Towards Improved Child Protection
3, 2013- Howard Ondick & Hanson Quickel
The Senate has approved a series of bills to provide sweeping improvements to
Pennsylvania’s child protection laws. Six
bills received senate approval this week with issues ranged from whistle blower
protection for reporting child abuse to stricter penalties for failing to
report child abuse.
President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati said he is very pleased with the Senate’s bipartisan
effort to address child protection.
bills take an important Step to update the definitions relating to what is
child abuse and clearly outline the responsibilities of healthcare workers and
educators for reporting child abuse.” Scarnati said. “Our children are our
future and it is crucial that we provide them with safety and protection from
abuse at all times.”
bills are part of a bipartisan package of legislation introduced after the recommendations
of the Pennsylvania taskforce on child protection.
the bills is legislation proposed by a Luzerne County lawmaker that would make
it easier to report suspected child abuse in Pennsylvania.
Senate Communications & Technology Committee approved Senate Bill 26
yesterday that would require the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare to
establish a three-digit toll-free number, which would operate 24 hours a day,
seven days a week, so that people could more easily report suspected child
abuse to child protection professionals.
legislation was among the recommendations made by the special Task Force on
Child Protection which released its report earlier this year with a dozen or
more suggestions on laws that should be considered by the state legislature.
Yudichak’s bill, which as 25 cosponsors in the Senate, is heading to the Senate
Appropriations Committee for consideration before going to the full Senate for
approved by the state legislature, it’s anticipated the statewide toll-free
hotline will be up and running by January 1, 2014.