Another Child Protection Bill Passes Senate
HARRISBURG – State Senator Kim Ward (R-39) applauded the General Assembly today for the
unanimous passage of her legislation, Senate Bill 21, which clarifies who is a
mandated reporter under the PA Child Protective Services (CPS) law and when and
how they are required to report suspected child abuse.
the passage of this bill, our children have a stronger layer of protection that
they didn’t have before,” Ward said. Senate Bill 21 was one of the key pieces of the legislative package
developed from the report issued by the Task Force on Child Protection, which
was established by Ward’s Senate Resolution of 250 of 2011.
bill clearly defines who is a mandated reporter of child abuse in
Pennsylvania. Specifically, adults over
the age of eighteen in the following professions would be required to report
abuse if they reasonably suspect abuse has occurred:
• Professionals in health-related
fields, licensed or certified by the PA Department of State.
• Medical examiners, coroners and
• Employees of health care facilities
and providers licensed by the PA Department of Health (DOH) who are involved
with patient admission, examination, care or treatment.
• School employees.
• Employees of child-care services
• Clergy and other religious leaders.
• Individuals (paid or unpaid) who
accept responsibility for a child as part of a regularly scheduled program,
activity or service.
• Employees of social service agencies.
• Peace officers or law enforcement
• Employee at a public library with
direct contact with children.
• Emergency medical services providers
certified by DOH.
• Individuals supervised or managed in
any of these enumerated professions who has direct contact with children.
• An independent contractor.
• Included in HB 436 -- Attorneys
affiliated with organizations with responsibility for children.
Bill 21 also requires all mandated reporters to report suspected child abuse
directly to the Department of Public Welfare or law enforcement, thereby
eliminating a current procedure for school employees that requires notification
to superiors who are then tasked with reporting. “There will no longer be any mistake as to
who has a requirement to report abuse,” Ward said. “No more passing the buck; no more pointing
the finger at someone else to report. If
you see abuse, you will report it.”
also provides for an electronic reporting procedure, which DPW plans to
institute, and requires DPW to post informational resources about recognizing
the signs of child abuse and how to report.
this General Assembly has passed fifteen pieces of Task-Force recommended
legislation into law, which is, I understand, among the largest package of
bills moved in recent memory,” Ward said. “This body, as well as Governor Corbett, are to be commended for taking
the steps necessary to better protect our children and strengthen our child
protective services system from top to bottom.”