1Amending Title 23 (Domestic Relations) of the Pennsylvania
2Consolidated Statutes, in child protective services, further
3providing for definitions, for immunity from liability, for
4complaint files and for amendment or expunction of
5information; and providing for immunity from liability.

6The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
7hereby enacts as follows:

8Section 1. Section 6303(a) of Title 23 of the Pennsylvania
9Consolidated Statutes is amended by adding definitions to read:

10§ 6303. Definitions.

11(a) General rule.--The following words and phrases when used
12in this chapter shall have the meanings given to them in this
13section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

14* * *

15"Detention facility." A privately or publicly owned and
16operated facility that is designated by the court and approved
17by the Department of Public Welfare to detain a juvenile

19"Detention facility employee." An individual employed by a

1detention facility. The term includes an independent contractor
2and employees.

3* * *

4"Private residential rehabilitative institution." The term
5shall have the same meaning as given to it in section 914.1-A(c)
6of the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known as the
7Public School Code of 1949.

8"Private residential rehabilitative institution employee."
9An individual employed by a private residential rehabilitative
10institution. The term includes an independent contractor and

12* * *

13"School." A facility providing elementary, secondary or
14postsecondary educational services. The term includes every
15public, nonpublic, private and parochial school, including each
16of the following:

17(1) A school or a class within a school under the
18supervision of the Department of Education.

19(2) A State-related and State-owned college or

21(3) A public or private college or university.

22(4) A community college.

23(5) A vocational-technical school.

24(6) An intermediate unit.

25(7) A charter or regional charter school.

26(8) A private school licensed under the act of January
2728, 1988 (P.L.24, No.11), known as the Private Academic
28Schools Act.

29(9) A nonprofit school located in this Commonwealth,
30other than a public school, wherein a resident of this

1Commonwealth may legally fulfill the compulsory school
2attendance requirements of the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30,
3No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, and which
4meets the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of
51964 (Public Law 88-352, 78 Stat. 241).

6* * *

7Section 2. Section 6318 of Title 23 is repealed:

8[§ 6318. Immunity from liability.

9(a) General rule.--A person, hospital, institution, school,
10facility, agency or agency employee that participates in good
11faith in the making of a report, whether required or not,
12cooperating with an investigation, including providing
13information to a child fatality or near fatality review team,
14testifying in a proceeding arising out of an instance of
15suspected child abuse, the taking of photographs or the removal
16or keeping of a child pursuant to section 6315 (relating to
17taking child into protective custody), and any official or
18employee of a county agency who refers a report of suspected
19abuse to law enforcement authorities or provides services under
20this chapter, shall have immunity from civil and criminal
21liability that might otherwise result by reason of those

23(b) Presumption of good faith.--For the purpose of any civil
24or criminal proceeding, the good faith of a person required to
25report pursuant to section 6311 (relating to persons required to
26report suspected child abuse) and of any person required to make
27a referral to law enforcement officers under this chapter shall
28be presumed.]

29Section 3. Section 6331(2) of Title 23 is amended to read:

30§ 6331. Establishment of pending complaint file, Statewide

1central register and file of unfounded reports.

2There shall be established in the department:

3* * *

4(2) A Statewide central register of child abuse which
5shall consist of founded and indicated reports[.] and which 
6contains the following subfiles that shall be retained 

8(i) A subfile of the names of perpetrators of
9indicated and founded reports of child abuse if the
10individual's Social Security number or date of birth is
11known to the department.

12(ii) A subfile of the names of the persons who made
13an intentionally false report of suspected child abuse
14under section 6379(d) (relating to immunity from
15liability), including the name of the subject child,
16which shall only be made available to law enforcement,
17the department or the county agency investigating new
18allegations of suspected child abuse at a school, a
19private residential rehabilitative institution or a
20detention facility to determine the existence of a
21pattern of false reports of suspected child abuse on
22behalf of any one person or subject child.

23* * *

24Section 4. Section 6341(a)(2), (c) and (f) of Title 23 are
25amended and the section is amended by adding a subsection to

27§ 6341. Amendment or expunction of information.

28(a) General rule.--At any time:

29* * *

30(2) Any person named as a perpetrator, and any school

1employee, private residential rehabilitative institution 
2employee or detention facility employee named, in an
3indicated report of child abuse may, within 45 days of being
4notified of the status of the report, request the secretary
5to amend or expunge an indicated report on the grounds that
6it is inaccurate or it is being maintained in a manner
7inconsistent with this chapter.

8* * *

9(c) Review of refusal of request.--If the secretary refuses
10the request under subsection (a)(2) or does not act within a
11reasonable time, but in no event later than 30 days after
12receipt of the request, the perpetrator [or], school employee, 
13private residential rehabilitative institution employee or 
14detention facility employee shall have the right to a hearing
15before the secretary or a designated agent of the secretary to
16determine whether the summary of the indicated report in the
17Statewide central register should be amended or expunged on the
18grounds that it is inaccurate or that it is being maintained in
19a manner inconsistent with this chapter. The perpetrator [or],
20school employee, private residential rehabilitative institution 
21employee or detention facility employee shall have 45 days from
22the date of the letter giving notice of the decision to deny the
23request in which to request a hearing. The appropriate county
24agency and appropriate law enforcement officials shall be given
25notice of the hearing. The burden of proof in the hearing shall
26be on the appropriate county agency. The department shall assist
27the county agency as necessary.

28(c.1) Appeals from refusal of request.--

29(1) A school employee, private residential
30rehabilitative institution employee or detention facility

1employee who is named in an indicated report of suspected
2child abuse and who, under subsection (c), files an appeal,
3shall be entitled to an initial hearing and ruling on the
4matter within 45 days of the date the appeal was received by
5the secretary. If a ruling on the matter is not issued within
645 days, the report shall be marked unfounded and expunction
7shall be granted in accordance with the terms of this

9(2) The initial hearing shall be conducted before the
10secretary or the designated agent of the secretary for the
11purpose of determining whether credible and substantial
12evidence exists to support the determination made by the
13department or the county agency. All evidence gathered by the
14department or county agency as part of its investigation
15leading to a determination shall be disclosed to the
16appellant employee sufficiently in advance of the hearing so
17as to make the disclosure meaningful and shall be subject to
18cross-examination at the hearing. If the secretary or
19designee concludes that insufficient evidence exists to
20support the determination, the report shall be marked
21unfounded and expunction shall be granted in accordance with
22the terms of this chapter. If the secretary or designee
23concludes that sufficient evidence has been presented, the
24matter shall be scheduled for a full hearing on the merits.
25If a full hearing is necessary and the appellant is a private
26residential rehabilitative institution employee or detention
27facility employee, the secretary or designee shall also
28determine whether the appellant shall continue to work with
29children and under what, if any, restrictions shall be
30imposed based on the nature and extent of the evidence

1presented. Restrictions may only be imposed if, based on
2evidence presented, the appellant presents a danger to the
3subject child or other minors under his or her care.

4(3) The department or county agency shall bear the
5burden of proof at any hearing conducted before the secretary
6or designee.

7* * *

8(f) Notice of expunction.--Written notice of an expunction
9of any child abuse record made pursuant to the provisions of
10this chapter shall be served upon the subject of the record who
11was responsible for the abuse or injury and the appropriate
12county agency. Except as provided in this subsection, the county
13agency, upon receipt of the notice, shall take appropriate,
14similar action in regard to the local child abuse and school
15employee, private residential rehabilitative institution 
16employee or detention facility employee records and inform, for
17the same purpose, the appropriate coroner if that officer has
18received reports pursuant to section 6367 (relating to reports
19to department and coroner). Whenever the county agency
20investigation reveals, within 60 days of receipt of the report
21of suspected child abuse, that the report is unfounded but that
22the subjects need services provided or arranged by the county
23agency, the county agency shall retain those records and shall
24specifically identify that the report was an unfounded report of
25suspected child abuse. An unfounded report regarding subjects
26who receive services shall be expunged no later than 120 days
27following the expiration of one year after the termination or
28completion of services provided or arranged by the county

30Section 5. Title 23 is amended by adding a section to read:

1§ 6379. Immunity from liability.

2(a) General rule.--A person, hospital, institution, school,
3facility, agency or agency employee acting in good faith and
4without actual malice shall have immunity from civil and
5criminal liability that might otherwise result from any of the

7(1) Making a report of suspected child abuse or causing
8a report of suspected child abuse to be made, or making a
9referral for general protective services, regardless of
10whether the report is required to be made under this chapter.

11(2) Cooperating or consulting with an investigation
12under this chapter, including providing information to a
13child fatality or near-fatality review team.

14(3) Testifying in a proceeding arising out of an
15instance of suspected child abuse.

16(4) Engaging in any action taken under section 6314
17(relating to photographs, medical tests and X-rays of child
18subject to report), 6315 (relating to taking child into
19protective custody), 6316 (relating to admission to private
20and public hospitals) or 6317 (relating to mandatory
21reporting and postmortem investigation of deaths).

22(b) Departmental and county agency immunity.--An official or
23employee of the department or county agency who refers a report
24of suspected child abuse to law enforcement authorities or
25provides services under this chapter shall have immunity from
26civil and criminal liability that might otherwise result from
27the action.

28(c) Presumption of good faith.--For the purpose of any civil
29or criminal proceeding, the good faith of a person required to
30report pursuant to section 6311 (relating to persons required to

1report suspected child abuse) and of any person required to make
2a referral to law enforcement officers under this chapter shall
3be presumed unless actual malice is proven.

4(d) False reports.--Any person who intentionally makes a
5false report of suspected child abuse against a school, private
6residential rehabilitative institution, detention facility,
7school employee, private residential rehabilitative institution
8employee or detention facility employee commits a misdemeanor of
9the second degree.

10Section 6. This act shall take effect in 60 days.