Child Abuse Reporting Statutes: Pennsylvania

Child Abuse Reporting Statutes

Pennsylvania_Child Abuse Reporting Statute

PENNSYLVANIA STATUTES AND CONSOLIDATED STATUTES

Title 23 Pa.C.S.A. Domestic Relations

Part VII. Abuse of Family

Chapter 63. Child Protective Services

Subchapter B. Provisions and Responsibilities for Reporting Suspected Child Abuse

  • 6311. Persons required to report suspected child abuse

(a) General rule.–A person who, in the course of employment, occupation or practice of a profession, comes into contact with children shall report or cause a report to be made in accordance with section 6313 (relating to reporting procedure) when the person has reasonable cause to suspect, on the basis of medical, professional or other training and experience, that a child under the care, supervision, guidance or training of that person or of an agency, institution, organization or other entity with which that person is affiliated is a victim of child abuse, including child abuse by an individual who is not a perpetrator. Except with respect to confidential communications made to a member of the clergy which are protected under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5943 (relating to confidential communications to clergymen), and except with respect to confidential communications made to an attorney which are protected by 42 Pa.C.S. § 5916 (relating to confidential communications to attorney) or 5928 (relating to confidential communications to attorney), the privileged communication between any professional person required to report and the patient or client of that person shall not apply to situations involving child abuse and shall not constitute grounds for failure to report as required by this chapter.

(b) Enumeration of persons required to report.–Persons required to report under subsection (a) include, but are not limited to, any licensed physician, osteopath, medical examiner, coroner, funeral director, dentist, optometrist, chiropractor, podiatrist, intern, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, hospital personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care or treatment of persons, Christian Science practitioner, member of the clergy, school administrator, school teacher, school nurse, social services worker, day-care center worker or any other child-care or foster-care worker, mental health professional, peace officer or law enforcement official.

(c) Staff members of institutions, etc.–Whenever a person is required to report under subsection (b) in the capacity as a member of the staff of a medical or other public or private institution, school, facility or agency, that person shall immediately notify the person in charge of the institution, school, facility or agency or the designated agent of the person in charge. Upon notification, the person in charge or the designated agent, if any, shall assume the responsibility and have the legal obligation to report or cause a report to be made in accordance with section 6313. This chapter does not require more than one report from any such institution, school, facility or agency.

(d) Civil action for discrimination against person filing report.–Any person who, under this section, is required to report or cause a report of suspected child abuse to be made and who, in good faith, makes or causes the report to be made and, as a result thereof, is discharged from his employment or in any other manner is discriminated against with respect to compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of employment, may commence an action in the court of common pleas of the county in which the alleged unlawful discharge or discrimination occurred for appropriate relief. If the court finds that the person is an individual who, under this section, is required to report or cause a report of suspected child abuse to be made and who, in good faith, made or caused to be made a report of suspected child abuse and, as a result thereof, was discharged or discriminated against with respect to compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of employment, it may issue an order granting appropriate relief, including, but not limited to, reinstatement with back pay. The department may intervene in any action commenced under this subsection.