352, 78 Stat. 241).
5"School employee." An individual who is employed by a
6[public or private school, intermediate unit or area vocational-
7technical school. The term includes an independent contractor
8and employees] school or who provides a program, activity or
9service sponsored by a school. The term excludes an individual
10who has no direct contact with [students] children.
11* * *
12Section 2. Section 6311 of Title 23 is amended to read:
13§ 6311. Persons required to report suspected child abuse.
14[(a) General rule.--A person who, in the course of
15employment, occupation or practice of a profession, comes into
16contact with children shall report or cause a report to be made
17in accordance with section 6313 (relating to reporting
18procedure) when the person has reasonable cause to suspect, on
19the basis of medical, professional or other training and
20experience, that a child under the care, supervision, guidance
21or training of that person or of an agency, institution,
22organization or other entity with which that person is
23affiliated is a victim of child abuse, including child abuse by
24an individual who is not a perpetrator. Except with respect to
25confidential communications made to a member of the clergy which
26are protected under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5943 (relating to confidential
27communications to clergymen), and except with respect to
28confidential communications made to an attorney which are
29protected by 42 Pa.C.S. § 5916 (relating to confidential
30communications to attorney) or 5928 (relating to confidential
1communications to attorney), the privileged communication
2between any professional person required to report and the
3patient or client of that person shall not apply to situations
4involving child abuse and shall not constitute grounds for
5failure to report as required by this chapter.
6(b) Enumeration of persons required to report.--Persons
7required to report under subsection (a) include, but are not
8limited to, any licensed physician, osteopath, medical examiner,
9coroner, funeral director, dentist, optometrist, chiropractor,
10podiatrist, intern, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse,
11hospital personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care
12or treatment of persons, Christian Science practitioner, member
13of the clergy, school administrator, school teacher, school
14nurse, social services worker, day-care center worker or any
15other child-care or foster-care worker, mental health
16professional, peace officer or law enforcement official.]
17(a) Mandated reporters.--The following individuals, 18 years
18of age or older, shall make a report of suspected child abuse or
19cause a report of suspected child abuse to be made, subject to
20subsection (b), if the person has reasonable cause to suspect,
21on the basis of medical, professional or other training and
22experience, that a child is a victim of child abuse:
26(2) A medical examiner, coroner or funeral director.
30(4) A school employee.
1(5) An employee of a child-care service.
10(8) An employee of a social services agency.
11(9) A peace officer or law enforcement official.
12(10) An attorney.
13(11) An employee of a public library.
19(14) An independent contractor.
20(a.1) Limited exemption for certain reporters.--A sexual
21assault counselor at a rape crisis center as defined under 42
22Pa.C.S. § 5945.1(a) (relating to confidential communications
23with sexual assault counselors) or a domestic violence
24counselor/advocate as defined under section 6102 (relating to
25definitions) shall not be required to report a violation of 18
26Pa.C.S. § 3122.1(a)(1) (relating to statutory sexual assault) as
27child abuse under this chapter if the child who would otherwise
28be the subject of a report of suspected child abuse is 14 years
29of age or older.
30(b) Basis to report.--A mandated reporter enumerated in
1subsection (a) shall make a report of suspected child abuse or
2cause a report to be made in accordance with section 6313
3(relating to reporting procedure), if the mandated reporter has
4reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child
5abuse under any of the following circumstances:
10(2) The mandated reporter is directly responsible for
11the care supervision, guidance or training of the child, or
12is affiliated with an agency, institution, organization,
13school, regularly established church or religious
14organization or other entity that is directly responsible for
15the care supervision, guidance or training of the child.
22(b.1) Privileged communications.--
26(i) Apply to a situation involving child abuse.
30(2) Confidential communications made to a member of the
1clergy are protected under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5943 (relating to
2confidential communications to clergymen), but only to the
3extent that the member of the clergy is authorized to hear
4the communications under the disciplines, tenets or
5traditions of the religion of the member of the clergy.
6(3) Confidential communications made to an attorney are
7subject to 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 5916 (relating to confidential
8communications to attorney) and 5928 (relating to
9confidential communications to attorney). When an attorney
10representing a nonorganizational client is required to report
11suspected child abuse under the basis provided in subsection
12(b)(3) or (4), the following shall also apply:
13(i) When making a report of suspected child abuse,
14an attorney shall identify information the attorney deems
15to be confidential under the rules of professional
16conduct for attorneys. Notwithstanding the provisions of
17section 6340 (relating to release of information in
18confidential reports), the information the attorney
19deemed to be confidential shall not be disclosed to any
20person other than those responsible for investigating the
21report and providing for the child's safety, or those
22investigating or prosecuting a failure to report under
23section 6319 (relating to penalties for failure to report
24or to refer).
25(ii) Neither the client's disclosure to the attorney
26nor the information the attorney deemed confidential when
27reporting to the department shall be used as evidence in
28any determination made under section 6368 (relating to
29investigation of reports), and the attorney shall not be
30required to provide any information that is asserted as
1confidential under subparagraph (i) for any civil,
2criminal or administrative proceeding which results from
3or relates to the report of suspected child abuse.
4Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit the use of
5information provided by another source, even if it is
6substantially similar to that which was provided by the
7attorney in the report to the department.
8(4) Confidential communications made to a psychiatrist
9or licensed psychologist are protected under 42 Pa.C.S. §
105944 (relating to confidential communications to
11psychiatrists and licensed psychologists). When a report is
12required under the basis provided in subsection (b)(3) or
13(4), the following shall also apply:
14(i) When making a report of suspected child abuse, a
15psychiatrist or licensed psychologist shall identify the
16information the psychiatrist or licensed psychologist
17deems to be confidential. Notwithstanding the provisions
18of section 6340, the information the psychiatrist or
19licensed psychologist deemed to be confidential shall not
20be disclosed to any person other than those responsible
21for investigating the report and providing for the
22child's safety, or those investigating or prosecuting a
23failure to report under section 6319.
24(ii) Neither the client's disclosure to the
25psychiatrist or licensed psychologist nor the information
26the psychiatrist or licensed psychologist deemed
27confidential when reporting to the department shall be
28used as evidence in any determination made under section
296368, and the psychiatrist or licensed psychologist shall
30not be required to provide any information that is
1asserted as confidential under subparagraph (i) for any
2civil, criminal or administrative proceeding which
3results from or relates to the report of suspected child
4abuse. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit the use
5of information provided by another source, even if it is
6substantially similar to that which was provided by the
7psychiatrist or licensed psychologist in the report to
9(5) Confidential communications between spouses shall
10not be privileged under this chapter, notwithstanding any
11grant of privilege under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5914 (relating to
12confidential communications between spouses) or 5923
13(relating to confidential communications between spouses).
14(c) Staff members of institutions, etc.--Whenever a person
15is required to report under subsection (b) in the capacity as a
16member of the staff of a medical or other public or private
17institution, school, facility or agency, that person shall
18immediately notify the person in charge of the institution,
19school, facility or agency or the designated agent of the person
20in charge. Upon notification, the person in charge or the
21designated agent, if any, shall assume the responsibility and
22have the legal obligation to report or cause a report to be made
23in accordance with section 6313. This chapter does not require
24more than one report from any such institution, school, facility
26(d) Civil action for discrimination against person filing
27report.--Any person who, under this section, is required to
28report or cause a report of suspected child abuse to be made and
29who, in good faith, makes or causes the report to be made and,
30as a result thereof, is discharged from his employment or in any
1other manner is discriminated against with respect to
2compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of
3employment, may commence an action in the court of common pleas
4of the county in which the alleged unlawful discharge or
5discrimination occurred for appropriate relief. If the court
6finds that the person is an individual who, under this section,
7is required to report or cause a report of suspected child abuse
8to be made and who, in good faith, made or caused to be made a
9report of suspected child abuse and, as a result thereof, was
10discharged or discriminated against with respect to
11compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of
12employment, it may issue an order granting appropriate relief,
13including, but not limited to, reinstatement with back pay. The
14department may intervene in any action commenced under this
16Section 3. Title 23 is amended by adding sections to read:
17§ 6312.1. Specific persons encouraged to report.
18The following persons are encouraged to make a report of
19suspected child abuse, sexual abuse or exploitation or cause a
20report of suspected child abuse, sexual abuse or exploitation to
21be made under this chapter:
25(2) A person who repairs or services computer,
26electronic or other information technology equipment and
27devices and discovers any depiction of child abuse, sexual
28abuse or exploitation during the provision of those repairs
30§ 6312.2. Required posting of signs.
8(c) Size, information and design.--
18(5) The sign shall be posted in English, Spanish and any
19other language mandated by the Voting Rights Act of 1965
20(Public Law 89-110, 42 U.S.C. § 1973 et seq.) in the county
21where the sign is required to be posted.
25(d) Violation.--It is a violation of this section for a
26business establishment to fail to post a sign in the manner
27required by subsection (b). The owner, operator or manager of
28the business establishment is responsible for violations of this
30(e) Complaints.--A complaint regarding a possible violation
3(f) Penalties.--A person that violates the posting
4requirements of this section commits a summary offense, and
5shall, upon conviction of a first offense, be sentenced to pay a
6fine of not more than $100. A person convicted of a second or
7subsequent violation of this section shall be sentenced to pay a
8fine of not more than $250.
17Section 4. Section 6319 of Title 23 is amended to read:
20§ 6319. Penalties [for failure to report or to refer].
21[A person or official required by this chapter to report a
22case of suspected child abuse or to make a referral to the
23appropriate authorities who willfully fails to do so commits a
24misdemeanor of the third degree for the first violation and a
25misdemeanor of the second degree for a second or subsequent
<-27(a) Failure to report or refer.--A person or official
28required by this chapter to report a case of suspected child
29abuse or to make a referral to the appropriate authorities
30commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if the person or
4(b) Prevention of making report or referral.--A person who
5intentionally or knowingly prevents or attempts to prevent the
6making of a report or referral of suspected child abuse commits
7a misdemeanor of the first degree, except that if the child
8abuse constitutes a felony of the first degree or higher, the
9person commits a felony of the second degree.
10(c) Concealment of abuse to protect another.--A person who
11intentionally or knowingly acts to prevent the discovery under
12this chapter of child abuse in order to protect or insulate any
13person or entity from prosecution or liability for the child
14abuse commits a felony of the third degree, except if the child
15abuse constitutes a felony of the first degree or higher, the
16person commits a felony of the first degree.
<-17(a) Failure to report or refer.--
18(1) A person or official required by this chapter to
19report a case of suspected child abuse or to make a referral
20to the appropriate authorities commits an offense if the
21person or official willfully fails to do so.
30(3) An offense not otherwise specified in paragraph (2)
1is a misdemeanor of the second degree.
2(4) A report of suspected child abuse to law enforcement
3or the appropriate county agency by a mandated reporter, made
4in lieu of a report to the department, shall not constitute
5an offense under this subsection, provided that the report
6was made in a good faith effort to comply with the
7requirements of this chapter.
<-8(d) <-(b) Continuing course of action.--If a person's willful
9failure under subsection (a) continues while the person knows or
10has reasonable cause to believe the child is actively being
11subjected to child abuse, the person commits a <-felony of the
12third <-misdemeanor of the first degree, except that if the child
13abuse constitutes a felony of the first degree or higher, the
14person commits a felony of the <-first <-third degree.
<-15(e) <-(c) Multiple offenses.--A person who commits a second or
16subsequent offense under <-subsections (a), (b), (c) or (d)
17subsection (a) commits a felony of the <-second <-third degree,
18except that if the child abuse constitutes a felony of the first
19degree or higher, the penalty for the second or subsequent
20offenses is a felony of the <-first <-second degree.
<-21(f) <-(d) Statute of limitations.--The statute of limitations
22for an offense under <-subsections (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e)
<-23subsection (a) shall be either the statute of limitations for
24the crime committed against the minor child or five years,
25whichever is greater.
26Section <-5 <-2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.