PRIOR PRINTER'S NOS. 690, 1206, 1430
PRINTER'S NO. 1480
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
INTRODUCED BY FONTANA, FOLMER, WASHINGTON, ERICKSON, STACK, BREWSTER, FERLO, TEPLITZ, BAKER, RAFFERTY, YUDICHAK, KASUNIC, TARTAGLIONE, WILLIAMS, SMITH, FARNESE, WAUGH, MENSCH, HUGHES, BROWNE, WARD, VANCE, PILEGGI, BOSCOLA, COSTA, ALLOWAY, SCHWANK, DINNIMAN AND BLAKE, MARCH 15, 2013
AS AMENDED ON THIRD CONSIDERATION, OCTOBER 15, 2013
1Amending Title 23 (Domestic Relations) of the Pennsylvania
2Consolidated Statutes, in child protective services, further
3providing for definitions, for persons required to report
4suspected child abuse and for reporting procedure; and
5repealing provisions relating to definitions, school
6employees, administration, investigation, responsibilities of
7county agency for child protective services and report
11Section 1. The definitions of "founded report," "founded
12report for school employee," "general protective services,"
13"indicated report," "indicated report for school employee,"
14"individual residing in the same home as the child," "near
15fatality" and "school employee" in section 6303(a) of Title 23
16of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes are amended and the
17subsection is amended by adding definitions to read:
18§ 6303. Definitions.
19(a) General rule.--The following words and phrases when used
3* * *
<-6* * *
7"Child with a disability." A child:
11(2) who meets the definition of handicapped person under
12section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-
13112, 29 U.S.C. § 794) and its implementing regulations at 34
14CFR § 104.3 (relating to definitions);
22* * *
26* * *
27"Founded report." [A child abuse report made pursuant to
28this chapter if there has been any judicial adjudication based
29on a finding that a child who is a subject of the report has
30been abused, including the entry of a plea of guilty or nolo
1contendere or a finding of guilt to a criminal charge involving
2the same factual circumstances involved in the allegation of
3child abuse.] A child abuse report involving a perpetrator that
4is made pursuant to this chapter, if any of the following
6(1) There has been a judicial adjudication based on a
7finding that a child who is a subject of the report has been
8abused and the adjudication involves the same factual
9circumstances involved in the allegation of child abuse. The
10judicial adjudication may include any of the following:
13(ii) A finding of guilt to a criminal charge.
18(iv) A finding of delinquency under 42 Pa.C.S. §
196341 if the court has entered a finding that the child
20who is the subject of the report has been abused by the
21child who was found to be delinquent.
22(2) There has been an acceptance into an accelerated
23rehabilitative disposition program and the reason for the
24acceptance involves the same factual circumstances involved
25in the allegation of child abuse.
26(3) There has been a consent decree entered in a
27juvenile proceeding under 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to
28juvenile matters), the decree involves the same factual
29circumstances involved in the allegation of child abuse, and
30the terms and conditions thereof include an acknowledgment,
4(4) A final protection from abuse order has been granted
5under section 6108 (relating to relief), when the child who
6is a subject of the report is also one of the individuals
7protected under the protection from abuse order and:
12(iii) the protection from abuse adjudication finds
13that the abuse occurred and <-restricts visitation to
14include supervised custody or prohibits further contact
15between the individual and the child.
16["Founded report for school employee." A report under
17Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in public and private
18schools) if there has been any judicial adjudication based on a
19finding that the victim has suffered serious bodily injury or
20sexual abuse or exploitation, including the entry of a plea of
21guilty or nolo contendere or a finding of guilt to a criminal
22charge involving the same factual circumstances involved in the
23allegations of the report.]
24"General protective services." Those services and activities
25provided by each county agency for [nonabuse] cases requiring
26protective services, as defined by the [Department of Public
27Welfare] department in regulations.
3(1) Available medical evidence.
4(2) The child protective service investigation.
7(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), a report of child
8abuse made pursuant to this chapter if an investigation by
9the department or county agency determines that substantial
10evidence of the alleged abuse by a perpetrator exists based
11on any of the following:
12(i) Available medical evidence.
13(ii) The child protective service investigation.
16(2) A report may be indicated under paragraph (1)(i) or
17(ii) for any child in need of child protective services,
18regardless of the number of alleged perpetrators or the
19inability to identify the specific perpetrator among two or
20more alleged perpetrators.
27["Indicated report for school employee." A report made under
28Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in public and private
29schools) if an investigation by the county agency determines
30that substantial evidence of serious bodily injury or sexual
1abuse or exploitation exists based on any of the following:
2(1) Available medical evidence.
3(2) The county agency's investigation.
<-9"Independent contractor." An individual who provides a
10program, activity or service to an agency, institution,
11organization or other entity, including a school or regularly
12established religious organization, that is responsible for the
13care, supervision, guidance or control of children. The term
14does not include an individual who has no direct contact with
18"Near fatality." [An act that, as certified by a physician,
19places a child in serious or critical condition.] A child's
20serious or critical condition, as certified by a physician,
21where that child is a subject of the report of child abuse.
22* * *
26(1) Any school of a school district.
27(2) An area vocational-technical school.
28(3) A joint school.
29(4) An intermediate unit.
30(5) A charter school or regional charter school.
1(6) A cyber charter school.
7(9) A nonpublic school.
8(10) A community college which is an institution now or
9hereafter created pursuant to Article XIX-A of the act of
10March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School
11Code of 1949, or the former act of August 24, 1963 (P.L.1132,
12No.484), known as the Community College Act of 1963.
13(11) An independent institution of higher education
14which is an institution of higher education which is operated
15not for profit, located in and incorporated or chartered by
16the Commonwealth, entitled to confer degrees as set forth in
1724 Pa.C.S. § 6505 (relating to power to confer degrees) and
18entitled to apply to itself the designation "college" or
19"university" as provided for by standards and qualifications
20prescribed by the State Board of Education pursuant to 24
21Pa.C.S. Ch. 65 (relating to private colleges, universities
23(12) A State-owned university.
24(13) A State-related university.
28(15) Hiram G. Andrews Center.
2"School employee." An individual who is employed by a
3[public or private school, intermediate unit or area vocational-
4technical] school or who provides a program, activity or service
5in a school. The term includes an independent contractor <-that
6provides a program, activity or service in a school and the
7employees of the independent contractor that is directly
8responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or training of
9the child <-[and employees]. [The term excludes an individual who
10has no direct contact with students.]
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(c) Staff members of institutions, etc.--Whenever a person
18is required to report under subsection (b) in the capacity as a
19member of the staff of a medical or other public or private
20institution, school, facility or agency, that person shall
21immediately notify the person in charge of the institution,
22school, facility or agency or the designated agent of the person
23in charge. Upon notification, the person in charge or the
24designated agent, if any, shall assume the responsibility and
25have the legal obligation to report or cause a report to be made
26in accordance with section 6313. This chapter does not require
27more than one report from any such institution, school, facility
1report or cause a report of suspected child abuse to be made and
2who, in good faith, makes or causes the report to be made and,
3as a result thereof, is discharged from his employment or in any
4other manner is discriminated against with respect to
5compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of
6employment, may commence an action in the court of common pleas
7of the county in which the alleged unlawful discharge or
8discrimination occurred for appropriate relief. If the court
9finds that the person is an individual who, under this section,
10is required to report or cause a report of suspected child abuse
11to be made and who, in good faith, made or caused to be made a
12report of suspected child abuse and, as a result thereof, was
13discharged or discriminated against with respect to
14compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of
15employment, it may issue an order granting appropriate relief,
16including, but not limited to, reinstatement with back pay. The
17department may intervene in any action commenced under this
21§ 6311.1. Mandated Reporters.
28(2) A medical examiner, coroner or funeral director.
1admission, examination, care or treatment of individuals.
4(5) A child-care services provider.
13(8) A social services worker.
14(9) A peace officer or law enforcement official.
21(12) An independent contractor.
22Section 2.2. Section 6313 of Title 23 is amended to read:
23§ 6313. Reporting procedure.
24[(a) General rule.--Reports from persons required to report
25under section 6311 (relating to persons required to report
26suspected child abuse) shall be made immediately by telephone
27and in writing within 48 hours after the oral report.
1agency. When oral reports of suspected child abuse are initially
2received at the county agency, the protective services staff
3shall, after seeing to the immediate safety of the child and
4other children in the home, immediately notify the department of
5the receipt of the report, which is to be held in the pending
6complaint file as provided in Subchapter C. The initial child
7abuse report summary shall be supplemented with a written report
8when a determination is made as to whether a report of suspected
9child abuse is a founded report, an unfounded report or an
11(c) Written reports.--Written reports from persons required
12to report under section 6311 shall be made to the appropriate
13county agency in a manner and on forms the department prescribes
14by regulation. The written reports shall include the following
15information if available:
19(2) Where the suspected abuse occurred.
20(3) The age and sex of the subjects of the report.
27(6) Family composition.
28(7) The source of the report.
6(d) Failure to confirm oral report.--The failure of a person
7reporting cases of suspected child abuse to confirm an oral
8report in writing within 48 hours shall not relieve the county
9agency from any duties prescribed by this chapter. In such
10event, the county agency shall proceed as if a written report
11were actually made.]
12(a) Report by mandated reporter.--
13(1) A mandated reporter shall immediately make an oral
<-14or written report, which may be submitted electronically, of
15suspected child abuse to the department. <-report of suspected
16child abuse to the department via the Statewide toll-free
17telephone number under section 6332 (relating to
18establishment of Statewide toll-free telephone number) or a
19written report using electronic technologies under section
206304 (relating to electronic reporting).
21(2) A mandated reporter making an oral report under
22paragraph (1) of suspected child abuse shall also make a
23written report, which may be submitted electronically, within
2448 hours to the department or county agency assigned to the
25case in a manner and format prescribed by the department.
26(3) The failure of the mandated reporter to file the
27report under paragraph (2) shall not relieve the county
28agency from any duty under this chapter, and the county
29agency shall proceed as though the mandated reporter complied
30with paragraph (2).
11(2) Where the suspected abuse occurred.
12(3) The age and sex of each subject of the report.
19(6) Family composition.
20(7) The source of the report.
23(9) The actions taken by the person making the report,
24including those actions taken under section 6314 (relating to
25photographs, medical tests and X-rays of child subject to
26report), 6315 (relating to taking child into protective
27custody), 6316 (relating to admission to private and public
28hospitals) or 6317 (relating to mandatory reporting and
29postmortem investigation of deaths).
30(10) Any other information required by Federal law or
7STUDENTS IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS
106352. School employees.
136353.2. Responsibilities of county agency.
146353.3. Information in Statewide central register.
156353.4. Other provisions.
16§ 6351. Definitions.
24§ 6352. School employees.
26(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), a school
27employee who has reasonable cause to suspect, on the basis of
28professional or other training and experience, that a student
29coming before the school employee in the employee's
30professional or official capacity is a victim of serious
3(2) If the school employee accused of seriously injuring
4or sexually abusing or exploiting a student is the
5administrator, the school employee who has reasonable cause
6to suspect, on the basis of professional or other training
7and experience, that a student coming before the school
8employee in the employee's professional or official capacity
9is a victim of serious bodily injury or sexual abuse or
10sexual exploitation shall immediately report to law
11enforcement officials and the district attorney under section
126353(a) (relating to administration). If an administrator is
13the school employee who suspects injury or abuse, the
14administrator shall make a report under section 6353(a).
20(c) Criminal penalty.--
26§ 6353. Administration.
27(a) Requirement.--An administrator and a school employee
28governed by section 6352(a)(2) (relating to school employees)
29shall report immediately to law enforcement officials and the
30appropriate district attorney any report of serious bodily
5(1) Name, age, address and school of the student.
8(3) Name and address of the administrator.
9(4) Name, work and home address of the school employee.
10(5) Nature of the alleged offense.
20§ 6353.1. Investigation.
21(a) General rule.--Upon receipt of a report under section
226353 (relating to administration), an investigation shall be
23conducted by law enforcement officials, in cooperation with the
24district attorney, and a determination made as to what criminal
25charges, if any, will be filed against the school employee.
26(b) Referral to county agency.--
27(1) If local law enforcement officials have reasonable
28cause to suspect on the basis of initial review that there is
29evidence of serious bodily injury, sexual abuse or sexual
30exploitation committed by a school employee against a
1student, local law enforcement officials shall notify the
2county agency in the county where the alleged abuse or injury
3occurred for the purpose of the agency conducting an
4investigation of the alleged abuse or injury.
5(2) To the fullest extent possible, law enforcement
6officials and the county agency shall coordinate their
7respective investigations. In respect to interviews with the
8student, law enforcement officials and the county agency
9shall conduct joint interviews. In respect to interviews with
10the school employee, law enforcement officials shall be given
11an opportunity to interview the school employee prior to the
12employee having any contact with the county agency.
13(3) The county agency and law enforcement officials have
14the authority to arrange for photographs, medical tests or X-
15rays of a student alleged to have been abused or injured by a
16school employee. The county agency and law enforcement
17officials shall coordinate their efforts in this regard and,
18to the fullest extent possible, avoid the duplication of any
19photographs, medical tests or X-rays.
23§ 6353.2. Responsibilities of county agency.
24(a) Information for the pending complaint file.--Immediately
25after receiving a report under section 6353.1 (relating to
26investigation), the county agency shall notify the department of
27the receipt of the report, which is to be filed in the pending
28complaint file as provided in section 6331(1) (relating to
29establishment of pending complaint file, Statewide central
30register and file of unfounded reports). The oral report shall
1include the following information:
4(2) Where the suspected abuse or injury occurred.
5(3) The age and sex of the student.
12(7) The source of the report to the county agency.
17(b) Investigation of reports.--Upon receipt of a report
18under section 6353.1, the county agency shall commence, within
19the time frames established in department regulations, an
20investigation of the nature, extent and cause of any alleged
21abuse or injury enumerated in the report. The county agency
22shall coordinate its investigation to the fullest extent
23possible with law enforcement officials as provided in section
25(c) Completion of investigation.--The investigation by the
26county agency to determine whether the report is an indicated
27report for school employee or an unfounded report shall be
28completed within 60 days.
1subject of the report of the existence of the report and the
2subject's rights under this chapter in regard to amendment or
3expungement. Within 72 hours following oral notification to the
4subject, the county agency shall give written notice to the
5subject. The notice may be reasonably delayed if notification is
6likely to threaten the safety of the student or the county
7agency worker, to cause the school employee to abscond or to
8significantly interfere with the conduct of a criminal
10(e) Reliance on factual investigation.--The county agency
11may rely on a factual investigation of substantially the same
12allegations by a law enforcement officials to support the
13agency's finding. This reliance shall not relieve the county
14agency of its responsibilities relating to the investigation of
15reports under this subchapter.
16(f) Notice to the department of the county agency's
17determination.--As soon as the county agency has completed its
18investigation, the county agency shall advise the department and
19law enforcement officials of its determination of the report as
20an indicated report for school employee or an unfounded report.
21Supplemental reports shall be made at regular intervals
22thereafter in a manner and form the department prescribes by
23regulation to the end that the department is kept fully informed
24and up-to-date concerning the status of the report.
25§ 6353.3. Information in Statewide central register.
26The Statewide central register established under section 6331
27(relating to establishment of pending complaint file, Statewide
28central register and file of unfounded reports) shall retain
29only the following information relating to reports of abuse or
30injury of a student by a school employee which have been
5(2) The home address of the subjects of the report.
10(5) Factors contributing to the abuse or injury.
11(6) The source of the report.
12(7) Whether the report is a founded or indicated report.
21§ 6353.4. Other provisions.
22The following provisions shall apply to the release and
23retention of information by the department and the county agency
24concerning reports of abuse or injury committed by a school
25employee as provided by this subchapter:
28Section 6337 (relating to disposition of unfounded reports).
1Section 6339 (relating to confidentiality of reports).
6Section 6342 (relating to studies of data in records).]
7Section 4. This act shall take effect January 1, 2014.