Mandated Reporters of Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect
Required Reporters (also known as Mandated Reporters from Juvenile Act 42 PACS§6301; 55 PA Code §3490)
Who qualifies as a Mandated Reporter?
A person who, in the course of their 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 when the person has reasonable cause to suspect, on the basis of their 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 (Act 179 a/o May 2007) is a victim of child abuse, including child abuse by an individual who is not a perpetrator, shall report or cause a report to be made in accordance with section 6313.
- 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 to attorney) or 5928 (relating to confidential to attorney), (Act 179 a/o May 2007) the privileged communication 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.
Persons required to report include:
- A licensed physician, medical examiner, coroner, funeral director, dentist, optometrist, osteopath, chiropractor, psychologist, podiatrist, intern, registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.
- Hospital personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care or treatment of persons.
- A Christian Science practitioner, member of the clergy, school administrator, school teacher, school nurse, social services worker, day care center worker or another child care or foster care worker, mental health professional, peace officer or law enforcement official.
Recent legislation regarding Mandated Reporters
Pa. Act 126 as of July 2012
Amends the Public School Code of 1949 - Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Training with new training requirements, many related to the recognition and reporting of sexual misconduct on the part of employees of educational institutions. Effective 180 days after signing.
Act 179 as of May 2007
A person or official required by the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) to report a case of suspected child abuse or to make a referral to the authorities who willfully fails to do so commits a misdemeanor of the third degree for the first violation, and a misdemeanor of the second degree for a second or subsequent violation.
The CPSL presumes that a person who reports a case of suspected child abuse has acted in good faith. Any person who makes a report in good faith is immune from criminal and civil liability.
A school employee (or a person other than a school employee who suspects that a school employee has committed student abuse) reports suspected student abuse to the school administrator. The administrator must report the allegations to law enforcement officials and the appropriate district attorney if student abuse is suspected. If the administrator is the subject of the report, the school employee will report allegations to law enforcement officials and the appropriate district attorney. When it is determined that allegations meet the definition of student abuse, the Allegheny County Department of Human Services Office of Children, Youth and Families will assure safety of the alleged child victim(s), monitor the school’s safety plan and complete the ChildLine Report(s).
Act 146 as of May 2007
Health care providers who are involved in the delivery or care of an infant who is born and identified as being affected by illegal substance abuse or as having withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure shall immediately cause a report to be made to the appropriate county agency. The county agency shall provide or arrange for appropriate services for the infant.
Organizations that provide Mandated Reporter (MR) trainings
A Child's Place at Mercy, Allegheny County Child Advocacy Center
Offers training to medical and non-medical MRs. When requested, professionals in law enforcement and criminal prosecution may be added to the team to discuss MRs' responsibility under both the CPSL Mandated Reporting Law and the Crimes Code Mandated Reporting Law.
- Training is provided at the location requested and is free of charge
- For more information or to schedule a presentation, please call 412-232-7200.
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Pa. Chapter
AAP offers MR training to MRs in the medical field such as primary care providers and their entire office staff, school nurses, emergency medical service professionals and hospital staff.
- Training is provided on-site and free of charge, including training materials.
- For more information or to schedule a presentation, visit www.pascan.org or call 866-823-7226 (toll free in Pa. only) or 484-446-3007.
Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance
Offers training to non-medical MRs such as school personnel, child care staff, law enforcement agencies, community service providers, social workers, and other individuals.
- Training is offered both as a three-hour overview and as a six-hour comprehensive presentation.
- Free training is available to organizations approved by the Pa. Department of Public Welfare.
- To arrange for training, call PFSA at 800-448-4906.
Reporting child abuse
Flyer about changes for Mandated Reporters
More detailed information about Act 146 and Act 179
New laws related to child welfare