Wednesday, January 2, 2013

CHAPTER 63. CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES SUBCHAPTER A. PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

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          *THIS DOCUMENT IS CURRENT THROUGH ACT 77 OF THE 2007 LEGISLATIVE SESSION*

                                     *** MAY 8, 2008 ANNOTATION SERVICE ***

                                    PENNSYLVANIA CONSOLIDATED STATUTES

                                           TITLE 23.  DOMESTIC RELATIONS

                                              PART VII.  ABUSE OF FAMILY

                                    CHAPTER 63.      CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES

                                    SUBCHAPTER A.  PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

                                                  23 Pa.C.S. § 6301 (2007)

§ 6301.  Short title of chapter

  This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Child Protective Services Law.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days.

CASE NOTES

1. Order from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare revoking a day care certificate of compliance was af-

firmed based on an indicated report of abuse against a day care facility owner; the owner had failed to appeal and put

the facility in non-compliance, and could not be collaterally attacked in the license revocation proceeding. B. T. & (B)'s

Play & Learn Child Day Care Ctr. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 828 A.2d 436, 2003 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 467 (Pa. Commw.

Ct. 2003), appeal denied by 577 Pa. 698, 845 A.2d 819, 2004 Pa. LEXIS 299 (2004).

2. In a child abuse case although the legislature amended and consolidated the Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa.

Cons. Stat. §§ 6301-6385, the standard of proof required of the county agency to support, at a hearing, an indicated re-

port of child abuse was still substantial evidence that the abuse occurred A.O. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 838 A.2d 35,

2003 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 917 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2003).

3. Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa.C.S. § 6301 et seq., and 55 Pa. Code § 3490.55(i), which mandates a "home

visit" at least once during an investigation period, are subject to the limits of existing Fourth Amendment jurisprudence.

In re Petition to Compel Cooperation with Child Abuse Investigation, 2005 PA Super 188, 875 A.2d 365, 2005 Pa. Su-

per. LEXIS 1309 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2005).

4. Court's order compelling a child's parents to submit to a search of their home pursuant to the Child Protective Ser-

vices Law (CPSL), 23 Pa.C.S. § 6301 et seq., lacked any factual foundation for a finding of probable child abuse under

the CPSL and was ordered vacated; the only relevant facts alleged were that Susquehanna County Services for Children

and Youth (C & Y) had received a Child Line referral for possible medical neglect, insufficient to support the court's

order compelling the parents to submit to a search of their home. The court's order giving the parents ten days to comply

indicated that it was not an emergency situation where the child's life was in imminent danger. In re Petition to Compel

Cooperation with Child Abuse Investigation, 2005 PA Super 188, 875 A.2d 365, 2005 Pa. Super. LEXIS 1309 (Pa. Su-

per. Ct. 2005).

5. Petitioner was entitled to the expungement of a report of child abuse that named him as perpetrator pursuant to the

Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§ 6301 to 6385, where the child victim's statements of abuse were

hearsay evidence, were not corroborated by non-hearsay evidence, were not recorded with audio or video equipment

and were insufficient to prove guilt of the alleged perpetrator. A.P. v. Department of Pub. Welfare, 696 A.2d 912, 1997

Pa. Commw. LEXIS 297 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1997).

6. On appeal for review by a social services agency, an order of the office of hearing and appeals of the department of

public welfare accepting a hearing officer's recommendations and granting the expungement of an indicated report of

child sexual abuse against a child's mother issued pursuant to the Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§

6301 to 6384, was vacated because the hearing officer failed to resolve factual issues before him by making specific

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findings of fact; remanded for reconsideration of testimony. Bucks County Children & Youth Social Servs. Agency v.

Department of Pub. Welfare, 151 Pa. Commw. 110, 616 A.2d 170, 1992 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 627 (1992).

7. Where the department of human services failed to meet its burden of proving that a husband sexually abused his child

under former 11 P.S. § 2201 (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6301), the trial court properly expunged the report of child abuse with

respect to the custody battle between the husband and wife. Philadelphia County Dep't of Human Services, Div. of Chil-

dren & Youth v. Commonwealth, Dep't of Public Welfare, 135 Pa. Commw. 542, 581 A.2d 704, 1990 Pa. Commw.

LEXIS 568 (1990).

8. The court vacated the state department of public welfare's (DWP) recommendation not to expunge an indicated report

of child abuse and remanded the matter for the DWP to make further factual findings as to whether the time, content,

and circumstances of the hearsay statements testified to by the child's psychologist provided the necessary indicia of

reliability pursuant to 42 P.S. § 5986 because the basis for the finding of abuse was based upon a combination of the

child's statements to the psychologist and her gestures and demonstrative acts indicating that petitioner had kissed her.

D.J.P. v. Commonwealth, Dep't of Public Welfare, 118 Pa. Commw. 569, 545 A.2d 496, 1988 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 653

(1988).

9. Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa.C.S. § 6301 et seq., and 55 Pa. Code § 3490.55(i), which mandates a "home

visit" at least once during an investigation period, are subject to the limits of existing Fourth Amendment jurisprudence.

In re Petition to Compel Cooperation with Child Abuse Investigation, 2005 PA Super 188, 875 A.2d 365, 2005 Pa. Su-

per. LEXIS 1309 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2005).

10. Court's order compelling a child's parents to submit to a search of their home pursuant to the Child Protective Ser-

vices Law (CPSL), 23 Pa.C.S. § 6301 et seq., lacked any factual foundation for a finding of probable child abuse under

the CPSL and was ordered vacated; the only relevant facts alleged were that Susquehanna County Services for Children

and Youth (C & Y) had received a Child Line referral for possible medical neglect, insufficient to support the court's

order compelling the parents to submit to a search of their home. The court's order giving the parents ten days to comply

indicated that it was not an emergency situation where the child's life was in imminent danger. In re Petition to Compel

Cooperation with Child Abuse Investigation, 2005 PA Super 188, 875 A.2d 365, 2005 Pa. Super. LEXIS 1309 (Pa. Su-

per. Ct. 2005).

11. In a child abuse case although the legislature amended and consolidated the Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa.

Cons. Stat. §§ 6301-6385, the standard of proof required of the county agency to support, at a hearing, an indicated re-

port of child abuse was still substantial evidence that the abuse occurred A.O. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 838 A.2d 35,

2003 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 917 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2003).

12. Order from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare revoking a day care certificate of compliance was af-

firmed based on an indicated report of abuse against a day care facility owner; the owner had failed to appeal and put

the facility in non-compliance, and could not be collaterally attacked in the license revocation proceeding. B. T. & (B)'s

Play & Learn Child Day Care Ctr. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 828 A.2d 436, 2003 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 467 (Pa. Commw.

Ct. 2003), appeal denied by 577 Pa. 698, 845 A.2d 819, 2004 Pa. LEXIS 299 (2004).

13. "Child abuse" is defined in 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303(b), a provision of the Child Protective Services Act, 23

Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6301 et seq. P.R. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 569 Pa. 123, 801 A.2d 478, 2002 Pa. LEXIS 1443

(2002).

14. In 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303, the Child Protective Services Act, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6301 et seq., de-

fines "serious physical injury" as "an injury that (1) causes a child severe pain, or (2) significantly impairs a child's

physical functioning, either temporarily or permanently. P.R. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 569 Pa. 123, 801 A.2d 478, 2002

Pa. LEXIS 1443 (2002).

15. Trial court properly granted the preliminary objections of a hospital and doctors in an action by a mother and grand-

parents after the defendants reported suspected child abuse, which was later dismissed as unsubstantiated, after a child

was brought to the emergency room for treatment; mother and grandparents failed to assert sufficient facts tending to

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show that defendants acted in bad faith and thus overcome the statutory presumption of immunity. Heinrich v. Cone-

maugh Valley Memorial Hosp., 436 Pa. Super. 465, 648 A.2d 53, 1994 Pa. Super. LEXIS 2848 (1994).

16. Consistent statements of father's daughter over a period of time were sufficient evidence to support the reliability of

the statements upon which the Department of Public Welfare's decision to deny the father's expungement of the father

from child abuse reports could be based. L.R. v. Department of Pub. Welfare, 153 Pa. Commw. 611, 621 A.2d 1218,

1993 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 112 (1993).

17. On appeal for review by a social services agency, an order of the office of hearing and appeals of the department of

public welfare accepting a hearing officer's recommendations and granting the expungement of an indicated report of

child sexual abuse against a child's mother issued pursuant to the Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§

6301 to 6384, was vacated because the hearing officer failed to resolve factual issues before him by making specific

findings of fact; remanded for reconsideration of testimony. Bucks County Children & Youth Social Servs. Agency v.

Department of Pub. Welfare, 151 Pa. Commw. 110, 616 A.2d 170, 1992 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 627 (1992).

18. Mother who was identified as a child abuse perpetrator in a statewide central register maintained under the Child

Protective Services Law, former 11 P.S. § 2201 et seq. (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6301 et seq.), was not entitled to expunge-

ment of the record where substantial evidence showed that abuse resulted from her acts or omissions. K.S. v. Common-

wealth, Dep't of Public Welfare, 129 Pa. Commw. 31, 564 A.2d 561, 1989 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 651 (1989).

19. Mother's appeal from a determination by the Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCY), changing the status of

a report of child abuse against her daughter from indicated to unfounded was quashed for lack of standing because un-

der the Child Protection Services Law, former 11 P.S. §§ 2201 to 2224 (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6301 et seq.), only the De-

partment of Public Welfare could challenge the change. L.A.M. on behalf of L.A.M. v. Commonwealth, Dep't of Public

Welfare, 114 Pa. Commw. 499, 539 A.2d 45, 1988 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 172 (1988).

20. Where foster parent spanked child as punishment for lying, and the spanking merely bruised the child's buttocks,

under the Child Protective Services Law, former 11 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§ 2201 to 2224 (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6301 et seq.),

the spanking did not constitute child abuse. N. B. v. Commonwealth, Dep't of Public Welfare, 107 Pa. Commw. 26, 527

A.2d 623, 1987 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 2242 (1987).

21. Where foster parent spanked child as punishment for lying, and the spanking merely bruised the child's buttocks,

under the Child Protective Services Law, former 11 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§ 2201 to 2224 (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6301 et seq.),

the spanking did not constitute child abuse. N. B. v. Commonwealth, Dep't of Public Welfare, 107 Pa. Commw. 26, 527

A.2d 623, 1987 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 2242 (1987).

22. There is no indication in the amendment to the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law (PCPSL), former 11

Pa.C.S. § 2201 et seq. (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6301 et seq.), that the General Assembly intended it to be applied retroac-

tively. Thus, were plaintiff's alleged that Diocesan and Benedictine defendants failed to report his suspected abuse in

1980 and 1981, defendants' preliminary objections were sustained. Morrison v. Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, 68 Pa.

D. & C.4th 473, 2004 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 211 (2004).

23. Count of a social worker against her employer for wrongful discharge that averred that she was discharged in viola-

tion of the public policy of Pennsylvania, specifically the Child Protective Services Law, former 11 P.S. § 2201 et seq.

(now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6301 et seq.), failed legally; she alleged that she was discharged because she informed the executive

director and then the board of directors of her employer that other employees had delivered illegal drugs to a child that

resided with the employer, but, per the appellate court, she was terminated for pursuing the matter outside the normal

management operating procedures. Mudd v. Hoffman Homes for Youth, Inc., 374 Pa. Super. 522, 543 A.2d 1092, 1988

Pa. Super. LEXIS 1358 (1988), questioned by Riggio v. Burns, 1997 Pa. Super. LEXIS 593 (Pa. Super. Ct. Apr. 7,

1997), criticized by Yetter v. Ward Trucking Corp., 401 Pa. Super. 467, 585 A.2d 1022, 1991 Pa. Super. LEXIS 80, 6

I.E.R. Cas. (BNA) 146, 120 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P56725 (1991).

24. Petitioner was entitled to the expungement of a report of child abuse that named him as perpetrator pursuant to the

Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§ 6301 to 6385, where the child victim's statements of abuse were

hearsay evidence, were not corroborated by non-hearsay evidence, were not recorded with audio or video equipment

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and were insufficient to prove guilt of the alleged perpetrator. A.P. v. Department of Pub. Welfare, 696 A.2d 912, 1997

Pa. Commw. LEXIS 297 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1997).

25. There is no indication in the amendment to the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law (PCPSL), former 11

Pa.C.S. § 2201 et seq. (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6301 et seq.), that the General Assembly intended it to be applied retroac-

tively. Thus, were plaintiff's alleged that Diocesan and Benedictine defendants failed to report his suspected abuse in

1980 and 1981, defendants' preliminary objections were sustained. Morrison v. Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, 68 Pa.

D. & C.4th 473, 2004 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 211 (2004).

§ 6302.  Findings and purpose of chapter

   (a) FINDINGS.-- Abused children are in urgent need of an effective child protective service to prevent them from

suffering further injury and impairment.

  (b) PURPOSE.-- It is the purpose of this chapter to encourage more complete reporting of suspected child abuse; to

the extent permitted by this chapter, to involve law enforcement agencies in responding to child abuse; and to establish

in each county protective services for the purpose of investigating the reports swiftly and competently, providing protec-

tion for children from further abuse and providing rehabilitative services for children and parents involved so as to en-

sure the child's well-being and to preserve, stabilize and protect the integrity of family life wherever appropriate or to

provide another alternative permanent family when the unity of the family cannot be maintained. It is also the purpose

of this chapter to ensure that each county children and youth agency establish a program of protective services with pro-

cedures to assess risk of harm to a child and with the capabilities to respond adequately to meet the needs of the family

and child who may be at risk and to prioritize the response and services to children most at risk.

  (c) EFFECT ON RIGHTS OF PARENTS.-- This chapter does not restrict the generally recognized existing rights of

parents to use reasonable supervision and control when raising their children.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 1,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995;  Act 1998-127 (H.B. 1992), § 10, approved Dec. 15, 1998, eff. Mar. 1, 1999.

CASE NOTES

1. Statement made by defendant in custody to a Children and Youth Services caseworker who had not administered

Miranda warnings was properly suppressed after that statement was forwarded to the police when defendant had in-

voked his right to counsel. Commonwealth v. Ramos, 367 Pa. Super. 84, 532 A.2d 465, 1987 Pa. Super. LEXIS 9518

(1987).

2. Statement made by defendant in custody to a Children and Youth Services caseworker who had not administered

Miranda warnings was properly suppressed after that statement was forwarded to the police when defendant had in-

voked his right to counsel. Commonwealth v. Ramos, 367 Pa. Super. 84, 532 A.2d 465, 1987 Pa. Super. LEXIS 9518

(1987).

3. Child Protective Services Law does not create or include a separate action for child abuse, and, under the Juvenile

Law, a finding of abuse can only be made as part of a dependency proceeding in which abuse is alleged. In Interest of

R.T., 405 Pa. Super. 156, 592 A.2d 55, 1991 Pa. Super. LEXIS 1425 (1991).

4. Based on 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6302(a), (b), (c), 6331, 6340, and interpreting the word "accidental," as used in

23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303 (later amended), in light of the rules of construction provided by 1 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann.

§§ 1903, 1921(c), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania determined that any definition of accident in the context of an

allegation of child abuse had to encompass the aims of preventing abuse and identifying perpetrators of abuse, while

simultaneously maintaining the acknowledged right of parents to exercise corporal punishment as a legitimate means of

discipline. P.R. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 569 Pa. 123, 801 A.2d 478, 2002 Pa. LEXIS 1443 (2002).

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5. Court was permitted to alter an existing custody arrangement that had given the mother custody of the minor children

and to award custody of the minor children to the father, even where there was no determination of dependency, when

evidence established that one of the minor children had been physically abused and the court found the mother was un-

able to provide proper parental care and control of her children because she had fabricated allegations of the father's

sexual and physical abuse of the children and coached the children into reporting these alleged abusive incidents to au-

thorities as a means of preventing the father from seeing the children. In Interest of Justin S., 375 Pa. Super. 88, 543

A.2d 1192, 1988 Pa. Super. LEXIS 1776 (1988), criticized in In re Morgan L., 716 A.2d 658, 1998 Pa. Super. LEXIS

1693 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1998).

6. Trial court's holding that a minor was dependent under the Juvenile Act, 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6301 et seq., where the

petition before the court was for abuse under the Child Protective Services Law, as codified at former 11 P.S. § 2201

(now 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6301 et seq.), was a violation of due process. In Interest of M.B., 356 Pa. Super. 257, 514

A.2d 599, 1986 Pa. Super. LEXIS 12160 (1986), affirmed by 517 Pa. 459, 538 A.2d 495, 1988 Pa. LEXIS 72 (1988).

7. Based on 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6302(a), (b), (c), 6331, 6340, and interpreting the word "accidental," as used in

23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303 (later amended), in light of the rules of construction provided by 1 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann.

§§ 1903, 1921(c), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania determined that any definition of accident in the context of an

allegation of child abuse had to encompass the aims of preventing abuse and identifying perpetrators of abuse, while

simultaneously maintaining the acknowledged right of parents to exercise corporal punishment as a legitimate means of

discipline. P.R. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 569 Pa. 123, 801 A.2d 478, 2002 Pa. LEXIS 1443 (2002).

§ 6303.  Definitions

   (a) GENERAL RULE.-- The following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall have the meanings given to

them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

  "ACCEPT FOR SERVICE." Decide on the basis of the needs and problems of an individual to admit or receive the

individual as a client of the agency or as required by a court order entered under 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to juvenile

matters).

  "CHILD." Includes a newborn.

  "CHILD-CARE SERVICES." Child day-care centers, group and family day-care homes, foster homes, adoptive par-

ents, boarding homes for children, juvenile detention center services or programs for delinquent or dependent children;

mental health, mental retardation, early intervention and drug and alcohol services for children; and other child-care

services which are provided by or subject to approval, licensure, registration or certification by the Department of Pub-

lic Welfare or a county social services agency or which are provided pursuant to a contract with these departments or a

county social services agency. The term does not include such services or programs which may be offered by public and

private schools, intermediate units or area vocational-technical schools.

  "CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES." Those services and activities provided by the Department of Public Welfare

and each county agency for child abuse cases.

  "COOPERATION WITH AN INVESTIGATION OR ASSESSMENT." Includes, but is not limited to, a school or

school district which permits authorized personnel from the Department of Public Welfare or county agency to inter-

view a student while the student is in attendance at school.

  "COUNTY AGENCY." The county children and youth social service agency established pursuant to section 405 of

the act of June 24, 1937 (P.L. 2017, No. 396), known as the County Institution District Law, or its successor, and super-

vised by the Department of Public Welfare under Article IX of the act of June 13, 1967 (P.L. 31, No. 21), known as the

Public Welfare Code.

  "DEPARTMENT." The Department of Public Welfare of the Commonwealth.

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  "EXPUNGE." To strike out or obliterate entirely so that the expunged information may not be stored, identified or

later recovered by any mechanical or electronic means or otherwise.

  "FAMILY MEMBERS." Spouses, parents and children or other persons related by consanguinity or affinity.

  "FOUNDED REPORT." A child abuse report made pursuant to this chapter if there has been any judicial adjudication

based on a finding that a child who is a subject of the report has been abused, including the entry of a plea of guilty or

nolo contendere or a finding of guilt to a criminal charge involving the same factual circumstances involved in the alle-

gation of child abuse.

  "FOUNDED REPORT FOR SCHOOL EMPLOYEE." A report under Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in public

and private schools) if there has been any judicial adjudication based on a finding that the victim has suffered serious

bodily injury or sexual abuse or exploitation, including the entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere or a finding of

guilt to a criminal charge involving the same factual circumstances involved in the allegations of the report.

  "GENERAL PROTECTIVE SERVICES." Those services and activities provided by each county agency for nonabuse

cases requiring protective services, as defined by the Department of Public Welfare in regulations.

  "INDICATED REPORT." A child abuse report made pursuant to this chapter if an investigation by the county agency

or the Department of Public Welfare determines that substantial evidence of the alleged abuse exists based on any of the

following:

  (1) Available medical evidence.

  (2) The child protective service investigation.

  (3) An admission of the acts of abuse by the perpetrator.

  "INDICATED REPORT FOR SCHOOL EMPLOYEE." A report made under Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in

public and private schools) if an investigation by the county agency determines that substantial evidence of serious bod-

ily injury or sexual abuse or exploitation exists based on any of the following:

  (1) Available medical evidence.

  (2) The county agency's investigation.

  (3) An admission of the acts of abuse by the school employee.

  "INDIVIDUAL RESIDING IN THE SAME HOME AS THE CHILD." An individual who is 14 years of age or older

and who resides in the same home as the child.

  "NEAR FATALITY." An act that, as certified by a physician, places a child in serious or critical condition.

  "NEWBORN." As defined in section 6502 (relating to definitions).

  "NONACCIDENTAL." An injury that is the result of an intentional act that is committed with disregard of a substan-

tial and unjustifiable risk.

  "PERPETRATOR." A person who has committed child abuse and is a parent of a child, a person responsible for the

welfare of a child, an individual residing in the same home as a child or a paramour of a child's parent.

  "PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CHILD'S WELFARE." A person who provides permanent or temporary care,

supervision, mental health diagnosis or treatment, training or control of a child in lieu of parental care, supervision and

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control. The term does not include a person who is employed by or provides services or programs in any public or pri-

vate school, intermediate unit or area vocational-technical school.

  "PRIVATE AGENCY." A children and youth social service agency subject to the requirements of 55 Pa. Code Ch.

3680 (relating to administration and operation of a children and youth social service agency).

  "PROTECTIVE SERVICES." Those services and activities provided by the Department of Public Welfare and each

county agency for children who are abused or are alleged to be in need of protection under this chapter.

  "RECENT ACTS OR OMISSIONS." Acts or omissions committed within two years of the date of the report to the

Department of Public Welfare or county agency.

  "RESOURCE FAMILY." A family which provides temporary foster or kinship care for children who need out-of-

home placement and may eventually provide permanency for those children, including an adoptive family.

  "RISK ASSESSMENT." A Commonwealth-approved systematic process that assesses a child's need for protection or

services based on the risk of harm to the child.

  "SCHOOL EMPLOYEE." An individual employed by a public or private school, intermediate unit or area vocational-

technical school. The term includes an independent contractor and employees. The term excludes an individual who has

no direct contact with students.

  "SECRETARY." The Secretary of Public Welfare of the Commonwealth.

  "SERIOUS BODILY INJURY." Bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious per-

manent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of function of any bodily member or organ.

  "SERIOUS MENTAL INJURY." A psychological condition, as diagnosed by a physician or licensed psychologist,

including the refusal of appropriate treatment, that:

  (1) renders a child chronically and severely anxious, agitated,       depressed, socially withdrawn, psychotic or in reason-

able fear that the   child's life or safety is threatened; or

  (2) seriously interferes with a child's ability to accomplish     age-appropriate developmental and social tasks.

  "SERIOUS PHYSICAL INJURY." An injury that:

  (1) causes a child severe pain; or

  (2) significantly impairs a child's physical functioning, either     temporarily or permanently.

  "SEXUAL ABUSE OR EXPLOITATION." Any of the following:

  (1) The employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement or coercion            of a child to engage in or assist another

individual to engage in     sexually explicit conduct.

  (2) The employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement or coercion            of a child to engage in or assist another

individual to engage in  simulation of sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing          visual depiction, includ-

ing photographing, videotaping, computer  depicting and filming.

  (3) Any of the following offenses committed against a child:

   (i) Rape.

   (ii) Sexual assault.

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   (iii) Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.

   (iv) Aggravated indecent assault.

   (v) Molestation.

   (vi) Incest.

   (vii) Indecent exposure.

   (viii) Prostitution.

   (ix) Sexual abuse.

   (x) Sexual exploitation.

  "STUDENT." An individual enrolled in a public or private school, intermediate unit or area vocational-technical

school who is under 18 years of age.

  "SUBJECT OF THE REPORT." Any child, parent, guardian or other person responsible for the welfare of a child or

any alleged or actual perpetrator or school employee named in a report made to the Department of Public Welfare or a

county agency under this chapter.

  "SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE." Evidence which outweighs inconsistent evidence and which a reasonable person

would accept as adequate to support a conclusion.

  "UNDER INVESTIGATION." A child abuse report pursuant to this chapter which is being investigated to determine

whether it is "founded," "indicated" or "unfounded."

  "UNFOUNDED REPORT." Any report made pursuant to this chapter unless the report is a "founded report" or an

"indicated report."

  (b) CHILD ABUSE.--

  (1) The term "CHILD ABUSE" shall mean any of the following:

   (i) Any recent act or failure to act by a perpetrator which causes  nonaccidental serious physical injury to a child un-

der 18 years of age.

   (ii) An act or failure to act by a perpetrator which causes nonaccidental serious mental injury to or sexual abuse or

sexual exploitation of a child under 18 years of age.

   (iii) Any recent act, failure to act or series of such acts or failures to act by a perpetrator which creates an imminent

risk of serious physical injury to or sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child under 18 years of age.

   (iv) Serious physical neglect by a perpetrator constituting prolonged or repeated lack of supervision or the failure to

provide essentials of life, including adequate medical care, which endangers a child's life or development or impairs the

child's functioning.

  (2) No child shall be deemed to be physically or mentally abused based on injuries that result solely from environ-

mental factors that are beyond the control of the parent or person responsible for the child's welfare, such as inadequate

housing, furnishings, income, clothing and  medical care.

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  (3) If, upon investigation, the county agency determines that a child has not been provided needed medical or surgical

care because of seriously held religious beliefs of the child's parents, guardian or person responsible for the child's wel-

fare, which beliefs are consistent with those of a bona fide religion, the child shall not be deemed to be physically or

mentally abused. The county agency shall closely monitor the child and shall seek court-ordered medical intervention

when the lack of medical or surgical care threatens the child's life or long-term health. In cases involving religious

  circumstances, all correspondence with a subject of the report and the records of the Department of Public Welfare

and the county agency shall not reference "child abuse" and shall acknowledge the religious basis for the child's condi-

tion, and the family shall be referred for general protective services, if appropriate.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 1,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995;  Act 1995 Special Session-10 (S.B. 2), § 14, approved Mar. 31, 1995, eff. in

60 days;  Act 2002-201 (S.B. 654), § 2, approved Dec. 9, 2002, eff. in 60 days.;  Act 2004-160 (H.B. 2308), § 1, ap-

proved Nov. 29, 2004, eff. in 60 days.;  Act 2006-146 (H.B. 2670), § 2, approved Nov. 9, 2006, eff. in 180 days.;  Act

2006-179 (S.B. 1054), § 2, approved Nov. 29, 2006, eff. in 180 days.

CASE NOTES

1. Order that precluded the expungement of a child abuse report, mentioning a babysitter as the perpetrator of the crime,

was affirmed because there was substantial evidence to support the conclusion that the babysitter was the perpetrator,

and that the child suffered a serious injury under the Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6303. S.T. v.

Department of Pub. Welfare, Lackawanna County Office, Children, Youth & Family Servs., 681 A.2d 853, 1996 Pa.

Commw. LEXIS 337 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1996), appeal denied by 547 Pa. 747, 690 A.2d 1165, 1997 Pa. LEXIS 553

(1997).

2. Pursuant to former 11 P.S. § 2203 (now 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6303) of the Child Protective Services Law, the court

vacated the hearing officer's decision to deny the father's request for the expungement of a child sexual abuse report and

remanded for a determination regarding whether the time, content, and circumstances of the witnesses' hearsay testi-

mony of the the child's statements provided the necessary indicia of reliability. G.W.K. v. Commonwealth, Dep't of Pub-

lic Welfare, 125 Pa. Commw. 512, 558 A.2d 151, 1989 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 293 (1989).

3. Law did not support the granting of a nunc pro tunc appeal because the mother did not proffer any evidence that the

notice regarding her designation as an indicated perpetrator of child abuse had been incorrectly mailed or that the con-

duct of the agency in mailing it involved fraud or an administrative breakdown. J.A. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 873 A.2d

782, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 240 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005).

4. Order denying the minor's request to expunge an indicated report of child abuse naming the minor as perpetrator was

affirmed where the record contained substantial evidence to support the finding of sexual abuse committed against the

victim by the minor; (1) the victim's out-of-court hearsay statements were properly admitted where the time and circum-

stances under which they were made provided sufficient indicia of their reliability, (2) the victim's brother was properly

found competent to serve as a witness, and (3) a pediatric specialist found, during examination of the victim, six or

seven individual scratches around the victim's anus, which were 24 to 48 hours old, and were consistent with a forced,

penetrating trauma to the anus. A.O. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 838 A.2d 35, 2003 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 917 (Pa. Commw.

Ct. 2003).

5. The trial court properly denied denied the adoptive parents' request to expunge an indicated report of child abuse pur-

suant to former 11 P.S. § 2203 (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6303) because the Department of Public Welfare's presentation of

medical evidence in support of the indicated report of child abuse constituted substantial evidence. K. & L. N. v. Com-

monwealth, Dep't of Public Welfare, 123 Pa. Commw. 634, 554 A.2d 994, 1989 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 115 (1989), appeal

denied by 524 Pa. 600, 568 A.2d 1250 (1989).

6. Hearing officer's recommendation to expunge three "indicated reports" as defined by former 11 P.S. § 2203 (now 23

Pa.C.S. § 6303) contained no error at law and was supported by substantial evidence; the hearing officer weighed the

evidence and found that it did not preponderate in favor of a finding of sexual abuse because the children were manipu-

lated into making suggestive statements and the claims of sexual abuse were fabricated, and such determination as to the

weight of and credibility of the evidence were matters solely within the province of the factfinding agency. Children &

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Youth Services Div., Dep't of Human Services v. Commonwealth, Dep't of Public Welfare, 103 Pa. Commw. 616, 103

Pa. Commw. 617, 520 A.2d 1246, 1987 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 1931 (1987).

7. Evidence that a child care provider made a minor child watch a pornographic video, applied lotion to his penis, and

made him insert a vibrator in her vagina was substantial evidence of sexual abuse under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6303(a)

and supported a decision by the Department of Public Welfare to uphold a decision by the Bureau of Hearings and Ap-

peals adopting a recommendation from an administrative law judge, to deny the provider's request to expunge an indi-

cated report of child sex abuse that was filed by the Philadelphia Department of Human Services. D.T. v. Dep't of Pub.

Welfare, 873 A.2d 850, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 239 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005).

8. Because the father's nolo contendere plea to endangering the welfare of a child, in violation of 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. §

4304, lacked any factual finding of sexual abuse, and the father was not found guilty of a crime under 18 Pa. Cons. Stat.

§§ 3101-3129, the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare erred in finding that the nolo contendere plea formed a

proper basis for a "founded report" of child abuse. R.F. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 845 A.2d 214, 2004 Pa. Commw.

LEXIS 151 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2004).

9. Procedure that allowed defendant's name to be placed on a statewide child abuse registry without any adjudication,

without producing the victim, any independent corroborative evidence, or any recording or a verbatim transcript of the

victim's statement denied procedural due process. A.Y. v. Department of Pub. Welfare, 537 Pa. 116, 641 A.2d 1148,

1994 Pa. LEXIS 149 (1994).

10. Evidence that a child suffered injury from abuse inflicted by his mother's paramour was sufficient to support a peti-

tion to declare the child a dependent child under the Child Protective Service Law, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303. In re

B.B., 424 Pa. Super. 399, 622 A.2d 979, 1993 Pa. Super. LEXIS 1096 (1993).

11. Child's inability to remember being in great pain, lack of medical testimony to support the finding that she was in

great pain, and the child's inability to remember her mother ever hitting her with anything other than her hand was in-

sufficient to establish that the child had suffered severe pain as a result of an alleged beating, as required by 55 Pa.

Code § 3490.4 to establish the serious physical injury required to show child abuse under former 11 P.S. § 2203 (now

23 Pa.C.S. § 6303). A. M. v. Commonwealth, Dep't of Public Welfare, 115 Pa. Commw. 327, 540 A.2d 1, 1988 Pa.

Commw. LEXIS 230 (1988).

12. Under former 11 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 2203 (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6303), in an isolated incident in which a parent used a

belt to administer a punishment on his son, and the punishment, unintentionally, caused the child to sustain a minor in-

jury, it could not be concluded that th e father placed his son in jeopardy. Appeal of E.S., 82 Pa. Commw. 168, 474 A.2d

432, 1984 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 2186 (1984).

13. Where a child died of complications related to the onset of diabetes acidosis, her family having been members of a

religion in which illnesses were addressed through spiritual treatment rather than by medicine, even though the Child

Protective Services Act, specifically 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303(b)(3), exempted parents who utilized spiritual

treatment for their children from characterization as child abusers, they could not successfully argue that they did not

have sufficient notice that their spiritual treatment of their daughter could be criminal under the involuntary manslaugh-

ter statute, 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 2504; while the parents were not considered child abusers for treating their children

through spiritual healing, when their otherwise lawful course of conduct led to a child's death, they were guilty of invol-

untary manslaughter. Commonwealth v. Nixon, 718 A.2d 311, 1998 Pa. Super. LEXIS 2858 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1998), af-

firmed by 563 Pa. 425, 761 A.2d 1151, 2000 Pa. LEXIS 2816 (2000).

14. Evidence that a child care provider made a minor child watch a pornographic video, applied lotion to his penis, and

made him insert a vibrator in her vagina was substantial evidence of sexual abuse under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6303(a)

and supported a decision by the Department of Public Welfare to uphold a decision by the Bureau of Hearings and Ap-

peals adopting a recommendation from an administrative law judge, to deny the provider's request to expunge an indi-

cated report of child sex abuse that was filed by the Philadelphia Department of Human Services. D.T. v. Dep't of Pub.

Welfare, 873 A.2d 850, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 239 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005).

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15. Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Bureau of Hearings and Appeals, erred in denying the father's request

to expunge an indicated report of child abuse for physically abusing his daughter because the Department did not pre-

sent substantial evidence that the daughter's injury resulted from criminal negligence as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. §

302(b)(4). The father's conduct did not rise to the level of criminal negligence and could not be viewed as a gross devia-

tion from the standard of care a reasonable parent would observe in the same situation; thus, the daughter's injury was

an accident, rather than abuse. W. S. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 882 A.2d 541, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 509 (Pa.

Commw. Ct. 2005).

16. In cases where a child suffers a serious injury arising from the administration of corporal punishment, a finding that

the injury resulted from child abuse, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303(b), versus accident will depend upon a showing, by

the agency in question, through substantial evidence, that the injury resulted from criminal negligence as defined in 18

Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 302(b)(4) . P.R. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 569 Pa. 123, 801 A.2d 478, 2002 Pa. LEXIS 1443

(2002).

17. Although a mother, while using a belt to administer corporal punishment to her child, had accidentally struck the

child in the eye and injured her so seriously that surgery was required, the mother's request, under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat.

Ann. § 6341 , for expungement of an "indicated report" of child abuse, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303, which, pursuant

to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6331, 6338, had been submitted to the statewide register of child abuse, should have been

granted because there had been no showing by the Department of Public Welfare (Pennsylvania) amounting to substan-

tial evidence that the injury resulted from criminal negligence, as defined in 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 302(b)(4). P.R. v.

Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 569 Pa. 123, 801 A.2d 478, 2002 Pa. LEXIS 1443 (2002).

18. Where petitioner's acts clearly supported conclusion that she physically abused a child, and the child suffered severe

pain and physical injuries that were nonaccidental, denial of the petitioner's request for expungement of child abuse

report under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6303, was proper. B.J.K. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 773 A.2d 1271, 2001 Pa. Commw.

LEXIS 269 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2001).

19. In an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim where plaintiffs alleged that school administrators had inten-

tionally failed to report a teacher for incidents against other children, the court held that the administrators did not have

a duty to report under the Child Protective Services Act. The alleged incidents, which involved conduct such as yelling

at students and grabbing them by the arm, did not involve serious bodily injuries under 23 Pa.C.S. §§ 6303 and 6353(a)

that would have required the administrators to make a report. Pursel v. McCartney, 2006 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS

260 (Feb. 15, 2006).

20. Order denying the minor's request to expunge an indicated report of child abuse naming the minor as perpetrator

was affirmed where the record contained substantial evidence to support the finding of sexual abuse committed against

the victim by the minor; (1) the victim's out-of-court hearsay statements were properly admitted where the time and

circumstances under which they were made provided sufficient indicia of their reliability, (2) the victim's brother was

properly found competent to serve as a witness, and (3) a pediatric specialist found, during examination of the victim,

six or seven individual scratches around the victim's anus, which were 24 to 48 hours old, and were consistent with a

forced, penetrating trauma to the anus. A.O. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 838 A.2d 35, 2003 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 917 (Pa.

Commw. Ct. 2003).

21. Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare properly reversed an order of the Pennsylvania Bureau

of Hearings and Appeals adopting the recommendation of an ALJ that an indicated report of child abuse by a paramour

be expunged as 23 Pa.C.S. § 6381(d) created a rebuttable presumption that the parents or those who were responsible

for the child's welfare were the ones that inflicted the child abuse and only the abuse itself had to be established in the

case of an indicated child abuse by prima facie evidence. J. B. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 898 A.2d 1221, 2006 Pa.

Commw. LEXIS 242 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2006).

22. Where a mother alleged her child's father was sexually abusing the child and filed numerous reports, but the county

youth services found no evidence of sexual abuse and petitioned to have the child declared a dependent and placed with

her father, in compliance with the Juvenile Act, 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6301 et seq.; trial court did not err when it awarded

custody to the father and did not err in applying the imminent risk standard, pursuant to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. §

6303(B)(1)(iii), as there was clear and convincing evidence that the child was in imminent risk of harm from her

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mother. In re Morgan L., 716 A.2d 658, 1998 Pa. Super. LEXIS 1693 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1998), reversed by 562 Pa. 646,

757 A.2d 849, 2000 Pa. LEXIS 2018 (2000).

23. No clear and convincing evidence was presented that an infant child who had a medical history of apnea was the

victim of "abuse" by one or both parents, as such term is defined by 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303(b)(1)(i), or that the

injuries sustained by the child were non-accidental; in fact, the medical testimony, and the testimony of the county chil-

dren and youth services suggested that the child's injuries were accidental and were inflicted when the child was being

resuscitated by the father and emergency medical service workers. In re C.R.S., 696 A.2d 840, 1997 Pa. Super. LEXIS

1617 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1997).

24. In an abuse case, the evidence revolves around the alleged incident of abuse and the decision which must be reached

is whether that evidence meets the standard defined in the Child Protective Services Law; a dependency proceeding,

however, focuses on whether the child at the time of proceeding is without parental care or control. In Interest of R.T.,

405 Pa. Super. 156, 592 A.2d 55, 1991 Pa. Super. LEXIS 1425 (1991).

25. Where an agency report found substantial evidence of child abuse under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6303(a) by the claimant in an

incident that occurred with a client while the claimant was working as a residential treatment facility, the report did not

constitute willful misconduct that per se disqualified the claimant from unemployment under 43 P.S. § 802(e); there was

no other evidence of willful misconduct, as the claimant and coworker who witnessed the incident denied that the

claimant abused a client. Woods Servs. v. Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Review, 885 A.2d 630, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS

630 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005).

26. Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Bureau of Hearings and Appeals, erred in denying the father's request

to expunge an indicated report of child abuse for physically abusing his daughter because the Department did not pre-

sent substantial evidence that the daughter's injury resulted from criminal negligence as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. §

302(b)(4). The father's conduct did not rise to the level of criminal negligence and could not be viewed as a gross devia-

tion from the standard of care a reasonable parent would observe in the same situation; thus, the daughter's injury was

an accident, rather than abuse. W. S. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 882 A.2d 541, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 509 (Pa.

Commw. Ct. 2005).

27. Evidence that a child care provider made a minor child watch a pornographic video, applied lotion to his penis, and

made him insert a vibrator in her vagina was substantial evidence of sexual abuse under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6303(a)

and supported a decision by the Department of Public Welfare to uphold a decision by the Bureau of Hearings and Ap-

peals adopting a recommendation from an administrative law judge, to deny the provider's request to expunge an indi-

cated report of child sex abuse that was filed by the Philadelphia Department of Human Services. D.T. v. Dep't of Pub.

Welfare, 873 A.2d 850, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 239 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005).

28. Department of Public Welfare failed to establish that the mother's feeding of the infant, even given the difficulties

she indicated when testifying at the hearing such as the infant's spitting up, rose to the level of serious physical neglect

based upon a "failure to thrive," that would warrant her being classified as a perpetrator of child abuse. A. B. v. Dep't of

Pub. Welfare, 869 A.2d 1129, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 102 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005).

29. Mother's appeal to have her name removed from a registry as an indicated perpetrator of sexual abuse was denied

because the evidence showed that she had engaged in child abuse under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6303(b)(1) by placing the children

in imminent risk of sexual abuse by allowing them to live with sexual predators, despite repeated warnings. C.K. v.

Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 869 A.2d 48, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 74 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005).

30. Law did not support the granting of a nunc pro tunc appeal because the mother did not proffer any evidence that the

notice regarding her designation as an indicated perpetrator of child abuse had been incorrectly mailed or that the con-

duct of the agency in mailing it involved fraud or an administrative breakdown. J.A. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 873 A.2d

782, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 240 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005).

31. Because the father's nolo contendere plea to endangering the welfare of a child, in violation of 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. §

4304, lacked any factual finding of sexual abuse, and the father was not found guilty of a crime under 18 Pa. Cons. Stat.

§§ 3101-3129, the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare erred in finding that the nolo contendere plea formed a

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proper basis for a "founded report" of child abuse. R.F. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 845 A.2d 214, 2004 Pa. Commw.

LEXIS 151 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2004).

32. Order denying the minor's request to expunge an indicated report of child abuse naming the minor as perpetrator

was affirmed where the record contained substantial evidence to support the finding of sexual abuse committed against

the victim by the minor; (1) the victim's out-of-court hearsay statements were properly admitted where the time and

circumstances under which they were made provided sufficient indicia of their reliability, (2) the victim's brother was

properly found competent to serve as a witness, and (3) a pediatric specialist found, during examination of the victim,

six or seven individual scratches around the victim's anus, which were 24 to 48 hours old, and were consistent with a

forced, penetrating trauma to the anus. A.O. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 838 A.2d 35, 2003 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 917 (Pa.

Commw. Ct. 2003).

33. Substantial evidence did not exist to support the indicated report of child abuse where the Department of Public

Welfare did not meet its burden of establishing that the employee committed child abuse by failure to act; it could not

be determined if the employee acted improperly during the course of events, and there was no evidence in the record to

support the assumption that the employee had actual knowledge of the attacker's behavioral background. L.S. v. Dep't of

Pub. Welfare, 828 A.2d 480, 2003 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 505 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2003).

34. Where a child received a spanking that approached the edge of child abuse, but the evidence presented failed to sup-

port a finding that the child suffered "severe pain" or "substantial impairment" pursuant to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6303(a)

and (b)(1)(i), or that the spanking was inflicted with malicious intent, the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare,

Office of Hearings and Appeals erred by not expunging an abuse report. J. B. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 824 A.2d 342,

2003 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 252 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2003), appeal denied by 575 Pa. 689, 834 A.2d 1144, 2003 Pa. LEXIS

1870 (2003).

35. In an administrative hearing regarding a mother's request to expunge a report that she abused her child, the county

did not meet its burden of proving either neglect, as there was no evidence of serious physical neglect constituting pro-

longed or repeated lack of supervision or failure to provide essentials of life, nor of proving nonaccidental injury; the

evidence did not support the required conclusion that there was a serious injury. R.P. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 820 A.2d

882, 2003 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 230 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2003).

36. Mother's record of child abuse was expunged because her leaving her infant unattended in a bunk bed for 15 min-

utes while she prepared its bottle, during which time the infant died when it got its head stuck, did not constitute child

abuse. C.F. v. Pa. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 804 A.2d 755, 2002 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 748 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2002).

37. Where a mother left her infant unattended in a bunk bed for 15 minutes while she prepared its bottle, and the child

had got his head stuck between the edge of the mattress and the bed frame and died, her conduct did not meet the defini-

tion of child abuse set forth at 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303(b)(1)(i), which only targeted nonaccidental events. C.F. v.

Pa. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 804 A.2d 755, 2002 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 748 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2002).

38. Where a child suffers serious injury from corporal punishment, whether the injury resulted from abuse versus acci-

dent depends on a showing, by the agency, through substantial evidence, that the injury resulted from criminal negli-

gence. P.R. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 569 Pa. 123, 801 A.2d 478, 2002 Pa. LEXIS 1443 (2002).

39. "Child abuse" is defined in 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303(b), a provision of the Child Protective Services Act, 23

Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6301 et seq. P.R. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 569 Pa. 123, 801 A.2d 478, 2002 Pa. LEXIS 1443

(2002).

40. Based on 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6302(a), (b), (c), 6331, 6340, and interpreting the word "accidental," as used in

23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303 (later amended), in light of the rules of construction provided by 1 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann.

§§ 1903, 1921(c), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania determined that any definition of accident in the context of an

allegation of child abuse had to encompass the aims of preventing abuse and identifying perpetrators of abuse, while

simultaneously maintaining the acknowledged right of parents to exercise corporal punishment as a legitimate means of

discipline. P.R. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 569 Pa. 123, 801 A.2d 478, 2002 Pa. LEXIS 1443 (2002).

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                                                                                                                      Page 14

41. In cases where a child suffers a serious injury arising from the administration of corporal punishment, a finding that

the injury resulted from child abuse, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303(b), versus accident will depend upon a showing, by

the agency in question, through substantial evidence, that the injury resulted from criminal negligence as defined in 18

Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 302(b)(4) . P.R. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 569 Pa. 123, 801 A.2d 478, 2002 Pa. LEXIS 1443

(2002).

42. Although a mother, while using a belt to administer corporal punishment to her child, had accidentally struck the

child in the eye and injured her so seriously that surgery was required, the mother's request, under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat.

Ann. § 6341 , for expungement of an "indicated report" of child abuse, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303, which, pursuant

to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6331, 6338, had been submitted to the statewide register of child abuse, should have been

granted because there had been no showing by the Department of Public Welfare (Pennsylvania) amounting to substan-

tial evidence that the injury resulted from criminal negligence, as defined in 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 302(b)(4). P.R. v.

Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 569 Pa. 123, 801 A.2d 478, 2002 Pa. LEXIS 1443 (2002).

43. In 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303, the Child Protective Services Act, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6301 et seq., de-

fines "serious physical injury" as "an injury that (1) causes a child severe pain, or (2) significantly impairs a child's

physical functioning, either temporarily or permanently. P.R. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 569 Pa. 123, 801 A.2d 478, 2002

Pa. LEXIS 1443 (2002).

44. Trial court erred in denying the mother's request to have a child abuse report expunged because the welfare depart-

ment did not prove that the daughter experienced severe pain as required by 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6303 after the mother

accidentally struck her daughter's legs with a belt. L.A.J. v. Department of Pub. Welfare, 726 A.2d 1133, 1999 Pa.

Commw. LEXIS 175 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1999).

45. Where a child died of complications related to the onset of diabetes acidosis, her family having been members of a

religion in which illnesses were addressed through spiritual treatment rather than by medicine, even though the Child

Protective Services Act, specifically 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303(b)(3), exempted parents who utilized spiritual

treatment for their children from characterization as child abusers, they could not successfully argue that they did not

have sufficient notice that their spiritual treatment of their daughter could be criminal under the involuntary manslaugh-

ter statute, 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 2504; while the parents were not considered child abusers for treating their children

through spiritual healing, when their otherwise lawful course of conduct led to a child's death, they were guilty of invol-

untary manslaughter. Commonwealth v. Nixon, 718 A.2d 311, 1998 Pa. Super. LEXIS 2858 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1998), af-

firmed by 563 Pa. 425, 761 A.2d 1151, 2000 Pa. LEXIS 2816 (2000).

46. In a child abuse proceeding, the lower court properly determined that mother's repetitive and and frivolous petitions

for protection from child abuse constituted a blatant misuse of the Protection From Abuse Act, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. §

6101 et seq., because there was insufficient evidence to substantiate a claim of child abuse relating to accidental injury

under the definition of child abuse provided in 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6303(b)(1)(iv). Egelman ex rel. Egelman v. Egel-

man, 35 Phila. 445, 1998 Phila. Cty. Rptr. LEXIS 61 (Pa. C.P. 1998), superseded by 1999 PA Super 57, 728 A.2d 360,

1999 Pa. Super. LEXIS 195 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1999).

47. No clear and convincing evidence was presented that an infant child who had a medical history of apnea was the

victim of "abuse" by one or both parents, as such term is defined by 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303(b)(1)(i), or that the

injuries sustained by the child were non-accidental; in fact, the medical testimony, and the testimony of the county chil-

dren and youth services suggested that the child's injuries were accidental and were inflicted when the child was being

resuscitated by the father and emergency medical service workers. In re C.R.S., 696 A.2d 840, 1997 Pa. Super. LEXIS

1617 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1997).

48. Procedure that allowed defendant's name to be placed on a statewide child abuse registry without any adjudication,

without producing the victim, any independent corroborative evidence, or any recording or a verbatim transcript of the

victim's statement denied procedural due process. A.Y. v. Department of Pub. Welfare, 537 Pa. 116, 641 A.2d 1148,

1994 Pa. LEXIS 149 (1994).

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                                                                                                                      Page 15

49. Evidence that a child suffered injury from abuse inflicted by his mother's paramour was sufficient to support a peti-

tion to declare the child a dependent child under the Child Protective Service Law, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303. In re

B.B., 424 Pa. Super. 399, 622 A.2d 979, 1993 Pa. Super. LEXIS 1096 (1993).

50. Father who struck his daughter twice with a telephone receiver producing bruises and pain committed "child abuse"

within the meaning of the Child Protective Services Law, former 11 P.S. § 2203 (now Pa.C.S. § 6303). J.L. v. Com-

monwealth, Dep't of Public Welfare, 133 Pa. Commw. 185, 575 A.2d 643, 1990 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 291 (1990).

51. In a case where a boyfriend had spanked his girlfriend's 20-month old child while babysitting, the picture of the

child following the incident indicating multiple bruises of the buttocks was sufficient evidence to support a finding that

the child had, as a result of the incident, suffered injuries which caused him severe pain that constituted serious physical

injury constituting child abuse under former 11 P.S. § 2203 (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6303). D.N. v. Commonwealth, Dep't of

Public Welfare, 127 Pa. Commw. 580, 562 A.2d 433, 1989 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 523 (1989).

52. Former 11 P.S. § 2203 (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6303) provides that sexual abuse is defined by the law as the obscene or

pornographic photographing, filming or depiction of children for commercial purposes, or the rape, molestation, incest,

prostitution, or other such forms of sexual exploitation of children under circumstances which indicate that the child's

health and welfare is harmed or threatened thereby, as determined in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Sec-

retary. J.S. v. Commonwealth, Dep't of Public Welfare, 125 Pa. Commw. 168, 557 A.2d 801, 1989 Pa. Commw. LEXIS

270 (1989), reversed by 528 Pa. 243, 596 A.2d 1114, 1991 Pa. LEXIS 201 (1991).

53. The trial court properly denied denied the adoptive parents' request to expunge an indicated report of child abuse

pursuant to former 11 P.S. § 2203 (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6303) because the Department of Public Welfare's presentation of

medical evidence in support of the indicated report of child abuse constituted substantial evidence. K. & L. N. v. Com-

monwealth, Dep't of Public Welfare, 123 Pa. Commw. 634, 554 A.2d 994, 1989 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 115 (1989), appeal

denied by 524 Pa. 600, 568 A.2d 1250 (1989).

54. Hearing officer's recommendation to expunge three "indicated reports" as defined by former 11 P.S. § 2203 (now 23

Pa.C.S. § 6303) contained no error at law and was supported by substantial evidence; the hearing officer weighed the

evidence and found that it did not preponderate in favor of a finding of sexual abuse because the children were manipu-

lated into making suggestive statements and the claims of sexual abuse were fabricated, and such determination as to the

weight of and credibility of the evidence were matters solely within the province of the factfinding agency. Children &

Youth Services Div., Dep't of Human Services v. Commonwealth, Dep't of Public Welfare, 103 Pa. Commw. 616, 103

Pa. Commw. 617, 520 A.2d 1246, 1987 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 1931 (1987).

55. "Unfounded" is a term of art under the Child Protective Services Law, former 11 P.S. § 2201 et seq. (now 23 Pa.

Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6301 et seq.); a report of child abuse is deemed "unfounded" when there is neither a judicial adjudica-

tion based on a finding that a child who is a subject of the report has been abused, nor substantial evidence before the

appropriate child protective service of the alleged abuse based on available medical evidence and the child protective

service investigation or an admission of the acts of abuse by the child's parent or person responsible for the child's wel-

fare. Commonwealth v. Davies, 279 Pa. Super. 435, 421 A.2d 278, 1980 Pa. Super. LEXIS 2810 (1980).

56. Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare properly reversed an order of the Pennsylvania Bureau

of Hearings and Appeals adopting the recommendation of an ALJ that an indicated report of child abuse by a paramour

be expunged as 23 Pa.C.S. § 6381(d) created a rebuttable presumption that the parents or those who were responsible

for the child's welfare were the ones that inflicted the child abuse and only the abuse itself had to be established in the

case of an indicated child abuse by prima facie evidence. J. B. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 898 A.2d 1221, 2006 Pa.

Commw. LEXIS 242 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2006).

57. In an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim where plaintiffs alleged that school administrators had inten-

tionally failed to report a teacher for incidents against other children, the court held that the administrators did not have

a duty to report under the Child Protective Services Act. The alleged incidents, which involved conduct such as yelling

at students and grabbing them by the arm, did not involve serious bodily injuries under 23 Pa.C.S. §§ 6303 and 6353(a)

that would have required the administrators to make a report. Pursel v. McCartney, 2006 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS

260 (Feb. 15, 2006).

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                                                                                                                      Page 16

58. Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare properly reversed an order of the Pennsylvania Bureau

of Hearings and Appeals adopting the recommendation of an ALJ that an indicated report of child abuse by a paramour

be expunged as 23 Pa.C.S. § 6381(d) created a rebuttable presumption that the parents or those who were responsible

for the child's welfare were the ones that inflicted the child abuse and only the abuse itself had to be established in the

case of an indicated child abuse by prima facie evidence. J. B. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 898 A.2d 1221, 2006 Pa.

Commw. LEXIS 242 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2006).

59. Based on 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6302(a), (b), (c), 6331, 6340, and interpreting the word "accidental," as used in

23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303 (later amended), in light of the rules of construction provided by 1 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann.

§§ 1903, 1921(c), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania determined that any definition of accident in the context of an

allegation of child abuse had to encompass the aims of preventing abuse and identifying perpetrators of abuse, while

simultaneously maintaining the acknowledged right of parents to exercise corporal punishment as a legitimate means of

discipline. P.R. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 569 Pa. 123, 801 A.2d 478, 2002 Pa. LEXIS 1443 (2002).

60. Where an agency report found substantial evidence of child abuse under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6303(a) by the claimant in an

incident that occurred with a client while the claimant was working as a residential treatment facility, the report did not

constitute willful misconduct that per se disqualified the claimant from unemployment under 43 P.S. § 802(e); there was

no other evidence of willful misconduct, as the claimant and coworker who witnessed the incident denied that the

claimant abused a client. Woods Servs. v. Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Review, 885 A.2d 630, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS

630 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005).

§ 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 report-

ing 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 con-

fidential 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 ap-

ply 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 ad-

ministrator, school teacher, school nurse, social services worker, day-care center worker or any other child-care or fos-

ter-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 respon-

sibility and have the legal obligation to report or cause a report to be made in accordance with section 6313. This chap-

ter 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 dis-

criminated 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 discrimina-

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                                                                                                                       Page 17

tion 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 compen-

sation, 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 un-

der this subsection.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.;  Act 2006-179 (S.B. 1054), § 3, approved Nov. 29, 2006, eff. in 180 days.

CASE NOTES

1. Although a patient's psychotherapist and the affiliated health care facility was not subject to the reporting require-

ments for suspected child abuse set forth at 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6311(a) of the Child Protective Services Law

(CPSL) because the psychotherapist never came into contact with the abused child, the psychotherapist acted in good

faith when he informed the coroner of the circumstances of homicide surrounding the death of the patient's infant son, in

that the psychotherapist's interest was to carry out his duties under the CPSL and prevent any further abuse to the re-

maining child in the patient's home; thus, the lower court correctly concluded that the psychotherapist and facility were

entitled to immunity under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6318(a) of the CPSL. Fewell v. Besner, 444 Pa. Super. 559, 664

A.2d 577, 1995 Pa. Super. LEXIS 2638 (1995).

2. Church was not liable for parents' injuries for sexual abuse of their child by the church's senior minister because no

proof was submitted to show that the church failed to act with reasonable care in hiring or supervising the minister who

legally caused their child's injuries. R.A. by & Through N.A. v. First Church of Christ, 2000 PA Super 58, 748 A.2d 692,

2000 Pa. Super. LEXIS 195 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2000), appeal denied by 563 Pa. 689, 760 A.2d 855, 2000 Pa. LEXIS 2106

(2000).

3. Under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6311, the child protective services unit was compelled to investigate and evaluate all re-

ports of suspected child abuse that it received. Commonwealth v. Nester, 551 Pa. 157, 709 A.2d 879, 1998 Pa. LEXIS

522 (1998).

4. Defendant's confession admitting to sexually assaulting his stepsister required suppression because when the state-

ments were made, defendant was confined to a juvenile detention facility and was not free to leave, defendant never was

informed that his counselors, to whom he confessed, were mandatory reporters under the Child Protective Services Act,

23 Pa.C.S. § 6311, defendant did not have the assistance of counsel, and the questioning was specifically designed to

elicit the incriminating statements. Commonwealth v. Smith, 71 Pa. D. & C.4th 311, 2004 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS

110 (2004).

5. Defendant's confession admitting to sexually assaulting his stepsister required suppression because when the state-

ments were made, defendant was confined to a juvenile detention facility and was not free to leave, defendant never was

informed that his counselors, to whom he confessed, were mandatory reporters under the Child Protective Services Act,

23 Pa.C.S. § 6311, defendant did not have the assistance of counsel, and the questioning was specifically designed to

elicit the incriminating statements. Commonwealth v. Smith, 71 Pa. D. & C.4th 311, 2004 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS

110 (2004).

6. Sexual abuse victim's attempt to bring a claim against a Catholic Archdiocese, two Cardinals, a Catholic high school

and others under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6311(a) for their failure to report incidents of sexual abuse of the victim by a priest failed

because at the time the incidents occurred, the victim was no longer a minor, and therefore, 23 Pa.C.S. § 6311(a) did not

apply. Baselice v. Franciscan Friars Assumption BVM Province, 2005 PA Super 246, 879 A.2d 270, 2005 Pa. Super.

LEXIS 1587 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2005), appeal denied by 586 Pa. 733, 891 A.2d 729, 2005 Pa. LEXIS 2986 (2005).

7. As the 1994 amendment to the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law (PCPSL), 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6311 et

seq., which added clergy to the category of persons required to report suspected abuse, did not apply retroactively,

plaintiffs' claims against a diocese and bishop based on an violation of the PCPSL which allegedly occurred before the

date of the amendment was dismissed. A.L.M. v. Diocese of Allentown, 68 Pa. D. & C.4th 111, 2004 Pa. Dist. & Cnty.

Dec. LEXIS 231 (2004).

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                                                                                                                      Page 18

8. Amendment to the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law (PCPSL), 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6311 et seq., which in

1994 added clergy to the category of persons required to report suspected abuse, did not apply retroactively because

there was no indication that the legislature intended it to. A.L.M. v. Diocese of Allentown, 68 Pa. D. & C.4th 111, 2004

Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 231 (2004).

9. Where parents refused to supply hospital staff with information regarding post-natal care arrangements for the par-

ents' premature infant, and the hospital reported the matter to child protective services for investigation, the hospital and

staff acted in conformity with the requirements of the Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6311, they

were presumed to have acted in good faith to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6318, they were immune from liability for defama-

tion. Jones v. Snyder, 714 A.2d 453, 1998 Pa. Super. LEXIS 1094 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1998).

10. Where a volunteer for a social service agency sexually molested a child victim, the agency's failure to report a prior

allegation of the volunteer's assault on an agency client did not violate any duty to the child victim under the Child Pro-

tective Services Act, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6311, and such failure was not negligence per se, because the child victim was

not a client of the agency and thus not within the class protected by § 6311. J.E.J. v. Tri-County Big Brothers--ig Sis-

ters, 692 A.2d 582, 1997 Pa. Super. LEXIS 800 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1997).

11. Although a patient's psychotherapist and the affiliated health care facility was not subject to the reporting require-

ments for suspected child abuse set forth at 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6311(a) of the Child Protective Services Law

(CPSL) because the psychotherapist never came into contact with the abused child, the psychotherapist acted in good

faith when he informed the coroner of the circumstances of homicide surrounding the death of the patient's infant son, in

that the psychotherapist's interest was to carry out his duties under the CPSL and prevent any further abuse to the re-

maining child in the patient's home; thus, the lower court correctly concluded that the psychotherapist and facility were

entitled to immunity under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6318(a) of the CPSL. Fewell v. Besner, 444 Pa. Super. 559, 664

A.2d 577, 1995 Pa. Super. LEXIS 2638 (1995).

12. Hospital compensation was reversed where the court determined that the hospital acted in a proper and timely man-

ner in reporting an instance of suspected child abuse pursuant to the Child Protective Services law, former 11 P.S. §

2201 et seq. (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6301 et seq.), and could not be faulted for subsequent delays where it did not fail to in-

form the department of the need for future placement. St. Christopher's Hospital for Children v. Commonwealth, Dep't

of Public Welfare, 30 Pa. Commw. 88, 372 A.2d 504, 1977 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 827 (1977).

13. In a case stemming from sexual abuse of a minor by a priest, the minor's claims of negligence per se against a dio-

cese and certain church officials was not subject to summary judgment because a reasonable jury could conclude that

the diocese and church officials violated 23 Pa.C.S. § 6311, a statute requiring clergy, among others, to report suspected

child abuse. There was sufficient evidence to support the conclusion that these defendants had reasonable cause to sus-

pect that the priest was sexually abusing the minor. Doe v. Liberatore, 478 F. Supp. 2d 742, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS

19067, 67 Fed. R. Serv. 3d (Callaghan) 845 (M.D. Pa. 2007).

14. As the 1994 amendment to the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law (PCPSL), 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6311 et

seq., which added clergy to the category of persons required to report suspected abuse, did not apply retroactively,

plaintiffs' claims against a diocese and bishop based on an violation of the PCPSL which allegedly occurred before the

date of the amendment was dismissed. A.L.M. v. Diocese of Allentown, 68 Pa. D. & C.4th 111, 2004 Pa. Dist. & Cnty.

Dec. LEXIS 231 (2004).

15. Amendment to the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law (PCPSL), 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6311 et seq., which

in 1994 added clergy to the category of persons required to report suspected abuse, did not apply retroactively because

there was no indication that the legislature intended it to. A.L.M. v. Diocese of Allentown, 68 Pa. D. & C.4th 111, 2004

Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 231 (2004).

16. Where parents refused to supply hospital staff with information regarding post-natal care arrangements for the par-

ents' premature infant, and the hospital reported the matter to child protective services for investigation, the hospital and

staff acted in conformity with the requirements of the Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6311, they

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                                                                                                                        Page 19

were presumed to have acted in good faith to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6318, they were immune from liability for defama-

tion. Jones v. Snyder, 714 A.2d 453, 1998 Pa. Super. LEXIS 1094 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1998).

17. The director of a program that provided services to the mentally retarded, who was fired for making telephone calls

to other employees urging them to report incidents of child abuse as required by former 11 Pa.C.S. § 2204 (now 23

Pa.C.S. § 6311), was entitled to further fact-finding to determine her motive for making the calls before she could be

terminated for to "willful misconduct" under 43 Pa.C.S. § 802(e). Groskin v. Commonwealth, Unemployment Compen-

sation Bd. of Review, 103 Pa. Commw. 138, 519 A.2d 1098, 1987 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 1885 (1987).

18. Hospital compensation was reversed where the court determined that the hospital acted in a proper and timely man-

ner in reporting an instance of suspected child abuse pursuant to the Child Protective Services law, former 11 P.S. §

2201 et seq. (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6301 et seq.), and could not be faulted for subsequent delays where it did not fail to in-

form the department of the need for future placement. St. Christopher's Hospital for Children v. Commonwealth, Dep't

of Public Welfare, 30 Pa. Commw. 88, 372 A.2d 504, 1977 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 827 (1977).

19. Church was not liable for parents' injuries for sexual abuse of their child by the church's senior minister because no

proof was submitted to show that the church failed to act with reasonable care in hiring or supervising the minister who

legally caused their child's injuries. R.A. by & Through N.A. v. First Church of Christ, 2000 PA Super 58, 748 A.2d 692,

2000 Pa. Super. LEXIS 195 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2000), appeal denied by 563 Pa. 689, 760 A.2d 855, 2000 Pa. LEXIS 2106

(2000).

20. Where social worker reported minor's alleged sexual abuse by her parents, and pursuant to that report, minor was

referred to a psychiatrist, psychiatrist did not violate a duty of care owed to patient's parents when he failed to diagnose

that his patient had an inability to differentiate between fact and fantasy until after criminal proceedings had com-

menced and the family had been split apart. Althaus v. Cohen, 562 Pa. 547, 756 A.2d 1166, 2000 Pa. LEXIS 2017

(2000).

21. In a case stemming from sexual abuse of a minor by a priest, the minor's claims of negligence per se against a dio-

cese and certain church officials was not subject to summary judgment because a reasonable jury could conclude that

the diocese and church officials violated 23 Pa.C.S. § 6311, a statute requiring clergy, among others, to report suspected

child abuse. There was sufficient evidence to support the conclusion that these defendants had reasonable cause to sus-

pect that the priest was sexually abusing the minor. Doe v. Liberatore, 478 F. Supp. 2d 742, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS

19067, 67 Fed. R. Serv. 3d (Callaghan) 845 (M.D. Pa. 2007).

§ 6312.  Persons permitted to report suspected child abuse

  In addition to those persons and officials required to report suspected child abuse, any person may make such a report

if that person has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is an abused child.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days.

§ 6313.  Reporting procedure

   (a) GENERAL RULE.-- Reports from persons required to report under section 6311 (relating to persons required to

report suspected child abuse) shall be made immediately by telephone and in writing within 48 hours after the oral re-

port.

  (b) ORAL REPORTS.-- Oral reports shall be made to the department pursuant to Subchapter C (relating to powers

and duties of department) and may be made to the appropriate county agency. When oral reports of suspected child

abuse are initially received at the county agency, the protective services staff shall, after seeing to the immediate safety

of the child and other children in the home, immediately notify the department of the receipt of the report, which is to be

held in the pending complaint file as provided in Subchapter C. The initial child abuse report summary shall be supple-

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                                                                                                                        Page 20

mented with a written report when a determination is made as to whether a report of suspected child abuse is a founded

report, an unfounded report or an indicated report.

  (c) WRITTEN REPORTS.-- Written reports from persons required to report under section 6311 shall be made to the

appropriate county agency in a manner and on forms the department prescribes by regulation. The written reports shall

include the following information if available:

  (1) The names and addresses of the child and the parents or other  person responsible for the care of the child if

known.

  (2) Where the suspected abuse occurred.

  (3) The age and sex of the subjects of the report.

  (4) The nature and extent of the suspected child abuse, including any evidence of prior abuse to the child or siblings of

the child.

  (5) The name and relationship of the person or persons responsible for causing the suspected abuse, if known, and any

evidence of prior abuse by that person or persons.

  (6) Family composition.

  (7) The source of the report.

  (8) The person making the report and where that person can be reached.

  (9) The actions taken by the reporting source, including the taking of  photographs and X-rays, removal or keeping of

the child or notifying  the medical examiner or coroner.

  (10) Any other information which the department may require by regulation.

  (d) FAILURE TO CONFIRM ORAL REPORT.-- The failure of a person reporting cases of suspected child abuse to

confirm an oral report in writing within 48 hours shall not relieve the county agency from any duties prescribed by this

chapter. In such event, the county agency shall proceed as if a written report were actually made.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

CASE NOTES

1. Where a jury convicted defendant of 61 sexual assault offenses that were corroborated with gynecological proof with

regard to the three daughters of his girlfriend, which abuse occurred systematically over several years, defendant failed

to demonstrate a reasonable probability that the outcome of his criminal trial would have been different if his counsel

had been granted direct access to the County Children and Youth Service records to review the reports; therefore, his

post-conviction argument that he received ineffective trial counsel for his counsel's failure to obtain such records was

found meritless. Commonwealth v. Parmelee, 74 Pa. D. & C.4th 62, 2005 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 112 (2005).

2. Where a jury convicted defendant of 61 sexual assault offenses that were corroborated with gynecological proof with

regard to the three daughters of his girlfriend, which abuse occurred systematically over several years, defendant failed

to demonstrate a reasonable probability that the outcome of his criminal trial would have been different if his counsel

had been granted direct access to the County Children and Youth Service records to review the reports; therefore, his

post-conviction argument that he received ineffective trial counsel for his counsel's failure to obtain such records was

found meritless. Commonwealth v. Parmelee, 74 Pa. D. & C.4th 62, 2005 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 112 (2005).

3. Where a jury convicted defendant of 61 sexual assault offenses that were corroborated with gynecological proof with

regard to the three daughters of his girlfriend, which abuse occurred systematically over several years, defendant failed

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                                                                                                                       Page 21

to demonstrate a reasonable probability that the outcome of his criminal trial would have been different if his counsel

had been granted direct access to the County Children and Youth Service records to review the reports; therefore, his

post-conviction argument that he received ineffective trial counsel for his counsel's failure to obtain such records was

found meritless. Commonwealth v. Parmelee, 74 Pa. D. & C.4th 62, 2005 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 112 (2005).

§ 6314.  Photographs, medical tests and X-rays of child subject to report

  A person or official required to report cases of suspected child abuse may take or cause to be taken photographs of the

child who is subject to a report and, if clinically indicated, cause to be performed a radiological examination and other

medical tests on the child. Medical summaries or reports of the photographs, X-rays and relevant medical tests taken

shall be sent to the county agency at the time the written report is sent or as soon thereafter as possible. The county

agency shall have access to actual photographs or duplicates and X-rays and may obtain them or duplicates of them

upon request.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

§ 6315.  Taking child into protective custody

   (a) GENERAL RULE.-- A child may be taken into protective custody:

  (1) As provided by 42 Pa.C.S. § 6324 (relating to taking into custody).

  (2) By a physician examining or treating the child or by the director, or a person specifically designated in writing by

the director, of any hospital or other medical institution where the child is being treated if protective custody is immedi-

ately necessary to protect the child under this chapter.

  (3) By a physician or the director, or a person specifically designated by the director, of a hospital pursuant to Chapter

65 (relating to newborn protection) if the child is a newborn.

  (b) DURATION OF CUSTODY.-- No child may be held in protective custody for more than 24 hours unless the ap-

propriate county agency is immediately notified that the child has been taken into custody and the county agency ob-

tains an order from a court of competent jurisdiction permitting the child to be held in custody for a longer period. Each

court shall insure that a judge is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to accept and decide the actions brought by a

county agency under this subsection within the 24-hour period.

  (c) NOTICE OF CUSTODY.--

  (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), an individual taking a child into protective custody under this chapter shall

immediately, and within 24 hours in writing, notify the parent, guardian or other custodian of the child of the where-

abouts of the child, unless prohibited by court order, and the reasons for the need to take the child into protective cus-

tody and shall immediately notify the appropriate county agency in order that proceedings under 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (re-

lating to juvenile matters) may be initiated, if appropriate.

  (2) In the case of a newborn taken into protective custody pursuant to subsection (a)(3), the county agency shall within

24 hours make diligent efforts to notify a parent, guardian, custodian or other family member of the whereabouts of the

newborn, unless prohibited by court order, and the reasons for the need to take the newborn into protective custody.

  (d) INFORMAL HEARING.-- In no case shall protective custody under this chapter be maintained longer than 72

hours without an informal hearing under 42 Pa.C.S. § 6332 (relating to informal hearing). If, at the hearing, it is deter-

mined that protective custody shall be continued and the child is alleged to be without proper parental care or control or

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                                                                                                                       Page 22

                                                      23 Pa.C.S. § 6316

is alleged to be a dependent child under 42 Pa.C.S. § 6302 (relating to definitions), the county agency shall within 48

hours file a petition with the court under 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 alleging that the child is a dependent child.

  (e) PLACE OF DETENTION.-- No child taken into protective custody under this chapter may be detained during the

protective custody except in an appropriate medical facility, foster home or other appropriate facility approved by the

department for this purpose.

  (f) CONFERENCE WITH PARENT OR OTHER CUSTODIAN.-- A conference between the parent, guardian or

other custodian of the child taken into temporary protective custody pursuant to this section and the employee desig-

nated by the county agency to be responsible for the child shall be held within 48 hours of the time that the child is

taken into custody for the purpose of:

  (1) Explaining to the parent, guardian or other custodian the reasons for the temporary detention of the child and the

whereabouts of the child, unless prohibited by court order.

  (2) Expediting, wherever possible, the return of the child to the custody of the parent, guardian or other custodian

where custody is no longer necessary.

  (3) Explaining to the parent, guardian or other custodian the rights provided for under 42 Pa.C.S. § 6337 (relating to

right to counsel) and  6338 (relating to other basic rights).

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995;  Act 2002-201 (S.B. 654), § 3, approved Dec. 9, 2002, eff. in 60 days.

CASE NOTES

1. Court declined to reconsider its order, which granted judgment as a matter of law under Fed. R. Civ. P. 50(a) to a

county children and youth services agency employee as to a mother's due process violation claim; the mother was not

entitled to a post-deprivation hearing under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6315 because the child was not placed in the agency's custody

but was instead placed with his grandmother for protection pending further proceedings in the matter. Brown v. Daniels,

2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45274 (E.D. Pa. June 15 2006).

2. Mere fact that a post-deprivation hearing is not held within 72 hours after a child is removed from a parent's home

does not automatically mean that the parent's constitutional due process rights have been violated; 72-hour hearing does

not have to be held pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 6315 unless the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has taken actual physical

custody of the child and placed the child in an appropriate medical facility, foster home, or other approved facility.

Brown v. Daniels, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45274 (E.D. Pa. June 15 2006).

3. Court declined to reconsider its order, which granted judgment as a matter of law under Fed. R. Civ. P. 50(a) to a

county children and youth services agency employee as to a mother's due process violation claim; the mother was not

entitled to a post-deprivation hearing under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6315 because the child was not placed in the agency's custody

but was instead placed with his grandmother for protection pending further proceedings in the matter. Brown v. Daniels,

2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45274 (E.D. Pa. June 15 2006).

4. Child abuse was established by clear and convincing evidence where four doctors corroborated severe injuries to the

child, and the parents were found to be abusers by prima facie evidence where they were the child's caretakers; child

could be taken into protective custody under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6315(A). In the Interest of J.R.W., 428 Pa. Super. 597, 631

A.2d 1019, 1993 Pa. Super. LEXIS 3141 (1993).

5. Child abuse was established by clear and convincing evidence where four doctors corroborated severe injuries to the

child, and the parents were found to be abusers by prima facie evidence where they were the child's caretakers; child

could be taken into protective custody under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6315(A). In the Interest of J.R.W., 428 Pa. Super. 597, 631

A.2d 1019, 1993 Pa. Super. LEXIS 3141 (1993).

6. Where the children and youth services agency failed to comply with multiple procedures under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. §

6315, the trial court refused to craft a remedy to address these errors, because physical custody of the child was subse-

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                                                      23 Pa.C.S. § 6316

quently restored to the parents, and there was no evidence of caprice or bad faith on the part of the agency. In the Inter-

est of R.M., 567 Pa. 646, 790 A.2d 300, 2002 Pa. LEXIS 322 (2002).

7. Mere fact that a post-deprivation hearing is not held within 72 hours after a child is removed from a parent's home

does not automatically mean that the parent's constitutional due process rights have been violated; 72-hour hearing does

not have to be held pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 6315 unless the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has taken actual physical

custody of the child and placed the child in an appropriate medical facility, foster home, or other approved facility.

Brown v. Daniels, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45274 (E.D. Pa. June 15 2006).

8. Court declined to reconsider its order, which granted judgment as a matter of law under Fed. R. Civ. P. 50(a) to a

county children and youth services agency employee as to a mother's due process violation claim; the mother was not

entitled to a post-deprivation hearing under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6315 because the child was not placed in the agency's custody

but was instead placed with his grandmother for protection pending further proceedings in the matter. Brown v. Daniels,

2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45274 (E.D. Pa. June 15 2006).

§ 6316.  Admission to private and public hospitals

   (a) GENERAL RULE.-- Children appearing to suffer any physical or mental condition which may constitute child

abuse shall be admitted to, treated and maintained in facilities of private and public hospitals on the basis of medical

need and shall not be refused or deprived in any way of proper medical treatment and care.

  (A.1) NEWBORNS.-- A newborn taken into protective custody pursuant to section 6315(a)(3) (relating to taking child

into protective custody) shall be admitted to, treated and maintained in facilities of public and private hospitals on the

basis of medical need and shall not be refused or deprived in any way of proper medical treatment and care. Once a

newborn is taken into protective custody pursuant to section 6315(a)(3), the newborn shall be considered immediately

eligible for Medicaid for payment of medical services provided. Until otherwise provided by court order, the county

agency shall assume the responsibility for making decisions regarding the newborn's medical care.

  (b) FAILURE OF HOSPITAL TO ADMIT CHILD OR NEWBORN.-- The failure of a hospital to admit and properly

treat and care for a child pursuant to subsection (a) or (a.1) shall be cause for the department to order immediate admit-

tance, treatment and care by the hospital which shall be enforceable, if necessary, by the prompt institution of a civil

action by the department. The child, through an attorney, shall also have the additional and independent right to seek

immediate injunctive relief and institute an appropriate civil action for damages against the hospital.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995;  Act 2002-201 (S.B. 654), § 4, approved Dec. 9, 2002, eff. in 60 days.

§ 6317.  Mandatory reporting and postmortem investigation of deaths

  A person or official required to report cases of suspected child abuse, including employees of a county agency, who

has reasonable cause to suspect that a child died as a result of child abuse shall report that suspicion to the appropriate

coroner. The coroner shall accept the report for investigation and shall report his finding to the police, the district attor-

ney, the appropriate county agency and, if the report is made by a hospital, the hospital.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

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                                                      23 Pa.C.S. § 6331

§ 6318.  Immunity from liability

   (a) GENERAL RULE.-- A person, hospital, institution, school, facility, agency or agency employee that participates

in good faith in the making of a report, whether required or not, cooperating with an investigation, testifying in a pro-

ceeding arising out of an instance of suspected child abuse, the taking of photographs or the removal or keeping of a

child pursuant to section 6315 (relating to taking child into protective custody), and any official or employee of a county

agency who refers a report of suspected abuse to law enforcement authorities or provides services under this chapter,

shall have immunity from civil and criminal liability that might otherwise result by reason of those actions.

  (b) PRESUMPTION OF GOOD FAITH.-- For the purpose of any civil or criminal proceeding, the good faith of a

person required to report pursuant to section 6311 (relating to persons required to report suspected child abuse) and of

any person required to make a referral to law enforcement officers under this chapter shall be presumed.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.;  Act 2006-179 (S.B. 1054), § 3, approved Nov. 29, 2006, eff. in 60 days.

CASE NOTES

1. Although a patient's psychotherapist and the affiliated health care facility was not subject to the reporting require-

ments for suspected child abuse set forth at 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6311(a) of the Child Protective Services Law

(CPSL) because the psychotherapist never came into contact with the abused child, the psychotherapist acted in good

faith when he informed the coroner of the circumstances of homicide surrounding the death of the patient's infant son, in

that the psychotherapist's interest was to carry out his duties under the CPSL and prevent any further abuse to the re-

maining child in the patient's home; thus, the lower court correctly concluded that the psychotherapist and facility were

entitled to immunity under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6318(a) of the CPSL. Fewell v. Besner, 444 Pa. Super. 559, 664

A.2d 577, 1995 Pa. Super. LEXIS 2638 (1995).

2. Psychotherapist-patient privilege set forth at 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 5944, as well as the confidentiality provisions

of the Mental Health Procedures Act, specifically 50 P.S. § 7111 et seq., must yield to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §

6318(a), the immunity provision of the Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6311 et seq. Fewell v.

Besner, 444 Pa. Super. 559, 664 A.2d 577, 1995 Pa. Super. LEXIS 2638 (1995).

3. Where parents refused to supply hospital staff with information regarding post-natal care arrangements for the par-

ents' premature infant, and the hospital reported the matter to child protective services for investigation, the hospital and

staff acted in conformity with the requirements of the Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6311, they

were presumed to have acted in good faith, and, pursuant to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6318, they were immune from liability

for defamation. Jones v. Snyder, 714 A.2d 453, 1998 Pa. Super. LEXIS 1094 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1998).

4. Psychotherapist-patient privilege set forth at 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 5944, as well as the confidentiality provisions

of the Mental Health Procedures Act, specifically 50 P.S. § 7111 et seq., must yield to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §

6318(a), the immunity provision of the Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6311 et seq. Fewell v.

Besner, 444 Pa. Super. 559, 664 A.2d 577, 1995 Pa. Super. LEXIS 2638 (1995).

5. Although a patient's psychotherapist and the affiliated health care facility was not subject to the reporting require-

ments for suspected child abuse set forth at 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6311(a) of the Child Protective Services Law

(CPSL) because the psychotherapist never came into contact with the abused child, the psychotherapist acted in good

faith when he informed the coroner of the circumstances of homicide surrounding the death of the patient's infant son, in

that the psychotherapist's interest was to carry out his duties under the CPSL and prevent any further abuse to the re-

maining child in the patient's home; thus, the lower court correctly concluded that the psychotherapist and facility were

entitled to immunity under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6318(a) of the CPSL. Fewell v. Besner, 444 Pa. Super. 559, 664

A.2d 577, 1995 Pa. Super. LEXIS 2638 (1995).

6. Where parents refused to supply hospital staff with information regarding post-natal care arrangements for the par-

ents' premature infant, and the hospital reported the matter to child protective services for investigation, the hospital and

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                                                       23 Pa.C.S. § 6331

staff acted in conformity with the requirements of the Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6311, they

were presumed to have acted in good faith, and, pursuant to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6318, they were immune from liability

for defamation. Jones v. Snyder, 714 A.2d 453, 1998 Pa. Super. LEXIS 1094 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1998).

§ 6319.  Penalties for failure to report or to refer

  A person or official required by this chapter to report a case of suspected child abuse or to make a referral to the ap-

propriate 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.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days.;  Act 2006-179 (S.B. 1054), § 3,

approved Nov. 29, 2006, eff. in 180 days.

§ 6331.  Establishment of pending complaint file, Statewide central register and file of unfounded reports

  There shall be established in the department:

  (1) A pending complaint file of child abuse reports under investigation and a file of reports under investigation pursu-

ant to Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in public and private schools).

  (2) A Statewide central register of child abuse which shall consist of  founded and indicated reports.

  (3) A file of unfounded reports awaiting expunction.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

CASE NOTES

1. Time limit of 60 days for investigating allegations of child abuse under Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law,

23 Pa.C.S. § 6301 et seq., was not unreasonable and the procedure for expunging unfounded reports from central regis-

ter under an earlier version of 23 Pa.C.S. § 6331, was not fatally flawed. Puricelli v. Houston, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS

16085 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 20 1999).

2. Although a mother, while using a belt to administer corporal punishment to her child, had accidentally struck the

child in the eye and injured her so seriously that surgery was required, the mother's request, under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat.

Ann. § 6341 , for expungement of an "indicated report" of child abuse, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303, which, pursuant

to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6331, 6338, had been submitted to the statewide register of child abuse, should have been

granted because there had been no showing by the Department of Public Welfare (Pennsylvania) amounting to substan-

tial evidence that the injury resulted from criminal negligence, as defined in 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 302(b)(4). P.R. v.

Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 569 Pa. 123, 801 A.2d 478, 2002 Pa. LEXIS 1443 (2002).

3. Based on 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6302(a), (b), (c), 6331, 6340, and interpreting the word "accidental," as used in

23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303 (later amended), in light of the rules of construction provided by 1 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann.

§§ 1903, 1921(c), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania determined that any definition of accident in the context of an

allegation of child abuse had to encompass the aims of preventing abuse and identifying perpetrators of abuse, while

simultaneously maintaining the acknowledged right of parents to exercise corporal punishment as a legitimate means of

discipline. P.R. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 569 Pa. 123, 801 A.2d 478, 2002 Pa. LEXIS 1443 (2002).

4. Although a mother, while using a belt to administer corporal punishment to her child, had accidentally struck the

child in the eye and injured her so seriously that surgery was required, the mother's request, under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat.

Ann. § 6341 , for expungement of an "indicated report" of child abuse, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303, which, pursuant

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                                                      23 Pa.C.S. § 6331

to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6331, 6338, had been submitted to the statewide register of child abuse, should have been

granted because there had been no showing by the Department of Public Welfare (Pennsylvania) amounting to substan-

tial evidence that the injury resulted from criminal negligence, as defined in 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 302(b)(4). P.R. v.

Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 569 Pa. 123, 801 A.2d 478, 2002 Pa. LEXIS 1443 (2002).

5. Time limit of 60 days for investigating allegations of child abuse under Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law,

23 Pa.C.S. § 6301 et seq., was not unreasonable and the procedure for expunging unfounded reports from central regis-

ter under an earlier version of 23 Pa.C.S. § 6331, was not fatally flawed. Puricelli v. Houston, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS

16085 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 20 1999).

6. Based on 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6302(a), (b), (c), 6331, 6340, and interpreting the word "accidental," as used in

23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303 (later amended), in light of the rules of construction provided by 1 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann.

§§ 1903, 1921(c), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania determined that any definition of accident in the context of an

allegation of child abuse had to encompass the aims of preventing abuse and identifying perpetrators of abuse, while

simultaneously maintaining the acknowledged right of parents to exercise corporal punishment as a legitimate means of

discipline. P.R. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 569 Pa. 123, 801 A.2d 478, 2002 Pa. LEXIS 1443 (2002).

§ 6332.  Establishment of Statewide toll-free telephone number

   (a) GENERAL RULE.-- The department shall establish a single Statewide toll-free telephone number that all persons,

whether mandated by law or not, may use to report cases of suspected child abuse. A county agency shall use the State-

wide toll-free telephone number for determining the existence of prior founded or indicated reports of child abuse in the

Statewide central register or reports under investigation in the pending complaint file.

  (b) LIMITATION ON USE.-- A county agency may only request and receive information pursuant to this subsection

either on its own behalf because it has received a report of suspected child abuse or on behalf of a physician examining

or treating a child or on behalf of the director or a person specifically designated in writing by the director of any hospi-

tal or other medical institution where a child is being treated, where the physician or the director or a person specifically

designated in writing by the director suspects the child of being an abused child.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

§ 6333.  Continuous availability of department

  The department shall be capable of receiving oral reports of child abuse made pursuant to this chapter, reports under

section 6353.2 (relating to responsibilities of county agency) and report summaries of child abuse from county agencies

and shall be capable of immediately identifying prior reports of child abuse and prior reports of abuse or injury under

Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in public and private schools) in the Statewide central register and reports under

investigation in the pending complaint file and of monitoring the provision of child protective services 24 hours a day,

seven days a week.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

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                                                       23 Pa.C.S. § 6334

§ 6334.  Disposition of complaints received

   (a) NOTICE TO COUNTY AGENCY.-- Upon receipt of a complaint of suspected child abuse, the department shall

immediately transmit orally to the appropriate county agency notice that the complaint of suspected child abuse has

been received and the substance of the complaint. If the Statewide central register or the pending complaint file contains

information indicating a prior report or a current investigation concerning a subject of the report, the department shall

immediately notify the appropriate county agency of this fact. The appropriate county agency shall mean the agency in

the county where the suspected child abuse occurred. If the residency of the subjects is a factor that requires the coop-

eration of more than one county agency, the department shall develop regulations to ensure the cooperation of those

agencies in carrying out the requirements of this chapter.

  (b) REFERRAL FOR SERVICES OR INVESTIGATION.-- If the complaint received does not suggest suspected

child abuse but does suggest a need for social services or other services or investigation, the department shall transmit

the information to the county agency or other public agency for appropriate action. The information shall not be consid-

ered a child abuse report unless the agency to which the information was referred has reasonable cause to suspect after

investigation that abuse occurred. If the agency has reasonable cause to suspect that abuse occurred, the agency shall

notify the department, and the initial complaint shall be considered to have been a child abuse report.

  (c) RECORDING IN PENDING COMPLAINT FILE.-- Upon receipt of a complaint of suspected child abuse, the

department shall maintain a record of the complaint of suspected child abuse in the pending complaint file. Upon receipt

of a report under section 6353.2 (relating to responsibilities of county agency), the department shall maintain a record of

the report in the report file under section 6331 (relating to establishment of pending complaint file, Statewide central

register and file of unfounded reports).

  (d) INCIDENTS OCCURRING OUTSIDE OF THIS COMMONWEALTH.--

  (1) A report of suspected child abuse occurring in another state where the child victim is identified as a resident of this

Commonwealth and the other state child protective services agency cannot investigate the report because of statutory or

policy limitations shall be assigned as a general protective services report to the county of the child's residence or as

determined by the department.

  (2) In addition to complying with the other requirements of this chapter and applicable regulations, a copy of the re-

port shall be provided to the other state's child protective services agency and, when applicable under Pennsylvania law,

to law enforcement officials where the incident occurred.

  (3) Reports and information under this subsection shall be provided within seven calendar days of completion of the

general protective services assessment under section 6375 (relating to county agency requirements for general protec-

tive services).

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995;  Act 2005-43 (S.B. 86), § 2, approved July 7, 2005, eff. immediately.

§ 6335.  Information in pending complaint and unfounded report files

   (a) INFORMATION AUTHORIZED.-- The information contained in the pending complaint file shall be limited to

the information required in sections 6313(c) (relating to reporting procedure) and 6353.2 (relating to responsibilities of

county agency). The information contained in the file for unfounded reports shall be limited to the information required

by section 6336 (relating to information in the Statewide central register).

  (b) ACCESS TO INFORMATION.-- Except as provided in sections 6332 (relating to establishment of Statewide toll-

free telephone number), 6334 (relating to disposition of complaints received), 6340 (relating to release of information in

confidential reports) and 6342 (relating to studies of data in records), no person, other than an employee of the depart-

----------------------- Page 28-----------------------

                                                                                                                     Page 28

                                                     23 Pa.C.S. § 6335

ment in the course of official duties in connection with the responsibilities of the department under this chapter, shall at

any time have access to any information in the pending complaint file or Statewide central register. Information in the

file of unfounded reports shall be available only to employees of the department pursuant to this subsection, to subjects

of a report or law enforcement officials pursuant to section 6340 and to the Office of Attorney General pursuant to sec-

tion 6345 (relating to audits by Attorney General) until the reports are expunged pursuant to section 6337 (relating to

disposition of unfounded reports).

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995;  Act 1998-127 (H.B. 1992), § 10, approved Dec. 15, 1998, eff. Mar. 1, 1999.

§ 6336.  Information in Statewide central register

   (a) INFORMATION AUTHORIZED.-- The Statewide central register shall include and shall be limited to the fol-

lowing information:

  (1) The names, Social Security numbers, age and sex of the subjects of the reports.

  (2) The date or dates and the nature and extent of the alleged instances of suspected child abuse.

  (3) The home addresses of the subjects of the report.

  (4) The county in which the suspected abuse occurred.

  (5) Family composition.

  (6) The name and relationship to the abused child of other persons  named in the report.

  (7) Factors contributing to the abuse.

  (8) The source of the report.

  (9) Services planned or provided.

  (10) Whether the report is a founded report or an indicated report.

  (11) Information obtained by the department in relation to a perpetrator's or school employee's request to release,

amend or expunge information retained by the department or the county agency.

  (12) The progress of any legal proceedings brought on the basis of the report of suspected child abuse.

  (13) Whether a criminal investigation has been undertaken and the result of the investigation and of any criminal

prosecution.

No information other than that permitted in this subsection shall be retained in the Statewide central register.

  (b) TYPE OF INFORMATION RELEASED.-- Except as provided in sections 6334 (relating to disposition of com-

plaints received), 6335 (relating to information in pending complaint and unfounded report files), 6340 (relating to re-

lease of information in confidential reports) and 6342 (relating to studies of data in records), persons receiving informa-

tion from the Statewide central register or pending complaint file may be informed only as to:

  (1) Whether the report is a founded or indicated abuse or is under investigation.

  (2) The number of such reports.

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                                                     23 Pa.C.S. § 6336

  (3) The nature and extent of the alleged or actual instances of suspected child abuse.

  (4) The county in which the reports are investigated.

  (5) Any other information available which would further the purposes of this chapter.

  (c) LIMITATION ON RELEASE OF INFORMATION.-- Except as provided in sections 6334, 6335, 6340 and 6342,

no information shall be released from the Statewide central register or pending complaint file unless pursuant to section

6332 (relating to establishment of Statewide toll-free telephone number) and unless the department has positively identi-

fied the representative of the county agency requesting the information and the department has inquired into and is satis-

fied that the representative has a legitimate need, within the scope of official duties and the provisions of section 6332,

to obtain the information. Information in the Statewide central register or pending complaint file shall not be released

for any purpose or to any individual not specified in section 6340.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

CASE NOTES

1. Where a jury convicted defendant of 61 sexual assault offenses that were corroborated with gynecological proof with

regard to the three daughters of his girlfriend, which abuse occurred systematically over several years, defendant failed

to demonstrate a reasonable probability that the outcome of his criminal trial would have been different if his counsel

had been granted direct access to the County Children and Youth Service records to review the reports; therefore, his

post-conviction argument that he received ineffective trial counsel for his counsel's failure to obtain such records was

found meritless. Commonwealth v. Parmelee, 74 Pa. D. & C.4th 62, 2005 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 112 (2005).

2. Where a jury convicted defendant of 61 sexual assault offenses that were corroborated with gynecological proof with

regard to the three daughters of his girlfriend, which abuse occurred systematically over several years, defendant failed

to demonstrate a reasonable probability that the outcome of his criminal trial would have been different if his counsel

had been granted direct access to the County Children and Youth Service records to review the reports; therefore, his

post-conviction argument that he received ineffective trial counsel for his counsel's failure to obtain such records was

found meritless. Commonwealth v. Parmelee, 74 Pa. D. & C.4th 62, 2005 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 112 (2005).

3. Where a jury convicted defendant of 61 sexual assault offenses that were corroborated with gynecological proof with

regard to the three daughters of his girlfriend, which abuse occurred systematically over several years, defendant failed

to demonstrate a reasonable probability that the outcome of his criminal trial would have been different if his counsel

had been granted direct access to the County Children and Youth Service records to review the reports; therefore, his

post-conviction argument that he received ineffective trial counsel for his counsel's failure to obtain such records was

found meritless. Commonwealth v. Parmelee, 74 Pa. D. & C.4th 62, 2005 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 112 (2005).

4. Foster family file, family case record and homeowners insurance policy were not confidential under 23 Pa.C.S. §

6336(b) and were subject to disclosure by Children and Youth Services after they were subpoenaed by a former foster

child's parents. S.M.by R.M. v. Children & Youth Servs., 686 A.2d 872, 1996 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 510 (Pa. Commw. Ct.

1996).

5. Pursuant to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6336(A), agency properly delayed filing a report of suspected child abuse until the

child victim named the perpetrator of the abuse. Cumberland County Children & Youth Services v. Department of Pub-

lic Welfare, 148 Pa. Commw. 479, 611 A.2d 1339, 1992 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 435 (1992), appeal denied by 533 Pa. 620,

619 A.2d 701 (1993).

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                                                     23 Pa.C.S. § 6337

§ 6337.  Disposition of unfounded reports

   (a) GENERAL RULE.-- When a report of suspected child abuse is determined by the appropriate county agency to be

an unfounded report, the information concerning that report of suspected child abuse shall be maintained for a period of

one year. Following the expiration of one year after the date the report was received by the department, the report shall

be expunged from the pending complaint file, as soon as possible, but no later than 120 days after the one-year period

following the date the report was received by the department, and no information other than that authorized by subsec-

tion (b), which shall not include any identifying information on any subject of the report, shall be retained by the de-

partment.

  (b) ABSENCE OF OTHER DETERMINATION.-- If an investigation of a report of suspected child abuse conducted

by the appropriate county agency pursuant to this chapter does not determine within 60 days of the date of the initial

report of the instance of suspected child abuse that the report is a founded report, an indicated report or an unfounded

report, or unless within that same 60-day period court action has been initiated and is responsible for the delay, the re-

port shall be considered to be an unfounded report, and all information identifying the subjects of the report shall be

expunged no later than 120 days following the expiration of one year after the date the report was received by the de-

partment. The agency shall advise the department that court action or an arrest has been initiated so that the pending

complaint file is kept current regarding the status of all legal proceedings and expunction delayed.

  (c) EXPUNCTION OF INFORMATION.-- All information identifying the subjects of any report of suspected child

abuse and of any report under Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in public and private schools) determined to be an

unfounded report shall be expunged from the pending complaint file pursuant to this section. The expunction shall be

mandated and guaranteed by the department.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1996;  Act 1998-127 (H.B. 1992), § 10, approved Dec. 15, 1998, eff. Mar. 1, 1999.

CASE NOTES

1. Time limit of 60 days for investigating allegations of child abuse under Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law,

23 Pa.C.S. § 6301 et seq., was not unreasonable and the procedure for expunging unfounded reports from central regis-

ter under an earlier version of 23 Pa.C.S. § 6337(a), was not fatally flawed. Puricelli v. Houston, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS

16085 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 20 1999).

2. Procedure that allowed defendant's name to be placed on a statewide child abuse registry without any adjudication,

without producing the victim, any independent corroborative evidence, or any recording or a verbatim transcript of the

victim's statement denied procedural due process. A.Y. v. Department of Pub. Welfare, 537 Pa. 116, 641 A.2d 1148,

1994 Pa. LEXIS 149 (1994).

3. Procedure that allowed defendant's name to be placed on a statewide child abuse registry without any adjudication,

without producing the victim, any independent corroborative evidence, or any recording or a verbatim transcript of the

victim's statement denied procedural due process. A.Y. v. Department of Pub. Welfare, 537 Pa. 116, 641 A.2d 1148,

1994 Pa. LEXIS 149 (1994).

4. Even thought a report of suspected child abuse is determined by the appropriate county agency to be an unfounded

report, the information concerning that report of suspected child abuse must be maintained for a period of one year. Pu-

ricelli v. Houston, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7976 (E.D. Pa. June 12 2000).

5. Time limit of 60 days for investigating allegations of child abuse under Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law,

23 Pa.C.S. § 6301 et seq., was not unreasonable and the procedure for expunging unfounded reports from central regis-

ter under an earlier version of 23 Pa.C.S. § 6337(a), was not fatally flawed. Puricelli v. Houston, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS

16085 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 20 1999).

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§ 6338.  Disposition of founded and indicated reports

   (a) GENERAL RULE.-- When a report of suspected child abuse or a report under Subchapter C.1 (relating to stu-

dents in public and private schools) is determined by the appropriate county agency to be a founded report or an indi-

cated report, the information concerning that report of suspected child abuse shall be expunged immediately from the

pending complaint file, and an appropriate entry shall be made in the Statewide central register. Notice of the determi-

nation must be given to the subjects of the report, other than the abused child, and to the parent or guardian of the af-

fected child or student along with an explanation of the implications of the determination. Notice given to perpetrators

of child abuse and to school employees who are subjects of indicated reports for school employees or founded reports

for school employees shall include notice that their ability to obtain employment in a child-care facility or program or a

public or private school may be adversely affected by entry of the report in the Statewide central register. The notice

shall also inform the recipient of his right, within 45 days after being notified of the status of the report, to appeal an

indicated report, and his right to a hearing if the request is denied.

  (b) EXPUNCTION OF INFORMATION WHEN CHILD ATTAINS 23 YEARS OF AGE.-- Except as provided in

subsection (c), all information which identifies the subjects of founded and indicated child abuse reports shall be ex-

punged when the subject child reaches the age of 23. The expunction shall be mandated and guaranteed by the depart-

ment.

  (c) RETENTION OF INFORMATION.-- A subfile shall be established in the Statewide central register to indefinitely

retain the names of perpetrators of child abuse and school employees who are subjects of founded or indicated reports

only if the individual's Social Security number or date of birth is known to the department. The subfile shall not include

identifying information regarding other subjects of the report.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

CASE NOTES

1. Agency erred in dismissing a father's request pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 6341 to nunc pro tunc expunge a report of in-

dicated child abuse; the notice of the report provided to the father did not include the statement required by 23 Pa.C.S. §

6338(a) that the father had an absolute right to a hearing to expunge the report. C.S. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 879 A.2d

1274, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 444 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005).

2. When 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§ 6338(a) and 6341(a), (b), and (c) of the Child Protective Services Law are read together,

Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6341(a)(1) merely grants the Secretary of Public Welfare a discretionary authority to amend or ex-

punge any record upon good cause shown; to challenge the report and "request" expungement, such request must be

filed within the 45 day period set forth in § 6341(a)(2). J.C. v. Department of Pub. Welfare, 720 A.2d 193, 1998 Pa.

Commw. LEXIS 834 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1998).

3. Although a mother, while using a belt to administer corporal punishment to her child, had accidentally struck the

child in the eye and injured her so seriously that surgery was required, the mother's request, under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat.

Ann. § 6341 , for expungement of an "indicated report" of child abuse, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303, which, pursuant

to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6331, 6338, had been submitted to the statewide register of child abuse, should have been

granted because there had been no showing by the Department of Public Welfare (Pennsylvania) amounting to substan-

tial evidence that the injury resulted from criminal negligence, as defined in 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 302(b)(4). P.R. v.

Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 569 Pa. 123, 801 A.2d 478, 2002 Pa. LEXIS 1443 (2002).

4. Agency erred in dismissing a father's request pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 6341 to nunc pro tunc expunge a report of in-

dicated child abuse; the notice of the report provided to the father did not include the statement required by 23 Pa.C.S. §

6338(a) that the father had an absolute right to a hearing to expunge the report. C.S. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 879 A.2d

1274, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 444 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005).

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                                                                                                                     Page 32

5. Although a mother, while using a belt to administer corporal punishment to her child, had accidentally struck the

child in the eye and injured her so seriously that surgery was required, the mother's request, under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat.

Ann. § 6341 , for expungement of an "indicated report" of child abuse, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303, which, pursuant

to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6331, 6338, had been submitted to the statewide register of child abuse, should have been

granted because there had been no showing by the Department of Public Welfare (Pennsylvania) amounting to substan-

tial evidence that the injury resulted from criminal negligence, as defined in 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 302(b)(4). P.R. v.

Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 569 Pa. 123, 801 A.2d 478, 2002 Pa. LEXIS 1443 (2002).

6. Pursuant to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6338(A), where the father contended that his nolo contendere plea was unrelated to

alleged child sexual abuse, and the father did not challenge the criminal nolo contendere plea but only challenged the

designation of a founded status, he was not collaterally attacking the trial court's determination of child sexual abuse but

only the characterization given to that plea, and because he was not attacking the underlying matter, the father was enti-

tled to a hearing as to whether the nolo contendere plea was properly characterized. R.F. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 801

A.2d 646, 2002 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 513 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2002).

§ 6339.  Confidentiality of reports

  Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, reports made pursuant to this chapter, including, but not limited to,

report summaries of child abuse and written reports made pursuant to section 6313(b) and (c) (relating to reporting pro-

cedure) as well as any other information obtained, reports written or photographs or X-rays taken concerning alleged

instances of child abuse in the possession of the department or a county agency shall be confidential.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

CASE NOTES

1. Indicated sexual abuser was not entitled to discover confidential materials contained in a county child services

agency's investigative file; he was not one of the types of persons listed in 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(a) who was enti-

tled to such information, and further, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(a)(5) limited disclosure of confidential 23 Pa. Cons.

Stat. § 6339 information in the judicial context to criminal proceedings involving charges of child abuse under 23 Pa.

Cons. Stat. § 6303. Dauphin County Soc. Servs. for Children & Youth v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 855 A.2d 159, 2004 Pa.

Commw. LEXIS 575 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2004).

2. Internal child death investigative audit that was conducted by the Department of Public Welfare and by a county of-

fice of children and youth services after the death of an infant who was in the care of a babysitter who had previously

had child abuse allegations against her was an internal report that was statutorily mandated as confidential under 23

Pa.C.S. § 6339, and was not subject to any of the exceptions to that confidentiality under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6340. Therefore,

the lower court erred in granting a subpoena to the administrators for the estate of the deceased infant, which required

the agencies to release certain portions of the audit so that the administrators could determine whether they had a case

against either agency; the audit documents were confidential and could not be ordered disclosed. In re Estate of Wag-

ner, 584 Pa. 49, 880 A.2d 620, 2005 Pa. LEXIS 1768 (2005).

3. Where a jury convicted defendant of 61 sexual assault offenses that were corroborated with gynecological proof with

regard to the three daughters of his girlfriend, which abuse occurred systematically over several years, defendant failed

to demonstrate a reasonable probability that the outcome of his criminal trial would have been different if his counsel

had been granted direct access to the County Children and Youth Service records to review the reports; therefore, his

post-conviction argument that he received ineffective trial counsel for his counsel's failure to obtain such records was

found meritless. Commonwealth v. Parmelee, 74 Pa. D. & C.4th 62, 2005 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 112 (2005).

4. Where the father, as the subject of the report of sexual abuse against the son pursuant to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(b),

was not subject to the blanket confidentiality of 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6339, the father, pursuant to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. §

6340(c), was not entitled to know the identity of the person who reported the abuse; while the trial court was entitled to

know the identity of the reporter under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(a)(5.1), the father was not entitled to that information,

as 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(a)(5.1) had to be construed in pari materia with 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(c) pursuant to 1

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                                                                                                                     Page 33

Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1932 . Serfass v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, Office of Children, Youth &, 67 Pa. D. & C.4th 138, 2004 Pa.

Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 155 (2004).

5. Where a jury convicted defendant of 61 sexual assault offenses that were corroborated with gynecological proof with

regard to the three daughters of his girlfriend, which abuse occurred systematically over several years, defendant failed

to demonstrate a reasonable probability that the outcome of his criminal trial would have been different if his counsel

had been granted direct access to the County Children and Youth Service records to review the reports; therefore, his

post-conviction argument that he received ineffective trial counsel for his counsel's failure to obtain such records was

found meritless. Commonwealth v. Parmelee, 74 Pa. D. & C.4th 62, 2005 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 112 (2005).

6. To the extent that the child death review discussed the performance of the agency rather than suspected or confirmed

child abuse, the review was not a report made within the meaning of the Child Protective Services Law, and therefore,

the child death review was not subject to the confidentiality provisions as it related to the agency's performance. In re

Estate of Wagner, 791 A.2d 444, 2002 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 17 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2002), reversed by 584 Pa. 49, 880

A.2d 620, 2005 Pa. LEXIS 1768 (2005).

7. Daughter and the parents were not entitled to discovery of the foster child's medical records during legal proceedings

alleging negligence against the foster parents and protective services under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6339. V.B.T. v. Family Servs.,

705 A.2d 1325, 1998 Pa. Super. LEXIS 21 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1998), affirmed by 556 Pa. 430, 728 A.2d 953, 1999 Pa.

LEXIS 1602 (1999).

8. Where a jury convicted defendant of 61 sexual assault offenses that were corroborated with gynecological proof with

regard to the three daughters of his girlfriend, which abuse occurred systematically over several years, defendant failed

to demonstrate a reasonable probability that the outcome of his criminal trial would have been different if his counsel

had been granted direct access to the County Children and Youth Service records to review the reports; therefore, his

post-conviction argument that he received ineffective trial counsel for his counsel's failure to obtain such records was

found meritless. Commonwealth v. Parmelee, 74 Pa. D. & C.4th 62, 2005 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 112 (2005).

9. Internal child death investigative audit that was conducted by the Department of Public Welfare and by a county of-

fice of children and youth services after the death of an infant who was in the care of a babysitter who had previously

had child abuse allegations against her was an internal report that was statutorily mandated as confidential under 23

Pa.C.S. § 6339, and was not subject to any of the exceptions to that confidentiality under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6340. Therefore,

the lower court erred in granting a subpoena to the administrators for the estate of the deceased infant, which required

the agencies to release certain portions of the audit so that the administrators could determine whether they had a case

against either agency; the audit documents were confidential and could not be ordered disclosed. In re Estate of Wag-

ner, 584 Pa. 49, 880 A.2d 620, 2005 Pa. LEXIS 1768 (2005).

10. Indicated sexual abuser was not entitled to discover confidential materials contained in a county child services

agency's investigative file; he was not one of the types of persons listed in 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(a) who was enti-

tled to such information, and further, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(a)(5) limited disclosure of confidential 23 Pa. Cons.

Stat. § 6339 information in the judicial context to criminal proceedings involving charges of child abuse under 23 Pa.

Cons. Stat. § 6303. Dauphin County Soc. Servs. for Children & Youth v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 855 A.2d 159, 2004 Pa.

Commw. LEXIS 575 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2004).

11. Where the father, as the subject of the report of sexual abuse against the son pursuant to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. §

6340(b), was not subject to the blanket confidentiality of 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6339, the father, pursuant to 23 Pa. Cons.

Stat. § 6340(c), was not entitled to know the identity of the person who reported the abuse; while the trial court was

entitled to know the identity of the reporter under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(a)(5.1), the father was not entitled to that

information, as 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(a)(5.1) had to be construed in pari materia with 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(c)

pursuant to 1 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1932. Serfass v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, Office of Children, Youth &, 67 Pa. D. & C.4th

138, 2004 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 155 (2004).

12. To the extent that the child death review discussed the performance of the agency rather than suspected or con-

firmed child abuse, the review was not a report made within the meaning of the Child Protective Services Law, and

therefore, the child death review was not subject to the confidentiality provisions as it related to the agency's perform-

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                                                                                                                        Page 34

ance. In re Estate of Wagner, 791 A.2d 444, 2002 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 17 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2002), reversed by 584 Pa.

49, 880 A.2d 620, 2005 Pa. LEXIS 1768 (2005).

§ 6340.  Release of information in confidential reports

   (a) GENERAL RULE.-- Reports specified in section 6339 (relating to confidentiality of reports) shall only be made

available to:

  (1) An authorized official of a county agency, of a Federal agency that has a need for such information to carry out its

responsibilities under law to protect children from abuse and neglect or of an agency of another state that performs pro-

tective services analogous to those services performed by county agencies or the department in the course of the offi-

cial's duties, multidisciplinary team members assigned to the case and duly authorized persons providing services pur-

suant to section 6370(a) (relating to voluntary or court-ordered services; findings of child abuse).

  (2) A physician examining or treating a child or the director or a person specifically designated in writing by the direc-

tor of any  hospital or other medical institution where a child is being treated when the physician or the director or the

designee of the director suspects the child of being an abused child or a child alleged to be in  need of protection under

this chapter.

  (3) A guardian ad litem or court designated advocate for the child.

  (4) An authorized official or agent of the department in accordance with department regulations or in accordance with

the conduct of a performance audit as authorized by section 6343 (relating to       investigating performance of county

agency).

  (5) A court of competent jurisdiction, including a magisterial district judge, a judge of the Philadelphia Municipal

Court and a judge of the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court, pursuant to court order or subpoena in a criminal matter involv-

ing a charge of child abuse under section 6303(b) (relating to definitions). Disclosure through testimony shall be subject

to the restrictions of subsection (c).

  (5.1) A court of common pleas in connection with any matter involving custody of a child. The department shall pro-

vide to the court any reports and files which the court considers relevant.

  (6) A standing committee of the General Assembly, as specified in section 6384 (relating to legislative oversight).

  (7) The Attorney General.

  (8) Federal auditors if required for Federal financial participation in funding of agencies except that Federal auditors

may not remove identifiable reports or copies thereof from the department or county agencies.

  (9) Law enforcement officials of any jurisdiction, as long as the information is relevant in the course of investigating

cases of:

   (i) Homicide or other criminal offense set forth in section 6344(c) (relating to information relating to prospective

child-care personnel), sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, serious bodily injury or serious physical injury perpetrated by

persons whether or not related to the victim.

   (ii) Child abuse perpetrated by persons who are not family members.

   (iii) Repeated physical injury to a child under circumstances which indicate that the child's health, safety or welfare

is harmed or threatened.

   (iv) A missing child report.

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                                                                                                                       Page 35

  (10) The district attorney or his designee or other law enforcement official, as set forth in the county protocols for

investigative teams required in section 6365(c) (relating to services for prevention, investigation and treatment of child

abuse), shall receive, immediately after the county agency has ensured the safety of the child, reports of abuse, either

orally or in writing, according to regulations promulgated by the department, from the county agency in which the

  initial report of suspected child abuse or initial inquiry into the report gives evidence that the abuse is:

   (i) a criminal offense set forth in section 6344(c), not including an offense under 18 Pa.C.S. § 4304 (relating to en-

dangering welfare of children) or an equivalent crime under Federal law or the law of another state, sexual abuse, sexual

exploitation or serious bodily injury perpetrated by persons, whether or not related to the victim;

   (ii) child abuse perpetrated by persons who are not family members; or

   (iii) serious physical injury involving extensive and severe bruising, burns, broken bones, lacerations, internal bleed-

ing, shaken baby syndrome or choking or an injury that significantly impairs a child's physical functioning, either tem-

porarily or permanently.

  (11) Designated county officials, in reviewing the competence of the ounty agency or its employees pursuant to this

chapter. Officials under this paragraph are limited to the following:

   (i) The board of commissioners in counties other than counties of the first class.

   (ii) Mayor in a city of the first class under the act of April 21, 1949 (P.L. 665, No. 155), known as the First Class

City Home Rule Act.

   (iii) An individual serving as a county chief executive as designated by a county home rule charter or optional plan

form of government pursuant to the act of April 13, 1972 (P.L. 184, No. 62), known as the Home Rule Charter and Op-

tional Plans Law.

  (12) A mandated reporter of suspected child abuse as defined in section 6311 (relating to persons required to report

suspected child abuse) who made a report of abuse involving the subject child, but the information permitted to be re-

leased to the mandated reporter shall be limited to the following:

   (i) The final status of the child abuse report following the investigation, whether it be indicated, founded or un-

founded.

   (ii) Any services provided, arranged for or to be provided by the county agency to protect the child.

  (13) Persons required to make reports under Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in public and private schools). In-

formation under this paragraph shall be limited to the final status of the report following the investigation as to whether

the report is indicated, founded or unfounded.

  (14) A prospective adoptive parent, approved by an adoption agency, when considering adopting an abused child in

the custody of a county agency. The county agency having custody of the child and the adoption agency shall determine

the scope and detail of information which must be provided so that the prospective parent may make an informed

  decision to adopt.

  (15) Appropriate officials of another county or state regarding an investigation related to child abuse or protective

services when a family has moved to that county or state. Reports under this paragraph shall include general protective

service reports and related information. Reports and information under this paragraph shall be provided within seven

calendar days. The department shall promulgate regulations as necessary to carry out the purposes of this paragraph.

  (16) Members of citizen review panels convened pursuant to section 6343.1 (relating to citizen review panels), pro-

vided that such members shall not disclose to any person or government official any identifying information about any

specific child protective services case with respect to which the panel is provided information.

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                                                                                                                     Page 36

  (b) RELEASE OF INFORMATION TO SUBJECT OF REPORT.-- At any time and upon written request, a subject of

a report may receive a copy of all information, except that prohibited from being disclosed by subsection (c), contained

in the Statewide central register or in any report filed pursuant to section 6313 (relating to reporting procedure).

  (c) PROTECTING IDENTITY OF PERSON MAKING REPORT.-- Except for reports pursuant to subsection (a)(9)

and (10), the release of data that would identify the person who made a report of suspected child abuse or the person

who cooperated in a subsequent investigation is prohibited unless the secretary finds that the release will not be detri-

mental to the safety of that person. Law enforcement officials shall treat all reporting sources as confidential informants.

  (d) EXCLUSION OF ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION.-- Information maintained in the Statewide central reg-

ister which was obtained from an investigating agency in relation to an appeal request shall not be released to any per-

son except a department official, as provided by regulation.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995;  Act 1998-127 (H.B. 1992), § 11, approved Dec. 15, 1998, eff. Mar. 1, 1999;

Act 2004-207 (S.B. 904), § 8, approved Nov. 30, 2004, eff. in 60 days.;  Act 2006-146 (H.B. 2670), § 3, approved Nov.

9, 2006, eff. in 180 days.

CASE NOTES

1. Indicated sexual abuser was not entitled to discover confidential materials contained in a county child services

agency's investigative file; he was not one of the types of persons listed in 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(a) who was enti-

tled to such information, and further, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(a)(5) limited disclosure of confidential 23 Pa. Cons.

Stat. § 6339 information in the judicial context to criminal proceedings involving charges of child abuse under 23 Pa.

Cons. Stat. § 6303. Dauphin County Soc. Servs. for Children & Youth v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 855 A.2d 159, 2004 Pa.

Commw. LEXIS 575 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2004).

2. Internal child death investigative audit that was conducted by the Department of Public Welfare and by a county of-

fice of children and youth services after the death of an infant who was in the care of a babysitter who had previously

had child abuse allegations against her was an internal report that was statutorily mandated as confidential under 23

Pa.C.S. § 6339, and was not subject to any of the exceptions to that confidentiality under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6340. Therefore,

the lower court erred in granting a subpoena to the administrators for the estate of the deceased infant, which required

the agencies to release certain portions of the audit so that the administrators could determine whether they had a case

against either agency; the audit documents were confidential and could not be ordered disclosed. In re Estate of Wag-

ner, 584 Pa. 49, 880 A.2d 620, 2005 Pa. LEXIS 1768 (2005).

3. Where a jury convicted defendant of 61 sexual assault offenses that were corroborated with gynecological proof with

regard to the three daughters of his girlfriend, which abuse occurred systematically over several years, defendant failed

to demonstrate a reasonable probability that the outcome of his criminal trial would have been different if his counsel

had been granted direct access to the County Children and Youth Service records to review the reports; therefore, his

post-conviction argument that he received ineffective trial counsel for his counsel's failure to obtain such records was

found meritless. Commonwealth v. Parmelee, 74 Pa. D. & C.4th 62, 2005 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 112 (2005).

4. Although commonwealth's claim that children's services records were confidential pursuant to former 42 Pa. Cons.

Stat. § 5945.1 was correct, the decision as to whether the same records could have been provided to defendant under 11

P.S. § 2215(a) (now 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340) was left to the retrial court. Commonwealth v. Vander Weele, 356 Pa.

Super. 152, 514 A.2d 189, 1986 Pa. Super. LEXIS 11893 (1986), overruled by Commonwealth v. Neely, 372 Pa. Super.

519, 539 A.2d 1317, 1988 Pa. Super. LEXIS 869 (1988).

5. Trial court's failure to provide defense counsel with access to confidential child abuse files, as required by former 11

P.S. § 2215(a)(5) (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6340), required reversal of a rape conviction. Commonwealth v. Ritchie, 509 Pa.

357, 502 A.2d 148, 1985 Pa. LEXIS 449 (1985), affirmed in part and reversed in part by 480 U.S. 39, 94 L. Ed. 2d 40,

107 S. Ct. 989, 1987 U.S. LEXIS 558, 55 U.S.L.W. 4180, 22 Fed. R. Evid. Serv. (CBC) 1 (1987).

----------------------- Page 37-----------------------

                                                                                                                     Page 37

6. Although commonwealth's claim that children's services records were confidential pursuant to former 42 Pa. Cons.

Stat. § 5945.1 was correct, the decision as to whether the same records could have been provided to defendant under 11

P.S. § 2215(a) (now 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340) was left to the retrial court. Commonwealth v. Vander Weele, 356 Pa.

Super. 152, 514 A.2d 189, 1986 Pa. Super. LEXIS 11893 (1986), overruled by Commonwealth v. Neely, 372 Pa. Super.

519, 539 A.2d 1317, 1988 Pa. Super. LEXIS 869 (1988).

7. Where the father, as the subject of the report of sexual abuse against the son pursuant to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(b),

was not subject to the blanket confidentiality of 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6339, the father, pursuant to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. §

6340(c), was not entitled to know the identity of the person who reported the abuse; while the trial court was entitled to

know the identity of the reporter under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(a)(5.1), the father was not entitled to that information,

as 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(a)(5.1) had to be construed in pari materia with 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(c) pursuant to 1

Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1932 . Serfass v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, Office of Children, Youth &, 67 Pa. D. & C.4th 138, 2004 Pa.

Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 155 (2004).

8. Where the father sought disclosure of the reporter of the subsequently unfounded sexual abuse on the suspicion that

the reporter was the child's mother and that the mother's motive was to prevent the father from obtaining custody of the

children in a separate custody case, disclosure was barred under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(c); the interest of Pennsyl-

vania Department of Public Welfare, Office of Children, Youth, and Families, in confidentiality was greater than the

father's interest in discrediting the mother in the custody case. Serfass v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, Office of Children,

Youth &, 67 Pa. D. & C.4th 138, 2004 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 155 (2004).

9. Where a jury convicted defendant of 61 sexual assault offenses that were corroborated with gynecological proof with

regard to the three daughters of his girlfriend, which abuse occurred systematically over several years, defendant failed

to demonstrate a reasonable probability that the outcome of his criminal trial would have been different if his counsel

had been granted direct access to the County Children and Youth Service records to review the reports; therefore, his

post-conviction argument that he received ineffective trial counsel for his counsel's failure to obtain such records was

found meritless. Commonwealth v. Parmelee, 74 Pa. D. & C.4th 62, 2005 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 112 (2005).

10. Under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6340, daughter and the parents were not entitled to discovery of the foster child's medical re-

cords during legal proceedings alleging negligence against the foster parents and protective services. V.B.T. v. Family

Servs., 705 A.2d 1325, 1998 Pa. Super. LEXIS 21 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1998), affirmed by 556 Pa. 430, 728 A.2d 953, 1999

Pa. LEXIS 1602 (1999).

11. Where a jury convicted defendant of 61 sexual assault offenses that were corroborated with gynecological proof

with regard to the three daughters of his girlfriend, which abuse occurred systematically over several years, defendant

failed to demonstrate a reasonable probability that the outcome of his criminal trial would have been different if his

counsel had been granted direct access to the County Children and Youth Service records to review the reports; there-

fore, his post-conviction argument that he received ineffective trial counsel for his counsel's failure to obtain such re-

cords was found meritless. Commonwealth v. Parmelee, 74 Pa. D. & C.4th 62, 2005 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 112

(2005).

12. Internal child death investigative audit that was conducted by the Department of Public Welfare and by a county

office of children and youth services after the death of an infant who was in the care of a babysitter who had previously

had child abuse allegations against her was an internal report that was statutorily mandated as confidential under 23

Pa.C.S. § 6339, and was not subject to any of the exceptions to that confidentiality under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6340. Therefore,

the lower court erred in granting a subpoena to the administrators for the estate of the deceased infant, which required

the agencies to release certain portions of the audit so that the administrators could determine whether they had a case

against either agency; the audit documents were confidential and could not be ordered disclosed. In re Estate of Wag-

ner, 584 Pa. 49, 880 A.2d 620, 2005 Pa. LEXIS 1768 (2005).

13. Indicated sexual abuser was not entitled to discover confidential materials contained in a county child services

agency's investigative file; he was not one of the types of persons listed in 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(a) who was enti-

tled to such information, and further, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(a)(5) limited disclosure of confidential 23 Pa. Cons.

Stat. § 6339 information in the judicial context to criminal proceedings involving charges of child abuse under 23 Pa.

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Cons. Stat. § 6303. Dauphin County Soc. Servs. for Children & Youth v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 855 A.2d 159, 2004 Pa.

Commw. LEXIS 575 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2004).

14. Where the father, as the subject of the report of sexual abuse against the son pursuant to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. §

6340(b), was not subject to the blanket confidentiality of 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6339, the father, pursuant to 23 Pa. Cons.

Stat. § 6340(c), was not entitled to know the identity of the person who reported the abuse; while the trial court was

entitled to know the identity of the reporter under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(a)(5.1), the father was not entitled to that

information, as 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(a)(5.1) had to be construed in pari materia with 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(c)

pursuant to 1 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1932. Serfass v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, Office of Children, Youth &, 67 Pa. D. & C.4th

138, 2004 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 155 (2004).

15. Where the father sought disclosure of the reporter of the subsequently unfounded sexual abuse on the suspicion that

the reporter was the child's mother and that the mother's motive was to prevent the father from obtaining custody of the

children in a separate custody case, disclosure was barred under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6340(c); the interest of Pennsyl-

vania Department of Public Welfare, Office of Children, Youth, and Families, in confidentiality was greater than the

father's interest in discrediting the mother in the custody case. Serfass v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, Office of Children,

Youth &, 67 Pa. D. & C.4th 138, 2004 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 155 (2004).

16. Based on 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6302(a), (b), (c), 6331, 6340, and interpreting the word "accidental," as used in

23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303 (later amended), in light of the rules of construction provided by 1 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann.

§§ 1903, 1921(c), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania determined that any definition of accident in the context of an

allegation of child abuse had to encompass the aims of preventing abuse and identifying perpetrators of abuse, while

simultaneously maintaining the acknowledged right of parents to exercise corporal punishment as a legitimate means of

discipline. P.R. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 569 Pa. 123, 801 A.2d 478, 2002 Pa. LEXIS 1443 (2002).

17. In a criminal proceeding resulting in defendant's conviction for involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, corruption of

minors, and indecent assault, the lower court improperly held an in camera hearing that was too restrictive; under for-

mer 11 P.S. § 2215(b) (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6340), defendant was entitled to the information contained in the Child Pro-

tective Services file. Commonwealth v. Kennedy, 413 Pa. Super. 95, 604 A.2d 1036, 1992 Pa. Super. LEXIS 352 (1992),

appeal denied by 531 Pa. 638, 611 A.2d 711 (1992).

18. Based on 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6302(a), (b), (c), 6331, 6340, and interpreting the word "accidental," as used in

23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303 (later amended), in light of the rules of construction provided by 1 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann.

§§ 1903, 1921(c), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania determined that any definition of accident in the context of an

allegation of child abuse had to encompass the aims of preventing abuse and identifying perpetrators of abuse, while

simultaneously maintaining the acknowledged right of parents to exercise corporal punishment as a legitimate means of

discipline. P.R. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 569 Pa. 123, 801 A.2d 478, 2002 Pa. LEXIS 1443 (2002).

§ 6341.  Amendment or expunction of information

   (a) GENERAL RULE.-- At any time:

  (1) The secretary may amend or expunge any record under this chapter upon good cause shown and notice to the ap-

propriate subjects of the report.

  (2) Any person named as a perpetrator, and any school employee named, in an indicated report of child abuse may,

within 45 days of being notified of the status of the report, request the secretary to amend or expunge an indicated report

on the grounds that it is inaccurate or it is being maintained in a manner inconsistent with this chapter.

  (b) REVIEW OF GRANT OF REQUEST.-- If the secretary grants the request under subsection (a)(2), the Statewide

central register, appropriate county agency, appropriate law enforcement officials and all subjects shall be so advised of

the decision. The county agency and any subject have 45 days in which to file an administrative appeal with the secre-

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                                                                                                                      Page 39

tary. If an administrative appeal is received, the secretary or his designated agent shall schedule a hearing pursuant to

Article IV of the act of June 13, 1967 (P.L. 31, No. 21), known as the Public Welfare Code, and attending departmental

regulations. If no administrative appeal is received within the designated time period, the Statewide central register shall

comply with the decision of the secretary and advise the county agency to amend or expunge the information in their

records so that the records are consistent at both the State and local levels.

  (c) REVIEW OF REFUSAL OF REQUEST.-- If the secretary refuses the request under subsection (a)(2) or does not

act within a reasonable time, but in no event later than 30 days after receipt of the request, the perpetrator or school em-

ployee shall have the right to a hearing before the secretary or a designated agent of the secretary to determine whether

the summary of the indicated report in the Statewide central register should be amended or expunged on the grounds

that it is inaccurate or that it is being maintained in a manner inconsistent with this chapter. The perpetrator or school

employee shall have 45 days from the date of the letter giving notice of the decision to deny the request in which to re-

quest a hearing. The appropriate county agency and appropriate law enforcement officials shall be given notice of the

hearing. The burden of proof in the hearing shall be on the appropriate county agency. The department shall assist the

county agency as necessary.

  (d) STAY OF PROCEEDINGS.-- Any administrative appeal proceeding pursuant to subsection (b) shall be automati-

cally stayed upon notice to the department by either of the parties when there is a pending criminal proceeding or a de-

pendency or delinquency proceeding pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to juvenile matters), including any appeal

thereof, involving the same factual circumstances as the administrative appeal.

  (e) ORDER.-- The secretary or designated agent may make any appropriate order respecting the amendment or ex-

punction of such records to make them accurate or consistent with the requirements of this chapter.

  (f) NOTICE OF EXPUNCTION.-- Written notice of an expunction of any child abuse record made pursuant to the

provisions of this chapter shall be served upon the subject of the record who was responsible for the abuse or injury and

the appropriate county agency. Except as provided in this subsection, the county agency, upon receipt of the notice,

shall take appropriate, similar action in regard to the local child abuse and school employee records and inform, for the

same purpose, the appropriate coroner if that officer has received reports pursuant to section 6367 (relating to reports to

department and coroner). Whenever the county agency investigation reveals, within 60 days of receipt of the report of

suspected child abuse, that the report is unfounded but that the subjects need services provided or arranged by the

county agency, the county agency shall retain those records and shall specifically identify that the report was an un-

founded report of suspected child abuse. An unfounded report regarding subjects who receive services shall be ex-

punged no later than 120 days following the expiration of one year after the termination or completion of services pro-

vided or arranged by the county agency.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995;  Act 1998-127 (H.B. 1992), § 12, approved Dec. 15, 1998, eff. Mar. 1, 1999.

CASE NOTES

1. The agency for children and youth social services failed to demonstrate, by substantial evidence, the accuracy of its

report of child abuse, as there was no evidence in the record to indicate that the softball coach ever acted inappropriately

with the alleged victim, and every fact established at the hearing served to directly refute the allegations made by the

alleged victim. Bucks County Children & Youth Soc. Servs. Agency v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 808 A.2d 990, 2002 Pa.

Commw. LEXIS 822 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2002).

2. Since the underlying adjudication only indicated that the child was abused, but did not find that the mother was guilty

of that abuse, the mother was entitled to an administrative appeal to determine whether she committed the abuse. J.G. v.

Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 795 A.2d 1089, 2002 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 225 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2002).

3. Child care provider's request for judicial review to expunge an indicated report of child sex abuse was denied where

the provider's claims attacked credibility determinations that were within the fact-finding province of the Department of

Public Welfare and the Bureau of Hearings and Appeals under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6341. D.T. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare,

873 A.2d 850, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 239 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005).

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4. Law did not support the granting of a nunc pro tunc appeal because the mother did not proffer any evidence that the

notice regarding her designation as an indicated perpetrator of child abuse had been incorrectly mailed or that the con-

duct of the agency in mailing it involved fraud or an administrative breakdown. J.A. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 873 A.2d

782, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 240 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005).

5. Agency erred in dismissing a father's request pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 6341 to nunc pro tunc expunge a report of in-

dicated child abuse; the notice of the report provided to the father did not include the statement required by 23 Pa.C.S. §

6338(a) that the father had an absolute right to a hearing to expunge the report. C.S. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 879 A.2d

1274, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 444 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005).

6. Department of Public Welfare properly granted the request of a husband and wife to expunge child abuse records

under the Child Protective Services Law, former 11 P.S. §§ 2214(o) and 2215(d) (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6341) where the

administrative findings of fact did not constitute a capricious disregard of the evidence, and where the burdened party, a

social service agency, failed to substantiate the accuracy of the indicated report of child abuse. C. v. Commonwealth,

Dep't of Public Welfare, 100 Pa. Commw. 603, 515 A.2d 339, 1986 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 2552 (1986).

7. Order denying the minor's request to expunge an indicated report of child abuse naming the minor as perpetrator was

affirmed where the record contained substantial evidence to support the finding of sexual abuse committed against the

victim by the minor; (1) the victim's out-of-court hearsay statements were properly admitted where the time and circum-

stances under which they were made provided sufficient indicia of their reliability, (2) the victim's brother was properly

found competent to serve as a witness, and (3) a pediatric specialist found, during examination of the victim, six or

seven individual scratches around the victim's anus, which were 24 to 48 hours old, and were consistent with a forced,

penetrating trauma to the anus. A.O. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 838 A.2d 35, 2003 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 917 (Pa. Commw.

Ct. 2003).

8. The agency for children and youth social services failed to demonstrate, by substantial evidence, the accuracy of its

report of child abuse, as there was no evidence in the record to indicate that the softball coach ever acted inappropriately

with the alleged victim, and every fact established at the hearing served to directly refute the allegations made by the

alleged victim. Bucks County Children & Youth Soc. Servs. Agency v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 808 A.2d 990, 2002 Pa.

Commw. LEXIS 822 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2002).

9. Under former 11 P.S. § 2215(d) (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6341), the Child Protective Service, on appeal from a refusal to

expunge the report, has the burden of establishing that the report is accurate; the Office of Hearings and Appeals, as the

fact finding agency, assesses the weight and credibility of the record evidence and may reject the testimony of one party

in favor of the testimony of the opposing party. Lehigh County Office of Children & Youth Services v. Commonwealth,

Dep't of Public Welfare, 101 Pa. Commw. 491, 516 A.2d 1305, 1986 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 2643 (1986), appeal denied by

515 Pa. 625, 531 A.2d 432 (1987), appeal denied by 515 Pa. 625, 531 A.2d 432 (1987), questioned by G.W.K. v. Com-

monwealth, Dep't of Public Welfare, 125 Pa. Commw. 512, 558 A.2d 151, 1989 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 293 (1989), ques-

tioned by Dauphin County Social Services for Children & Youth v. Commonwealth, Dep't of Public Welfare, 117 Pa.

Commw. 305, 543 A.2d 607, 1988 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 516 (1988), overruled by L.W.B. v. Sosnowski, 117 Pa. Commw.

120, 543 A.2d 1241, 1988 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 452 (1988).

10. Where the public welfare department expunged the report and records of a case of a mother's alleged child abuse

against her son pursuant to former 11 P.S. § 2215 (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6341), the review filed by the child welfare ser-

vices for review of the expungement was dismissed because the child welfare services named the mother as the sole

respondent and the public welfare department was an indispensable party; the child welfare services had sought a judi-

cial order directing the public welfare department, an absent party, to perform or not to perform some act concerning the

records under its custody and control, thus precluding the relief sought. Montgomery County Child Welfare Services v.

Hull, 51 Pa. Commw. 1, 413 A.2d 757, 1980 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 1351 (1980).

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                                                                                                                    Page 41

11. Child care provider's request for judicial review to expunge an indicated report of child sex abuse was denied where

the provider's claims attacked credibility determinations that were within the fact-finding province of the Department of

Public Welfare and the Bureau of Hearings and Appeals under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6341. D.T. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare,

873 A.2d 850, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 239 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005).

12. In providing that the Secretary of Public Welfare may expunge any record at any time upon good cause shown, 23

Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6341(a)(1) does not state that the subject in the record has a corresponding right to "request" such ac-

tion by the Secretary at any time; moreover, neither 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6341(a)(1) nor any other provision of the Child

Protective Services Law grants a right to appeal from the Secretary's decision made pursuant to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. §

6341(a)(1) or a right to request a hearing. J.C. v. Department of Pub. Welfare,  720 A.2d 193, 1998 Pa. Commw. LEXIS

834 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1998).

13. Although a mother, while using a belt to administer corporal punishment to her child, had accidentally struck the

child in the eye and injured her so seriously that surgery was required, the mother's request, under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat.

Ann. § 6341 , for expungement of an "indicated report" of child abuse, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303, which, pursuant

to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6331, 6338, had been submitted to the statewide register of child abuse, should have been

granted because there had been no showing by the Department of Public Welfare (Pennsylvania) amounting to substan-

tial evidence that the injury resulted from criminal negligence, as defined in 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 302(b)(4). P.R. v.

Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 569 Pa. 123, 801 A.2d 478, 2002 Pa. LEXIS 1443 (2002).

14. Rejection of a hearing officer's recommendation to expunge an indicated report of child abuse pursuant to former 11

P.S. § 2214(o) (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6341) was improper; the child abuse findings amounted to no more than mere specu-

lation that was not supported by substantial evidence. J.S. v. Commonwealth, Dep't of Public Welfare, 528 Pa. 243, 596

A.2d 1114, 1991 Pa. LEXIS 201 (1991).

15. Pursuant to former 11 P.S. § 2215(d) (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6341), a request for expungement of records relating to

child abuse reports may be made at any time. Dauphin County Social Services for Children & Youth v. Commonwealth,

Dep't of Public Welfare, 117 Pa. Commw. 305, 543 A.2d 607, 1988 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 516 (1988).

16. A record of child abuse by a parent was expunged pursuant to former 11 P.S. § 2215(d) (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6341) for

failure of evidence to establish a showing of abuse by proving that the child was in severe pain from physical injury; the

identity of the perpetrator was not clearly shown from the evidence. A. M. v. Commonwealth, Dep't of Public Welfare,

115 Pa. Commw. 327, 540 A.2d 1, 1988 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 230 (1988).

17. Under former 11 P.S. § 2215(d) (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6341), the Child Protective Service, on appeal from a refusal to

expunge the report, has the burden of establishing that the report is accurate; the Office of Hearings and Appeals, as the

fact finding agency, assesses the weight and credibility of the record evidence and may reject the testimony of one party

in favor of the testimony of the opposing party. Lehigh County Office of Children & Youth Services v. Commonwealth,

Dep't of Public Welfare, 101 Pa. Commw. 491, 516 A.2d 1305, 1986 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 2643 (1986), appeal denied by

515 Pa. 625, 531 A.2d 432 (1987), appeal denied by 515 Pa. 625, 531 A.2d 432 (1987), questioned by G.W.K. v. Com-

monwealth, Dep't of Public Welfare, 125 Pa. Commw. 512, 558 A.2d 151, 1989 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 293 (1989), ques-

tioned by Dauphin County Social Services for Children & Youth v. Commonwealth, Dep't of Public Welfare, 117 Pa.

Commw. 305, 543 A.2d 607, 1988 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 516 (1988), overruled by L.W.B. v. Sosnowski, 117 Pa. Commw.

120, 543 A.2d 1241, 1988 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 452 (1988).

18. Department of Public Welfare properly granted the request of a husband and wife to expunge child abuse records

under the Child Protective Services Law, former 11 P.S. §§ 2214(o) and 2215(d) (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6341) where the

administrative findings of fact did not constitute a capricious disregard of the evidence, and where the burdened party, a

social service agency, failed to substantiate the accuracy of the indicated report of child abuse. C. v. Commonwealth,

Dep't of Public Welfare, 100 Pa. Commw. 603, 515 A.2d 339, 1986 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 2552 (1986).

19. Order denying the minor's request to expunge an indicated report of child abuse naming the minor as perpetrator

was affirmed where the record contained substantial evidence to support the finding of sexual abuse committed against

the victim by the minor; (1) the victim's out-of-court hearsay statements were properly admitted where the time and

circumstances under which they were made provided sufficient indicia of their reliability, (2) the victim's brother was

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                                                                                                                        Page 42

properly found competent to serve as a witness, and (3) a pediatric specialist found, during examination of the victim,

six or seven individual scratches around the victim's anus, which were 24 to 48 hours old, and were consistent with a

forced, penetrating trauma to the anus. A.O. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 838 A.2d 35, 2003 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 917 (Pa.

Commw. Ct. 2003).

20. Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare properly reversed an order of the Pennsylvania Bureau

of Hearings and Appeals adopting the recommendation of an ALJ that an indicated report of child abuse by a paramour

be expunged as 23 Pa.C.S. § 6381(d) created a rebuttable presumption that the parents or those who were responsible

for the child's welfare were the ones that inflicted the child abuse and only the abuse itself had to be established in the

case of an indicated child abuse by prima facie evidence. J. B. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 898 A.2d 1221, 2006 Pa.

Commw. LEXIS 242 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2006).

21. Agency erred in dismissing a father's request pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 6341 to nunc pro tunc expunge a report of

indicated child abuse; the notice of the report provided to the father did not include the statement required by 23 Pa.C.S.

§ 6338(a) that the father had an absolute right to a hearing to expunge the report. C.S. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 879

A.2d 1274, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 444 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005).

22. Child care provider's request for judicial review to expunge an indicated report of child sex abuse was denied where

the provider's claims attacked credibility determinations that were within the fact-finding province of the Department of

Public Welfare and the Bureau of Hearings and Appeals under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6341. D.T. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare,

873 A.2d 850, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 239 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005).

23. Department of Public Welfare erred in denying mother's request to expunge report of indicated child abuse filed

under Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa.C.S. § 6301 et seq, as Department failed to establish mother's feeding of

infant, even given difficulties she had such as infant's spitting up, rose to level of serious physical neglect. A. B. v. Dep't

of Pub. Welfare, 869 A.2d 1129, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 102 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005).

24. Mother's appeal to have her name removed from a registry as an indicated perpetrator of sexual abuse was denied

because the evidence showed that she had engaged in child abuse under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6303(b)(1) by placing the children

in imminent risk of sexual abuse by allowing them to live with sexual predators, despite repeated warnings. C.K. v.

Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 869 A.2d 48, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 74 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005).

25. Law did not support the granting of a nunc pro tunc appeal because the mother did not proffer any evidence that the

notice regarding her designation as an indicated perpetrator of child abuse had been incorrectly mailed or that the con-

duct of the agency in mailing it involved fraud or an administrative breakdown. J.A. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 873 A.2d

782, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 240 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005).

26. Order denying the minor's request to expunge an indicated report of child abuse naming the minor as perpetrator

was affirmed where the record contained substantial evidence to support the finding of sexual abuse committed against

the victim by the minor; (1) the victim's out-of-court hearsay statements were properly admitted where the time and

circumstances under which they were made provided sufficient indicia of their reliability, (2) the victim's brother was

properly found competent to serve as a witness, and (3) a pediatric specialist found, during examination of the victim,

six or seven individual scratches around the victim's anus, which were 24 to 48 hours old, and were consistent with a

forced, penetrating trauma to the anus. A.O. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 838 A.2d 35, 2003 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 917 (Pa.

Commw. Ct. 2003).

27. The agency for children and youth social services failed to demonstrate, by substantial evidence, the accuracy of its

report of child abuse, as there was no evidence in the record to indicate that the softball coach ever acted inappropriately

with the alleged victim, and every fact established at the hearing served to directly refute the allegations made by the

alleged victim. Bucks County Children & Youth Soc. Servs. Agency v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 808 A.2d 990, 2002 Pa.

Commw. LEXIS 822 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2002).

28. Although a mother, while using a belt to administer corporal punishment to her child, had accidentally struck the

child in the eye and injured her so seriously that surgery was required, the mother's request, under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat.

Ann. § 6341 , for expungement of an "indicated report" of child abuse, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6303, which, pursuant

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                                                                                                                    Page 43

to 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6331, 6338, had been submitted to the statewide register of child abuse, should have been

granted because there had been no showing by the Department of Public Welfare (Pennsylvania) amounting to substan-

tial evidence that the injury resulted from criminal negligence, as defined in 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 302(b)(4). P.R. v.

Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 569 Pa. 123, 801 A.2d 478, 2002 Pa. LEXIS 1443 (2002).

29. Since the underlying adjudication only indicated that the child was abused, but did not find that the mother was

guilty of that abuse, the mother was entitled to an administrative appeal to determine whether she committed the abuse.

J.G. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 795 A.2d 1089, 2002 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 225 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2002).

30. Boyfriend of the mother of the subject child that might have felt that the county wrongly implicated him in the acts

of abuse committed against the child was entitled to request expungement of implicating information from state and

local records pursuant to the Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6341. In Interest of Garthwaite, 422

Pa. Super. 280, 619 A.2d 356, 1993 Pa. Super. LEXIS 312 (1993).

31. Department of Public Welfare's decision to deny a father's request to expunge an indicated report of child abuse

pursuant to the Child Protective Services Law, former 11 P.S. § 2215(d) (now 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6341) was supported

by substantial evidence because a severe spanking administered by the father exceeded any reasonable exercise of pa-

rental discipline. J.S. v. Commonwealth, Dep't of Public Welfare, 129 Pa. Commw. 382, 565 A.2d 862, 1989 Pa.

Commw. LEXIS 693 (1989).

32. The Child Protective Services Law, former 11 P.S. § 2214(h) (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6341) did not allow the wife to

seek expungement of a report of child abuse against against her husband when she was not the person responsible

named in the report. R.W. v. Commonwealth, Dep't of Public Welfare, 123 Pa. Commw. 286, 553 A.2d 513, 1989 Pa.

Commw. LEXIS 78 (1989).

33. Defendant did not have to request a hearing on defendant's request for expungement of an indicated report of child

abuse under the Child Protective Services Law, former 11 P.S. § 2215(d) (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6341), where the statute

assured an opportunity for a hearing and did not prescribe a time period in which a subject had to ask for a hearing after

the secretary had refused to expunge a child abuse report. L. K. v. Commonwealth, Dep't of Public Welfare, 122 Pa.

Commw. 470, 552 A.2d 739, 1989 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 6 (1989), appeal denied by 524 Pa. 600, 568 A.2d 1250 (1989).

34. Under the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law, former 11 P.S. § 2215(d) (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6341), the of-

fice of Hearings and Appeals of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare was solely responsible for deciding

expungement of indicated report of child abuse and hearing officer's findings of no abuse were supported by substantial

evidence. Luzerne County Children & Youth Services v. Commonwealth, Dep't of Public Welfare, 121 Pa. Commw. 198,

550 A.2d 604, 1988 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 887 (1988).

35. Indicted report of child abuse was properly ordered to be expunged by the department of public welfare pursuant to

former 11 P.S. § 2215(d) (now 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6341) because only the caseworker and the mother testified regard-

ing the abuse, and the hearing officer recommended expungement after concluding there was no substantial evidence to

prove the report. Lehigh County Office of Children & Youth Services v. Commonwealth, Dep't of Public Welfare, 121

Pa. Commw. 74, 550 A.2d 269, 1988 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 871 (1988).

36. Department of Public Welfare properly granted the request of a husband and wife to expunge child abuse records

under the Child Protective Services Law, former 11 P.S. §§ 2214(o) and 2215(d) (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6341) where the

administrative findings of fact did not constitute a capricious disregard of the evidence, and where the burdened party, a

social service agency, failed to substantiate the accuracy of the indicated report of child abuse. C. v. Commonwealth,

Dep't of Public Welfare, 100 Pa. Commw. 603, 515 A.2d 339, 1986 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 2552 (1986).

37. Where the public welfare department expunged the report and records of a case of a mother's alleged child abuse

against her son pursuant to former 11 P.S. § 2215 (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6341), the review filed by the child welfare ser-

vices for review of the expungement was dismissed because the child welfare services named the mother as the sole

respondent and the public welfare department was an indispensable party; the child welfare services had sought a judi-

cial order directing the public welfare department, an absent party, to perform or not to perform some act concerning the

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                                                                                                                                      Page 44

records under its custody and control, thus precluding the relief sought. Montgomery County Child Welfare Services v.

Hull, 51 Pa. Commw. 1, 413 A.2d 757, 1980 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 1351 (1980).

38. Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare properly reversed an order of the Pennsylvania Bureau

of Hearings and Appeals adopting the recommendation of an ALJ that an indicated report of child abuse by a paramour

be expunged as 23 Pa.C.S. § 6381(d) created a rebuttable presumption that the parents or those who were responsible

for the child's welfare were the ones that inflicted the child abuse and only the abuse itself had to be established in the

case of an indicated child abuse by prima facie evidence. J. B. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 898 A.2d 1221, 2006 Pa.

Commw. LEXIS 242 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2006).

39. Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare properly reversed an order of the Pennsylvania Bureau

of Hearings and Appeals adopting the recommendation of an ALJ that an indicated report of child abuse by a paramour

be expunged as 23 Pa.C.S. § 6381(d) created a rebuttable presumption that the parents or those who were responsible

for the child's welfare were the ones that inflicted the child abuse and only the abuse itself had to be established in the

case of an indicated child abuse by prima facie evidence. J. B. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 898 A.2d 1221, 2006 Pa.

Commw. LEXIS 242 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2006).

§ 6342.  Studies of data in records

  The department may conduct or authorize the conducting of studies of the data contained in the pending complaint file

and the Statewide central register and county agencies and distribute the results of the studies. No study may contain the

name or other information by which a subject of a report could be identified. The department may allow Federal audi-

tors access to nonidentifiable duplicates of reports in the pending complaint file and the Statewide central register if

required for Federal financial participation in funding of agencies.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days.

§ 6343.  Investigating performance of county agency

   (a) GENERAL RULE.-- If, within 30 days from the date of an initial report of suspected child abuse, the appropriate

county agency has not investigated the report and informed the department that the report is an indicated report or an

unfounded report or unless within that same 30-day period the report is determined to be a founded report, the depart-

ment shall have the authority to begin an inquiry into the performance of the county agency which inquiry may include

a performance audit of the county agency as provided in subsection (b). On the basis of that inquiry, the department

shall take appropriate action to require that the provisions of this chapter be strictly followed, which action may include,

without limitation, the institution of appropriate legal action and the withholding of reimbursement for all or part of the

activities of the county agency. The department shall determine in its review whether the county agency has sufficiently

documented reasons why the investigation has not been completed in the 30-day period.

  (b) PERFORMANCE AUDIT.-- Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the secretary or a designee of

the secretary may direct, at their discretion, and after reasonable notice to the county agency, a performance audit of any

activity engaged in pursuant to this chapter.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

.

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                                                        23 Pa.C.S. § 6343.1

§ 6343.1.  Citizen review panels

   (a) ESTABLISHMENT.-- The department shall establish a minimum of three citizen review panels.

  (b) FUNCTION.-- The panels shall examine all of the following:

  (1) Policies, procedures and practices of State and local agencies and, where appropriate, specific cases to evaluate the

extent to which State and local child protective services system agencies are effectively discharging their child protec-

tion responsibilities under section 106(b) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (Public Law 93-247, 42

U.S.C. § 5106a(b)).

  (2) Other criteria the panel considers important to ensure the protection of children, including:

   (i) a review of the extent to which the State and local child      protective services system is coordinated with the foster

care and adoption programs established under Part E of Title IV of the Social Security Act (49 Stat. 620, 42 U.S.C. §

670 et seq.); and

   (ii) a review of child fatalities and near fatalities.

  (c) MEMBERSHIP.-- The panels shall be composed of volunteer members who represent the community, including

members who have expertise in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect.

  (d) MEETINGS.-- Each citizen review panel shall meet not less than once every three months.

  (e) REPORTS.-- The department shall issue an annual report summarizing the activities and recommendations of the

panels and summarizing the department response to the recommendations.

HISTORY: Act 2006-146 (H.B. 2670), § 4, approved Nov. 9, 2006, eff. in 180 days.

NOTICE: FIRST OF TWO VERSIONS OF THIS SECTION

§ 6344.  Information relating to prospective child-care personnel

   (a) APPLICABILITY.-- This section applies to all prospective employees of child-care services, prospective foster

parents, prospective adoptive parents, prospective self-employed family day-care providers and other persons seeking to

provide child-care services under contract with a child-care facility or program. This section also applies to individuals

14 years of age or older who reside in the home of a prospective foster parent for at least 30 days in a calendar year or

who reside in the home of a prospective adoptive parent for at least 30 days in a calendar year. This section does not

apply to administrative or other support personnel unless their duties will involve direct contact with children.

  (b) INFORMATION SUBMITTED BY PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYEES.-- Administrators of child-care services shall

require applicants to submit with their applications the following information obtained within the preceding one-year

period:

  (1) Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 91 (relating to criminal history record information), a report of criminal history record

information from the Pennsylvania State Police or a statement from the Pennsylvania State Police that the State Police

central repository contains no such information relating to that person. The criminal history record information shall be

limited to that which is disseminated pursuant to 8 Pa.C.S. § 9121(b)(2) (relating to general regulations).

  (2) A certification from the department as to whether the applicant is  named in the central register as the perpetrator

of a founded report of child abuse, indicated report of child abuse, founded report for school employee or indicated re-

port for school employee.

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                                                     23 Pa.C.S. § 6344.1

  (3) A report of Federal criminal history record information. The applicant shall submit a full set of fingerprints in a

manner prescribed by the department. The Commonwealth shall submit the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Inves-

tigation in order to obtain a report of Federal criminal history record information and serve as intermediary for the pur-

poses of this section.

For the purposes of this subsection, an applicant may submit a copy of the information required under paragraphs (1)

and (2) with an application for employment. Administrators shall maintain a copy of the required information and shall

require applicants to produce the original document prior to employment.

  (B.1) INFORMATION SUBMITTED BY CERTAIN PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYEES.--

  (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, this subsection shall apply to persons who apply for employ-

ment under subsection (c) on or after the effective date of this subsection and before July 1, 2008. The provisions of

subsection (b) shall not apply  to persons who apply for employment under subsection (c) on or after       the effective date

of this subsection and before July 1, 2008.

  (2) Administrators of child-care services shall require applicants to submit with their applications the following in-

formation obtained  within the preceding one-year period:

   (i) Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 91, a report of criminal history  record information from the Pennsylvania State Police

or a statement from the Pennsylvania State Police that the State Police central repository contains no such information

relating to that person. The criminal history record information shall be limited to that which is disseminated pursuant to

18 Pa.C.S. § 9121(b)(2).

   (ii) A certification from the department as to whether the applicant is named in the central register as the perpetrator

of a founded report of child abuse, indicated report of child abuse, founded report for school employee or indicated re-

port for school employee.

   (iii) Where the applicant is not a resident of this Commonwealth,     administrators shall require the applicant to submit

with the application for employment a report of Federal criminal history record information. The applicant shall submit

full set of fingerprints to the department. The department shall submit the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investi-

gation in order to obtain a report of Federal criminal history record information and serve as intermediary for the pur-

poses of this section.

  (3) For the purposes of this subsection, an applicant may submit a copy of the required information with an applica-

tion for employment. Administrators shall maintain a copy of the required information and shall require applicants to

produce the original document prior to employment.

  (4) This subsection shall expire July 1, 2008.

  (c) GROUNDS FOR DENYING EMPLOYMENT.--

  (1) In no case shall an administrator hire an applicant where the department has verified that the applicant is named in

the central  register as the perpetrator of a founded report of child abuse ommitted within the five-year period immedi-

ately preceding verification pursuant to this section or is named in the central   register as the perpetrator of a founded

report for a school employee committed within the five-year period immediately preceding verification pursuant to this

section.

  (2) In no case shall an administrator hire an applicant if the applicant' s criminal history record information indicates

the applicant has been convicted of one or more of the following offenses under Title 18 (relating to crimes and of-

fenses) or an equivalent crime under Federal law or the law of another state:

  Chapter 25 (relating to criminal homicide).

  Section 2702 (relating to aggravated assault).

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                                                                                                                      Page 47

                                                     23 Pa.C.S. § 6344.1

  Section 2709.1 (relating to stalking).

  Section 2901 (relating to kidnapping).

  Section 2902 (relating to unlawful restraint).

  Section 3121 (relating to rape).

  Section 3122.1 (relating to statutory sexual assault).

  Section 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse).

  Section 3124.1 (relating to sexual assault).

  Section 3125 (relating to aggravated indecent assault).

  Section 3126 (relating to indecent assault).

  Section 3127 (relating to indecent exposure).

  Section 4302 (relating to incest).

  Section 4303 (relating to concealing death of child).

  Section 4304 (relating to endangering welfare of children).

  Section 4305 (relating to dealing in infant children).

  A felony offense under section 5902(b) (relating to prostitution and  related offenses).

  Section 5903(c) or (d) (relating to obscene and other sexual materials and performances).

  Section 6301 (relating to corruption of minors).

  Section 6312 (relating to sexual abuse of children).

  The attempt, solicitation or conspiracy to commit any of the offenses set forth in this paragraph.

  (3) In no case shall an administrator hire an applicant if the applicant's criminal history record information indicates

the applicant has been convicted of a felony offense under the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64), known as The

Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, committed within the five-year period immediately preceding

verification under this section.

  (d) PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE OR FOSTER PARENTS.-- With regard to prospective adoptive or prospective fos-

ter parents, the following shall apply:

  (1) In the course of causing an investigation to be made pursuant to section 2535(a) (relating to investigation), an

agency or person designated by the court to conduct the investigation shall require prospective adoptive parents and any

individual over the age of 18  years residing in the home to submit the information set forth in subsection (b) for review

in accordance with this section. If a prospective adoptive parent, or any individual over 18 years of age  residing in the

home, has resided outside this Commonwealth at any time within the previous five-year period, the agency or person

designated  by the court shall require that person to submit a certification obtained within the previous one-year period

from the Statewide central registry, or its equivalent in each state in which the person has   resided within the previous

five-year period, as to whether the person is named as a perpetrator of child abuse. If the certification shows that the

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                                                                                                                      Page 48

                                                     23 Pa.C.S. § 6344.1

person is named as a perpetrator of child abuse within the  previous five-year period, the agency or person designated by

the court shall forward the certification to the department for review. The agency or person designated by the court shall

not approve the prospective adoptive parent if the department determines that the person is named as the equivalent of a

perpetrator of a founded report of child abuse within the previous five-year period.

  (2) In the course of approving a prospective foster parent, a foster family care agency shall require prospective foster

parents and any individual over the age of 18 years residing in the home to submit the information set forth in subsec-

tion (b) for review by the foster family care agency in accordance with this section. If a prospective foster parent, or any

individual over 18 years of age residing in the home, has resided outside this Commonwealth at any time within the

previous five-year period, the foster family care agency shall require that person to submit a certification obtained

within the previous one-year period from the Statewide central registry, or its equivalent in each state in which the per-

son has resided within the previous five-year period, as to whether the person is named as a perpetrator of child abuse. If

the certification shows that the person is named as a perpetrator of child abuse within the previous five-year period, the

foster family care agency shall forward the certification to the department for review. The foster family care agency

shall not approve   the prospective foster parent if the department determines that the person is named as the equivalent

of a perpetrator of a founded report of child abuse within the previous five-year period. In addition, the  foster family

care agency shall consider the following when assessing the ability of applicants for approval as foster parents:

   (i) The ability to provide care, nurturing and supervision to children.

   (ii) Mental and emotional well-being. If there is a question  regarding the mental or emotional stability of a family

member which might have a negative effect on a foster child, the foster family care agency shall require a psychological

evaluation of that person before approving the foster family home.

   (iii) Supportive community ties with family, friends and neighbors.

   (iv) Existing family relationships, attitudes and expectations regarding the applicant's own children and parent/child

   relationships, especially as they might affect a foster child.

   (v) Ability of the applicant to accept a foster child's relationship with his own parents.

   (vi) The applicant's ability to care for children with special needs.

   (vii) Number and characteristics of foster children best suited to the foster family.

   (viii) Ability of the applicant to work in partnership with a foster family care agency. This subparagraph shall not be

construed to preclude an applicant from advocating on the part of a child.

  (3) Foster parents and any individual over 18 years of age residing in the home shall be required to submit the infor-

mation set forth in subsection (b) every 24 months following approval for review by the foster family care agency in

accordance with subsection (c).

  (4) Foster parents shall be required to report, within 48 hours, any change in information required pursuant to subsec-

tion (b) about themselves and any individuals over the age of 18 years residing in the home for review by the foster

family care agency in accordance with subsection (c).

  (5) Foster parents shall be required to report any other change in the foster family household composition within 30

days of the change for review by the foster family care agency. If any individual over 18 years of age, who has resided

outside this Commonwealth at any time within the previous five-year period, begins residing in the home of an

  approved foster family, that individual shall, within 30 days of beginning residence, submit to the foster family care

agency a certification obtained within the previous one-year period from the Statewide central registry, or its equivalent

in each state in which the person has resided, within the previous five-year period, as to whether the person is named as

a perpetrator of child abuse. If the certification shows that the person is named as a perpetrator of child abuse within the

previous five-year period, the foster family care agency shall forward the certification to the department for review.

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                                                     23 Pa.C.S. § 6344.1

  If the department determines that the person is named as the equivalent of a perpetrator of a founded report of child

abuse within the previous five-year period and the person does not cease residing in the home immediately, the foster

child or children shall immediately be removed from the home without a hearing.

  (6) In cases where foster parents knowingly fail to submit the material information required in paragraphs (3), (4) and

(5) such that it would disqualify them as foster parents, the child shall immediately be   removed from the home without

a hearing.

  (7) An approved foster parent shall not be considered an employee for any purpose, including, but not limited to, li-

ability, unemployment compensation, workers' compensation or other employee benefits provided by the county

agency.

  (8) The department shall require information based upon certain criteria for foster and adoptive parent applications.

The criteria shall include, but not be limited to, information provided by the applicant or other sources in the following

areas:

   (i) Previous addresses within the last ten years.

   (ii) Criminal history background clearance generated by the process outlined in this section.

   (iii) Child abuse clearance generated by the process outlined in this section.

   (iv) Composition of the resident family unit.

   (v) Protection from abuse orders filed by or against either parent,  provided that such orders are accessible to the

county or private agency.

   (vi) Details of any proceedings brought in family court, provided that such records in such proceedings are accessible

to the county or private agency.

   (vii) Drug-related or alcohol-related arrests, if criminal charges or judicial proceedings are pending and any convic-

tions or hospitalizations within the last five years. If the applicant  provides information regarding convictions or hospi-

talizations in that five-year period, then information on the prior five years shall  be requested related to any additional

convictions or  hospitalizations.

   (viii) Evidence of financial stability, including income  verification, employment history, current liens and bank-

ruptcy findings within the last ten years.

   (ix) Number of and ages of foster children and other dependents currently placed in the home.

   (x) Detailed information regarding children with special needs currently living in the home.

   (xi) Previous history as a foster parent, including number and types of children served.

   (xii) Related education, training or personal experience working with foster children or the child welfare system.

  (D.1) ESTABLISHMENT OF A RESOURCE FAMILY REGISTRY.--

  (1) The department shall establish a registry of resource family applicants.

  (2) The foster family care agency or adoption agency shall register all resource family applicants on the resource fam-

ily registry in accordance with subsection (d.2).

  (3) The foster family care agency or adoption agency shall register all resource families that are approved on the ef-

fective date of this subsection within six months of the effective date of this subsection.

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                                                                                                                       Page 50

                                                     23 Pa.C.S. § 6344.1

  (4) Any resource family that is voluntarily registered on the foster parent registry shall be maintained on the resource

family registry  mandated under this section.

  (D.2) INFORMATION IN THE RESOURCE FAMILY REGISTRY.--

  (1) The resource family registry shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

   (i) The name, Social Security number, date of birth, sex, marital status, race and ethnicity of the applicants.

   (ii) The date or dates of the resource family application.

   (iii) The current and previous home addresses of the applicants.

   (iv) The county of residence of the applicants.

   (v) The name, date of birth, Social Security number and relationship of all household members.

   (vi) The name, address and telephone number of all current and previous foster family care agency or adoption

agency affiliations.

   (vii) The foster family care agency or adoption agency disposition related to the approval or disapproval of the appli-

cants and the date and basis for the disposition.

   (viii) The type of care the resource family will provide.

   (ix) The number of children that may be placed in the resource family home.

   (x) The age, race, gender and level of special needs of children that may be placed in the resource family home.

   (xi) The ability of the resource family to provide care for sibling groups.

   (xii) The date and reason for any closure of the resource family home.

   (xiii) The appeal activity initiated by a resource family applicant or an approved resource family and the basis for the

appeal. This subparagraph shall not be construed to limit legitimate appeals.

   (xiv) The status and disposition of all appeal-related activities. This subparagraph shall not be construed to limit le-

gitimate appeals.

  (2) The information maintained in the resource family registry may be released to the following individuals when the

department has positively identified the individual requesting the information and the department, except in the case of

subparagraphs (iii) and (iv), has inquired into whether and if it is satisfied that the individual has a legitimate need

within the scope of the individual's official duties to obtain the information:

   (i) An authorized official of a county or private agency, a Federal agency or an agency of another state who performs

resource family approvals or the department in the course of the official's duties.

   (ii) A guardian ad litem or court-designated advocate for a child. The information is limited to the information re-

lated to the resource family with whom the child resides.

   (iii) A court of competent jurisdiction, including a district justice, a judge of the Municipal Court of Philadelphia or a

judge of the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court, pursuant to court order or subpoena in a criminal matter involving a charge of

child abuse under Chapter 63 (relating to child protective services).

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                                                                                                                       Page 51

                                                     23 Pa.C.S. § 6344.1

   (iv) A court of competent jurisdiction in connection with any matter involving custody of a child. The department

shall provide to the court any files that the court considers relevant.

   (v) The Attorney General.

   (vi) Federal auditors, if required for Federal financial participation in funding of agencies, except that Federal audi-

tors may not remove identifiable information or copies thereof from the department or county or private agencies.

   (vii) Law enforcement agents of any jurisdiction, as long as the information is relevant in the course of investigating

crimes involving the resource family.

   (viii) Appropriate officials of a private agency or another county or state regarding a resource family that has applied

to become a resource family for that agency, county or state.

  (3) At any time and upon written request, a resource family may receive a copy of all information pertaining to that

resource family contained in the resource family registry.

  (e) SELF-EMPLOYED FAMILY DAY-CARE PROVIDERS.-- Self-employed family day-care providers who apply

for a certificate of registration with the department shall submit with their registration application a report of criminal

history record information and shall also obtain certification from the department as to whether the applicant is named

in the central register as the perpetrator of a founded report of child abuse.

  (f) SUBMISSIONS BY OPERATORS OF CHILD-CARE SERVICES.-- The department shall require persons seek-

ing to operate child-care services to submit the information set forth in subsection (b)(1) and (2) for review in accor-

dance with this section.

  (g) REGULATIONS.-- The department shall promulgate the regulations necessary to carry out this section. These

regulations shall:

  (1) Set forth criteria for unsuitability for employment in a child-care service in relation to criminal history record in-

formation which may include criminal history record information in addition to that set  forth above. The criteria shall

be reasonably related to the prevention of child abuse.

  (2) Set forth sanctions for administrators who willfully hire applicants in violation of this section or in violation of the

  regulations promulgated under this section.

  (h) FEES.-- The department may charge a fee not to exceed $ 10 in order to conduct the certification as required in

subsection (b)(2), except that no fee shall be charged to an individual who makes the request in order to apply to be-

come a volunteer with an affiliate of Big Brothers of America or Big Sisters of America or with a rape crisis center or

domestic violence shelter.

  (i) TIME LIMIT FOR CERTIFICATION.-- The department shall comply with certification requests no later than 14

days from the receipt of the request.

  (j) VOLUNTARY CERTIFICATION OF CHILD CARETAKERS.-- The department shall develop a procedure for

the voluntary certification of child caretakers to allow persons to apply to the department for a certificate indicating the

person has met the requirements of subsection (b). The department shall also provide for the biennial recertification of

child caretakers.

  (k) EXISTING OR TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES.-- A person employed in child-care services on January 1, 1986,

shall not be required to obtain the information required in subsection (b)(1) and (2) as a condition of continued em-

ployment. A person who has once obtained the information required under subsection (b)(1) and (2) may transfer to

another child-care service established and supervised by the same organization and shall not be required to obtain addi-

tional reports before making the transfer.

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                                                                                                                         Page 52

                                                      23 Pa.C.S. § 6344.1

  (l) TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES UNDER SPECIAL PROGRAMS.-- The requirements of this section do not apply

to employees of child-care services who meet all the following requirements:

  (1) They are under 21 years of age.

  (2) They are employed for periods of 90 days or less.

  (3) They are a part of a job development or job training program funded, in whole or in part, by public or private

sources.

Once employment of a person who meets these conditions extends beyond 90 days, all requirements of this section shall

take effect.

  (m) PROVISIONAL EMPLOYEES FOR LIMITED PERIODS.-- Notwithstanding subsection (b), administrators may

employ applicants on a provisional basis for a single period not to exceed 30 days or, for out-of-State applicants, a pe-

riod of 90 days, if all of the following conditions are met:

  (1) The applicant has applied for the information required under subsection (b) and the applicant provides a copy of

the appropriate completed request forms to the administrator.

  (2) The administrator has no knowledge of information pertaining to the applicant which would disqualify him from

employment pursuant to subsection (c).

  (3) The applicant swears or affirms in writing that he is not disqualified from employment pursuant to subsection (c).

  (4) If the information obtained pursuant to subsection (b) reveals that the applicant is disqualified from employment

pursuant to subsection (c), the applicant shall be immediately dismissed by the administrator.

  (5) The administrator requires that the applicant not be permitted to work alone with children and that the applicant

work in the immediate vicinity of a permanent employee.

  (n) CONFIDENTIALITY.-- The information provided and compiled under this section, including, but not limited to,

the names, addresses and telephone numbers of applicants and foster and adoptive parents, shall be confidential and

shall not be subject to the act of June 21, 1957 (P.L. 390, No. 212), referred to as the Right-to-Know Law. This informa-

tion shall not be released except as permitted by the department through regulation.

  (o) USE OF INFORMATION.-- A foster family care agency may not approve a prospective foster parent if the pro-

spective foster parent or an individual 14 years of age or older who resides for at least 30 days in a calendar year with

the prospective foster parent meets either of the following:

  (1) Is named in the central register as the perpetrator of a founded report of child abuse committed within the five-year

period immediately preceding verification pursuant to this section or is named in the central register as the perpetrator

of a founded report for a school employee committed within the five-year period immediately preceding verification

pursuant to this section.

  (2) Has been found guilty of an offense listed in subsection (c)(2).

  (p) USE OF INFORMATION.-- A prospective adoptive parent may not be approved if the prospective adoptive par-

ent or an individual 14 years of age or older who resides for at least 30 days in a calendar year with the prospective

adoptive parent meets either of the following:

  (1) Is named in the central register as the perpetrator of a founded    report of child abuse committed within the five-

year period immediately     preceding verification pursuant to this section or is named in the central register as the perpe-

trator of a founded report for a school employee committed within the five-year period immediately preceding verifica-

tion pursuant to this section.

----------------------- Page 53-----------------------

                                                                                                                       Page 53

                                                     23 Pa.C.S. § 6344.1

  (2) Has been found guilty of an offense listed in subsection (c)(2).

                                                _______________________

NOTICE: SECOND OF TWO VERSIONS OF THIS SECTION

§ 6344.  Information relating to prospective child-care personnel

   (a) APPLICABILITY.-- This section applies to all prospective employees of child-care services, prospective foster

parents, prospective adoptive parents, prospective self-employed family day-care providers and other persons seeking to

provide child-care services under contract with a child-care facility or program. This section also applies to individuals

14 years of age or older who reside in the home of a prospective foster parent for at least 30 days in a calendar year or

who reside in the home of a prospective adoptive parent for at least 30 days in a calendar year. This section does not

apply to administrative or other support personnel unless their duties will involve direct contact with children.

  (b) INFORMATION SUBMITTED BY PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYEES.-- Administrators of child-care services shall

require applicants to submit with their applications the following information obtained within the preceding one-year

period:

  (1) Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 91 (relating to criminal history record information), a report of criminal history record

information from the Pennsylvania State Police or a statement from the Pennsylvania State        Police that the State Police

central repository contains no such information relating to that person. The criminal history record information shall be

limited to that which is disseminated pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 9121(b)(2) (relating to general regulations).

  (2) A certification from the department as to whether the applicant is named in the central register as the perpetrator of

a founded report of child abuse, indicated report of child abuse, founded report for school employee or indicated report

for school employee.

  (3) A report of Federal criminal history record information. The applicant shall submit a full set of fingerprints in a

manner prescribed by the department. The Commonwealth shall submit the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Inves-

tigation in order to obtain a report of Federal criminal history record information and serve as intermediary for the pur-

poses of this section.

For the purposes of this subsection, an applicant may submit a copy of the information required under paragraphs (1)

and (2) with an application for employment. Administrators shall maintain a copy of the required information and shall

require applicants to produce the original document prior to employment.

  (B.1) INFORMATION SUBMITTED BY CERTAIN PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYEES.--

  (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, this    subsection shall apply to persons who apply for em-

ployment under subsection (c) on or after the effective date of this subsection and before July 1, 2008. The provisions of

subsection (b) shall not apply  to persons who apply for employment under subsection (c) on or after the effective date

of this subsection and before July 1, 2008.

  (2) Administrators of child-care services shall require applicants to submit with their applications the following in-

formation obtained within the preceding one-year period:

   (i) Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 91, a report of criminal history record information from the Pennsylvania State Police

or a statement from the Pennsylvania State Police that the State Police central repository contains no such information

relating to that person. The criminal history record information shall be limited to that which is disseminated pursuant to

18 Pa.C.S. § 9121(b)(2).

----------------------- Page 54-----------------------

                                                                                                                       Page 54

                                                     23 Pa.C.S. § 6344.1

   (ii) A certification from the department as to whether the applicant is named in the central register as the perpetrator

of a founded  report of child abuse, indicated report of child abuse, founded report for school employee or indicated

report for school employee.

   (iii) Where the applicant is not a resident of this Commonwealth,     administrators shall require the applicant to submit

with the application for employment a report of Federal criminal history  record information. The applicant shall submit

a full set of fingerprints to the department. The department shall submit the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Inves-

tigation in order to obtain a report of Federal criminal history record information and serve as intermediary for the pur-

poses of this section.

  (3) For the purposes of this subsection, an applicant may submit a copy of the required information with an applica-

tion for employment. Administrators shall maintain a copy of the required information and shall require applicants to

produce the original document prior to employment.

  (4) This subsection shall expire July 1, 2008.

  (c) GROUNDS FOR DENYING EMPLOYMENT.--

  (1) In no case shall an administrator hire an applicant where the department has verified that the applicant is named in

the central register as the perpetrator of a founded report of child abuse committed within the five-year period immedi-

ately preceding verification pursuant to this section or is named in the central register as the perpetrator of a founded

report for a school employee committed within the five-year period immediately preceding         verification pursuant to this

section.

  (2) In no case shall an administrator hire an applicant if the applicant' s criminal history record information indicates

the applicant has been convicted of one or more of the following offenses under Title 18 (relating to crimes and of-

fenses) or an equivalent crime under Federal law or the law of another state:

  Chapter 25 (relating to criminal homicide).

  Section 2702 (relating to aggravated assault).

  Section 2709.1 (relating to stalking).

  Section 2901 (relating to kidnapping).

  Section 2902 (relating to unlawful restraint).

  Section 3121 (relating to rape).

  Section 3122.1 (relating to statutory sexual assault).

  Section 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse).

  Section 3124.1 (relating to sexual assault).

  Section 3125 (relating to aggravated indecent assault).

  Section 3126 (relating to indecent assault).

  Section 3127 (relating to indecent exposure).

  Section 4302 (relating to incest).

  Section 4303 (relating to concealing death of child).

----------------------- Page 55-----------------------

                                                                                                                      Page 55

                                                     23 Pa.C.S. § 6344.1

  Section 4304 (relating to endangering welfare of children).

  Section 4305 (relating to dealing in infant children).

  A felony offense under section 5902(b) (relating to prostitution and  related offenses).

  Section 5903(c) or (d) (relating to obscene and other sexual materials and performances).

  Section 6301 (relating to corruption of minors).

  Section 6312 (relating to sexual abuse of children).

  The attempt, solicitation or conspiracy to commit any of the offenses set forth in this paragraph.

  (3) In no case shall an administrator hire an applicant if the applicant's criminal history record information indicates

the applicant has been convicted of a felony offense under the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64), known as The

Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, committed within the five-year period immediately

  preceding verification under this section.

  (d) PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE OR FOSTER PARENTS.-- With regard to prospective adoptive or prospective fos-

ter parents, the following shall apply:

  (1) In the course of causing an investigation to be made pursuant to section 2535(a) (relating to investigation), an

agency or person designated by the court to conduct the investigation shall    require prospective adoptive parents and

any individual over the age of 18 years residing in the home to submit the information set forth in subsection (b) for

review in accordance with this section. If a prospective adoptive parent, or any individual over 18 years of age

  residing in the home, has resided outside this Commonwealth at any time within the previous five-year period, the

agency or person designated  by the court shall require that person to submit a certification obtained within the previous

one-year period from the Statewide central  registry, or its equivalent in each state in which the person has resided

within the previous five-year period, as to whether the person is named as a perpetrator of child abuse. If the certifica-

tion shows that the person is named as a perpetrator of child abuse within the previous five-year period, the agency or

person designated by the court shall forward the certification to the department for review. The agency or person desig-

nated by the court shall not approve the prospective adoptive parent if the department determines that the person is

named as the equivalent of a perpetrator of a founded report of child abuse within the previous five-year period.

  (2) In the course of approving a prospective foster parent, a foster family care agency shall require prospective foster

parents and any individual over the age of 18 years residing in the home to submit the information set forth in subsec-

tion (b) for review by the foster family care agency in accordance with this section. If a prospective foster parent, or any

individual over 18 years of age residing in the home,   has resided outside this Commonwealth at any time within the

previous five-year period, the foster family care agency shall require that person to submit a certification obtained

within the previous one-year period from the Statewide central registry, or its equivalent in each state in which the per-

son has resided within the previous five-year period, as to whether the person is named as a perpetrator of child abuse. If

the certification shows that the person is named as a perpetrator of child abuse within the previous five-year period, the

  foster family care agency shall forward the certification to the department for review. The foster family care agency

shall not approve the prospective foster parent if the department determines that the person is named as the equivalent of

a perpetrator of a founded report of child abuse within the previous five-year period. In addition, the foster family care

agency shall consider the following when assessing the ability of applicants for approval as foster parents:

   (i) The ability to provide care, nurturing and supervision to children.

   (ii) Mental and emotional well-being. If there is a question  regarding the mental or emotional stability of a family

member which  might have a negative effect on a foster child, the foster family care agency shall require a psychologi-

cal evaluation of that person before approving the foster family home.

----------------------- Page 56-----------------------

                                                                                                                       Page 56

                                                     23 Pa.C.S. § 6344.1

   (iii) Supportive community ties with family, friends and neighbors.

   (iv) Existing family relationships, attitudes and expectations regarding the applicant's own children and parent/child

   relationships, especially as they might affect a foster child.

   (v) Ability of the applicant to accept a foster child's relationship with his own parents.

   (vi) The applicant's ability to care for children with special needs.

   (vii) Number and characteristics of foster children best suited to the foster family.

   (viii) Ability of the applicant to work in partnership with a foster family care agency. This subparagraph shall not be

construed to  preclude an applicant from advocating on the part of a child.

  (3) Foster parents and any individual over 18 years of age residing in the home shall be required to submit the infor-

mation set forth in subsection (b) every 24 months following approval for review by the foster family care agency in

accordance with subsection (c).

  (4) Foster parents shall be required to report, within 48 hours, any change in information required pursuant to subsec-

tion (b) about themselves and any individuals over the age of 18 years residing in the home for review by the foster

family care agency in accordance with subsection (c).

  (5) Foster parents shall be required to report any other change in the foster family household composition within 30

days of the change for  review by the foster family care agency. If any individual over 18  years of age, who has resided

outside this Commonwealth at any time within the previous five-year period, begins residing in the home of an ap-

proved foster family, that individual shall, within 30 days of  beginning residence, submit to the foster family care

agency a certification obtained within the previous one-year period from the Statewide central registry, or its equivalent

in each state in which  the person has resided, within the previous five-year period, as to whether the person is named as

a perpetrator of child abuse. If the certification shows that the person is named as a perpetrator of child abuse within the

previous five-year period, the foster family care agency shall forward the certification to the department for review.

  If the department determines that the person is named as the equivalent of a perpetrator of a founded report of child

abuse within the previous  five-year period and the person does not cease residing in the home immediately, the foster

child or children shall immediately be removed from the home without a hearing.

  (6) In cases where foster parents knowingly fail to submit the material information required in paragraphs (3), (4) and

(5) such that it would disqualify them as foster parents, the child shall immediately be removed from the home without a

hearing.

  (7) An approved foster parent shall not be considered an employee for any purpose, including, but not limited to, li-

ability, unemployment compensation, workers' compensation or other employee benefits provided by the county

agency.

  (8) The department shall require information based upon certain criteria for foster and adoptive parent applications.

The criteria shall include, but not be limited to, information provided by the applicant or other sources in the following

areas:

   (i) Previous addresses within the last ten years.

   (ii) Criminal history background clearance generated by the process outlined in this section.

   (iii) Child abuse clearance generated by the process outlined in this section.

   (iv) Composition of the resident family unit.

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                                                                                                                     Page 57

                                                    23 Pa.C.S. § 6344.1

   (v) Protection from abuse orders filed by or against either parent, provided that such orders are accessible to the

county or private agency.

   (vi) Details of any proceedings brought in family court, provided that such records in such proceedings are accessible

to the county or private agency.

   (vii) Drug-related or alcohol-related arrests, if criminal charges or judicial proceedings are pending and any convic-

tions or  hospitalizations within the last five years. If the applicant provides information regarding convictions or hospi-

talizations in that five-year period, then information on the prior five years shall  be requested related to any additional

convictions or  hospitalizations.

   (viii) Evidence of financial stability, including income verification, employment history, current liens and bank-

ruptcy findings within the last ten years.

   (ix) Number of and ages of foster children and other dependents currently placed in the home.

   (x) Detailed information regarding children with special needs currently living in the home.

   (xi) Previous history as a foster parent, including number and types of children served.

   (xii) Related education, training or personal experience working with foster children or the child welfare system.

  (D.1) ESTABLISHMENT OF A RESOURCE FAMILY REGISTRY.--

  (1) The department shall establish a registry of resource family applicants.

  (2) The foster family care agency or adoption agency shall register all resource family applicants on the resource fam-

ily registry in accordance with subsection (d.2).

  (3) The foster family care agency or adoption agency shall register all resource families that are approved on the ef-

fective date of this subsection within six months of the effective date of this subsection.

  (4) Any resource family that is voluntarily registered on the foster parent registry shall be maintained on the resource

family registry mandated under this section.

  (D.2) INFORMATION IN THE RESOURCE FAMILY REGISTRY.--

  (1) The resource family registry shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

   (i) The name, Social Security number, date of birth, sex, marital   status, race and ethnicity of the applicants.

   (ii) The date or dates of the resource family application.

   (iii) The current and previous home addresses of the applicants.

   (iv) The county of residence of the applicants.

   (v) The name, date of birth, Social Security number and relationship of all household members.

   (vi) The name, address and telephone number of all current and previous foster family care agency or adoption

agency affiliations.

   (vii) The foster family care agency or adoption agency disposition  related to the approval or disapproval of the ap-

plicants and the date and basis for the disposition.

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                                                                                                                       Page 58

                                                     23 Pa.C.S. § 6344.1

   (viii) The type of care the resource family will provide.

   (ix) The number of children that may be placed in the resource family home.

   (x) The age, race, gender and level of special needs of children that may be placed in the resource family home.

   (xi) The ability of the resource family to provide care for sibling groups.

   (xii) The date and reason for any closure of the resource family home.

   (xiii) The appeal activity initiated by a resource family applicant or an approved resource family and the basis for the

appeal. This subparagraph shall not be construed to limit legitimate appeals.

   (xiv) The status and disposition of all appeal-related activities. This subparagraph shall not be construed to limit le-

gitimate appeals.

  (2) The information maintained in the resource family registry may be released to the following individuals when the

department has positively identified the individual requesting the information and the department, except in the case of

subparagraphs (iii) and (iv), has inquired into whether and if it is satisfied that the individual has a legitimate need

within the scope of the individual's official duties to obtain the information:

   (i) An authorized official of a county or private agency, a Federal agency or an agency of another state who performs

resource family approvals or the department in the course of the official's duties.

   (ii) A guardian ad litem or court-designated advocate for a child. The information is limited to the information re-

lated to the resource family with whom the child resides.

   (iii) A court of competent jurisdiction, including a district justice, a judge of the Municipal Court of Philadelphia or a

judge of the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court, pursuant to court order or subpoena n a criminal matter involving a charge of

child abuse under Chapter 63 (relating to child protective services).

   (iv) A court of competent jurisdiction in connection with any matter involving custody of a child. The department

shall provide to the court any files that the court considers relevant.

   (v) The Attorney General.

   (vi) Federal auditors, if required for Federal financial participation in funding of agencies, except that Federal audi-

tors  may not remove identifiable information or copies thereof from the department or county or private agencies.

   (vii) Law enforcement agents of any jurisdiction, as long as the information is relevant in the course of investigating

crimes involving the resource family.

   (viii) Appropriate officials of a private agency or another county or state regarding a resource family that has applied

to become a resource family for that agency, county or state.

  (3) At any time and upon written request, a resource family may receive a copy of all information pertaining to that

resource family contained in the resource family registry.

***********The text of subsection (e) effective until July 1, 2008.

  (e) SELF-EMPLOYED FAMILY DAY-CARE PROVIDERS.-- Self-employed family day-care providers who apply

for a certificate of registration with the department shall submit with their registration application a report of criminal

----------------------- Page 59-----------------------

                                                                                                                      Page 59

                                                     23 Pa.C.S. § 6344.1

history record information and shall also obtain certification from the department as to whether the applicant is named

in the central register as the perpetrator of a founded report of child abuse.

***********The text of subsection (e) effective July 1, 2008.

  (e) SELF-EMPLOYED FAMILY DAY-CARE PROVIDERS.-- Self-employed family day-care providers who apply

for a certificate of registration with the department shall submit with their registration application the information set

forth under subsection (b) for review in accordance with this section.

***********The text of subsection (f) effective until July 1, 2008.

  (f) SUBMISSIONS BY OPERATORS OF CHILD-CARE SERVICES.-- The department shall require persons seek-

ing to operate child-care services to submit the information set forth in subsection (b)(1) and (2) for review in accor-

dance with this section.

***********The text of subsection (f) effective July 1, 2008.

  (f) SUBMISSIONS BY OPERATORS OF CHILD-CARE SERVICES.-- The department shall require persons seek-

ing to operate child-care services to submit the information set forth in subsection (b) for review in accordance with this

section.

  (g) REGULATIONS.-- The department shall promulgate the regulations necessary to carry out this section. These

regulations shall:

  (1) Set forth criteria for unsuitability for employment in a child-care service in relation to criminal history record in-

formation which may include criminal history record information in addition to that set  forth above. The criteria shall

be reasonably related to the prevention of child abuse.

  (2) Set forth sanctions for administrators who willfully hire applicants in violation of this section or in violation of the

  regulations promulgated under this section.

  (h) FEES.-- The department may charge a fee not to exceed $ 10 in order to conduct the certification as required in

subsection (b)(2), except that no fee shall be charged to an individual who makes the request in order to apply to be-

come a volunteer with an affiliate of Big Brothers of America or Big Sisters of America or with a rape crisis center or

domestic violence shelter.

  (i) TIME LIMIT FOR CERTIFICATION.-- The department shall comply with certification requests no later than 14

days from the receipt of the request.

  (j) VOLUNTARY CERTIFICATION OF CHILD CARETAKERS.-- The department shall develop a procedure for

the voluntary certification of child caretakers to allow persons to apply to the department for a certificate indicating the

person has met the requirements of subsection (b). The department shall also provide for the biennial recertification of

child caretakers.

***********The text of subsection (k) effective until July 1, 2008.

  (k) EXISTING OR TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES.-- A person employed in child-care services on January 1, 1986,

shall not be required to obtain the information required in subsection (b)(1) and (2) as a condition of continued em-

----------------------- Page 60-----------------------

                                                                                                                          Page 60

                                                       23 Pa.C.S. § 6344.1

ployment. A person who has once obtained the information required under subsection (b)(1) and (2) may transfer to

another child-care service established and supervised by the same organization and shall not be required to obtain addi-

tional reports before making the transfer.

***********The text of subsection (k) effective July 1, 2008.

  (k) EXISTING OR TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES.-- A person employed in child-care services on July 1, 2008,

shall not be required to obtain the information required in subsection (b) as a condition of continued employment. A

person who has once obtained the information required under subsection (b) may transfer to another child-care service

established and supervised by the same organization and shall not be required to obtain additional reports before making

the transfer.

  (l) TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES UNDER SPECIAL PROGRAMS.-- The requirements of this section do not apply

to employees of child-care services who meet all the following requirements:

  (1) They are under 21 years of age.

  (2) They are employed for periods of 90 days or less.

  (3) They are a part of a job development or job training program funded, in whole or in part, by public or private

sources.

Once employment of a person who meets these conditions extends beyond 90 days, all requirements of this section shall

take effect.

  (m) PROVISIONAL EMPLOYEES FOR LIMITED PERIODS.-- Notwithstanding subsection (b), administrators may

employ applicants on a provisional basis for a single period not to exceed 30 days or, for out-of-State applicants, a pe-

riod of 90 days, if all of the following conditions are met:

  (1) The applicant has applied for the information required under subsection (b) and the applicant provides a copy of

the appropriate completed request forms to the administrator.

  (2) The administrator has no knowledge of information pertaining to the applicant which would disqualify him from

employment pursuant to subsection (c).

  (3) The applicant swears or affirms in writing that he is not disqualified from employment pursuant to subsection (c).

  (4) If the information obtained pursuant to subsection (b) reveals that the applicant is disqualified from employment

pursuant to subsection (c), the applicant shall be immediately dismissed by the administrator.

  (5) The administrator requires that the applicant not be permitted to work alone with children and that the applicant

work in the immediate vicinity of a permanent employee.

  (n) CONFIDENTIALITY.-- The information provided and compiled under this section, including, but not limited to,

the names, addresses and telephone numbers of applicants and foster and adoptive parents, shall be confidential and

shall not be subject to the act of June 21, 1957 (P.L. 390, No. 212), referred to as the Right-to-Know Law. This informa-

tion shall not be released except as permitted by the department through regulation.

  (o) USE OF INFORMATION.-- A foster family care agency may not approve a prospective foster parent if the pro-

spective foster parent or an individual 14 years of age or older who resides for at least 30 days in a calendar year with

the prospective foster parent meets either of the following:

  (1) Is named in the central register as the perpetrator of a founded report of child abuse committed within the five-year

period immediately preceding verification pursuant to this section or is named in the central register as the perpetrator

----------------------- Page 61-----------------------

                                                                                                                        Page 61

                                                     23 Pa.C.S. § 6344.1

of a founded report for a school employee committed within the five-year period immediately preceding verification

pursuant to this section.

  (2) Has been found guilty of an offense listed in subsection (c)(2).

  (p) USE OF INFORMATION.-- A prospective adoptive parent may not be approved if the prospective adoptive par-

ent or an individual 14 years of age or older who resides for at least 30 days in a calendar year with the prospective

adoptive parent meets either of the following:

  (1) Is named in the central register as the perpetrator of a founded   report of child abuse committed within the five-

year period immediately preceding verification pursuant to this section or is named in the central register as the perpe-

trator of a founded report for a school employee committed within the five-year period immediately preceding verifica-

tion pursuant to this section.

  (2) Has been found guilty of an offense listed in subsection (c)(2).

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995;  Act 1995 Special Session-10 (S.B. 2), § 15, approved Mar. 31, 1995, eff. in

60 days;  Act 1998-127 (H.B. 1992), § 12, approved Dec. 15, 1998, eff. Jan. 1, 1999;  Act 2001-112 (S.B. 611), § 2,

approved Dec. 17, 2001, eff. immediately;     Act 2002-218 (S.B. 1515), § 7, approved Dec. 9, 2002, eff. in 60 days.;  Act

2004-160 (H.B. 2308), § 2, approved Nov. 29, 2004, eff. in 60 days.;  Act 2006-179 (S.B. 1054), § 4, approved Nov. 29,

2006, eff. in 180 days.;  Act 2007-73 (H.B. 1961), § 1, approved Dec. 18, 2007, eff. Jan. 1, 2008.

CASE NOTES

1. Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) did not err in deciding not to renew a private adoption agency's

third provisional certificate of compliance pursuant to 62 P.S. § 1008; the agency had a duty to keep its personnel files

in accordance with the DPW's regulations, and the agency conceded that documents were missing. 1st Steps Int'l Adop-

tions, Inc. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 880 A.2d 24, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 440 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005).

2. Pennsylvania Civil Service Commission did not err in granting the employee's challenge to the employee's removal as

a caseworker because of a 1980 conviction for aggravated assault in violation of 23 Pa.C.S. § 6344(c), because the law

violated Pa. Const. art. I, § 1, where it created limitations that had no temporal proximity to the time of hiring, and it

did not bear a real and substantial relationship to the Commonwealth's interest in protecting children. Warren County

Human Servs. v. State Civ. Serv. Comm'n (Roberts), 844 A.2d 70, 2004 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 195 (Pa. Commw. Ct.

2004), appeal denied by 581 Pa. 687, 863 A.2d 1152, 2004 Pa. LEXIS 2953 (2004), criticized by Extendicare Health

Servs. v. Dist. 1199P, Serv. Emples. Int'l Union, 532 F. Supp. 2d 713, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85370, 180 L.R.R.M.

(BNA) 3077 (M.D. Pa. 2006).

3. Where the Commonwealth had established an overriding interest in ensuring that a defendant, that had completed an

accelerated rehabilitative disposition program after being arrested and charged with indecent assault, corruption of mi-

nors and endangering welfare of children, never teach again; the defendant's expectation of expungement, reasonable or

not, did not prevail where former 1 P.S. § 2223.1 (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6344) did not permit school districts to hire persons

convicted of crime within the preceding five years. Commonwealth v. Cohen, 395 Pa. Super. 536, 577 A.2d 920, 1990

Pa. Super. LEXIS 1390 (1990).

4. Where the Commonwealth had established an overriding interest in ensuring that a defendant, that had completed an

accelerated rehabilitative disposition program after being arrested and charged with indecent assault, corruption of mi-

nors and endangering welfare of children, never teach again; the defendant's expectation of expungement, reasonable or

not, did not prevail where former 1 P.S. § 2223.1 (now 23 Pa.C.S. § 6344) did not permit school districts to hire persons

convicted of crime within the preceding five years. Commonwealth v. Cohen, 395 Pa. Super. 536, 577 A.2d 920, 1990

Pa. Super. LEXIS 1390 (1990).

----------------------- Page 62-----------------------

                                                                                                                     Page 62

                                                    23 Pa.C.S. § 6344.1

5. Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) did not err in deciding not to renew a private adoption agency's

third provisional certificate of compliance pursuant to 62 P.S. § 1008; the agency had a duty to keep its personnel files

in accordance with the DPW's regulations, and the agency conceded that documents were missing. 1st Steps Int'l Adop-

tions, Inc. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 880 A.2d 24, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 440 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005).

6. Pennsylvania Civil Service Commission did not err in granting the employee's challenge to the employee's removal as

a caseworker because of a 1980 conviction for aggravated assault in violation of 23 Pa.C.S. § 6344(c), because the law

violated Pa. Const. art. I, § 1, where it created limitations that had no temporal proximity to the time of hiring, and it

did not bear a real and substantial relationship to the Commonwealth's interest in protecting children. Warren County

Human Servs. v. State Civ. Serv. Comm'n (Roberts), 844 A.2d 70, 2004 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 195 (Pa. Commw. Ct.

2004), appeal denied by 581 Pa. 687, 863 A.2d 1152, 2004 Pa. LEXIS 2953 (2004), criticized by Extendicare Health

Servs. v. Dist. 1199P, Serv. Emples. Int'l Union, 532 F. Supp. 2d 713, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85370, 180 L.R.R.M.

(BNA) 3077 (M.D. Pa. 2006).

7. The adoptive parents' constitutional rights were not violated because former 11 P.S. § 2223.1(f)(1), (2) (now 23

Pa.C.S. § 6344) did not absolutely preclude registered perpetrators of an indicated report of child abuse from becoming

adoptive parents. K. & L. N. v. Commonwealth, Dep't of Public Welfare, 123 Pa. Commw. 634, 554 A.2d 994, 1989 Pa.

Commw. LEXIS 115 (1989), appeal denied by 524 Pa. 600, 568 A.2d 1250 (1989).

8. Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) did not err in deciding not to renew a private adoption agency's

third provisional certificate of compliance pursuant to 62 P.S. § 1008; the agency had a duty to keep its personnel files

in accordance with the DPW's regulations, and the agency conceded that documents were missing. 1st Steps Int'l Adop-

tions, Inc. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 880 A.2d 24, 2005 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 440 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005).

9. Pennsylvania Civil Service Commission did not err in granting the employee's challenge to the employee's removal as

a caseworker because of a 1980 conviction for aggravated assault in violation of 23 Pa.C.S. § 6344(c), because the law

violated Pa. Const. art. I, § 1, where it created limitations that had no temporal proximity to the time of hiring, and it

did not bear a real and substantial relationship to the Commonwealth's interest in protecting children. Warren County

Human Servs. v. State Civ. Serv. Comm'n (Roberts), 844 A.2d 70, 2004 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 195 (Pa. Commw. Ct.

2004), appeal denied by 581 Pa. 687, 863 A.2d 1152, 2004 Pa. LEXIS 2953 (2004), criticized by Extendicare Health

Servs. v. Dist. 1199P, Serv. Emples. Int'l Union, 532 F. Supp. 2d 713, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85370, 180 L.R.R.M.

(BNA) 3077 (M.D. Pa. 2006).

§ 6344.1.  Information relating to family day-care home residents

   (a) GENERAL RULE.-- In addition to the requirements of section 6344 (relating to information relating to prospec-

tive child-care personnel), an individual who applies to the department for a registration certificate to operate a family

day-care home shall include criminal history record and child abuse record information required under section 6344(b)

for every individual 18 years of age or older who resides in the home for at least 30 days in a calendar year.

  (b) REQUIRED INFORMATION.-- Child abuse record information required under subsection (a) shall include certi-

fication by the department as to whether the applicant is named in the central register as the perpetrator of a founded

report, indicated report, founded report for school employee or indicated report for school employee.

  (c) EFFECT ON REGISTRATION.-- The department shall refuse to issue or renew a registration certificate or shall

revoke a registration certificate if the family day-care home provider or individual 18 years of age or older who has re-

sided in the home for at least 30 days in a calendar year:

  (1) is named in the central register on child abuse established under Chapter 63 (relating to child protective services)

as the perpetrator of a founded report committed within the immediately preceding five-year period; or

  (2) has been convicted of an offense enumerated in section 6344(c).

  (d) REGULATIONS.-- The department shall promulgate regulations to administer this section.

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                                                        23 Pa.C.S. § 6344.1

HISTORY: Act 2006-179 (S.B. 1054), § 5, approved Nov. 29, 2006, eff. in 180 days.

§ 6344.2.  Information relating to other persons having contact with children

   (a) APPLICABILITY.-- This section applies to prospective employees applying to engage in occupations with a sig-

nificant likelihood of regular contact with children, in the form of care, guidance, supervision or training. Such persons

include social service workers, hospital personnel, mental health professionals, members of the clergy, counselors, li-

brarians and doctors.

  (b) INVESTIGATION.-- Employers, administrators or supervisors shall require an applicant to submit to all require-

ments set forth in section 6344(b) (relating to information relating to prospective child-care personnel). An employer,

administrator, supervisor or other person responsible for employment decisions regarding an applicable prospective

employee under this section that intentionally fails to require the submissions before hiring that individual commits a

misdemeanor of the third degree.

  (c) GROUNDS FOR DENIAL.-- Each applicant shall be subject to the requirements of section 6344(c).

  (d) DEPARTMENTAL TREATMENT OF INFORMATION.-- Information provided and compiled under this section

by the department shall be confidential and shall not be subject to the act of June 21, 1957 (P.L. 390, No. 212), referred

to as the Right-to-Know Law. This information shall not be released except as permitted by the department through

regulation. The department may charge a fee to conduct a certification as required by section 6344(b)(2) in accordance

with the provisions of section 6344(h). The department shall promulgate regulations necessary to carry out this subsec-

tion.

HISTORY: Act 2006-179 (S.B. 1054), § 5, approved Nov. 29, 2006, eff. in 60 days.

§ 6345.  Audits by Attorney General

  The Attorney General shall conduct a mandated audit done randomly but at least once during each year on an unan-

nounced basis to ensure that the expunction requirements of this chapter are being fully and properly conducted.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

§ 6346.  Cooperation of other agencies

   (a) GENERAL RULE.-- The secretary may request and shall receive from Commonwealth agencies, political subdi-

visions, an authorized agency or any other agency providing services under the local protective services plan any assis-

tance and data that will enable the department and the county agency to fulfill their responsibilities properly, including

law enforcement personnel when assistance is needed in conducting an investigation or an assessment of risk to the

child. School districts shall cooperate with the department and the agency by providing them upon request with the in-

formation as is consistent with law.

  (b) WILLFUL FAILURE TO COOPERATE.-- Any agency, school district or facility or any person acting on behalf

of an agency, school district or facility that violates this section by willfully failing to cooperate with the department or

a county agency when investigating a report of suspected child abuse or a report under Subchapter C.1 (relating to stu-

dents in public and private schools) or when assessing risk to a child commits a summary offense for a first violation

and a misdemeanor of the third degree for subsequent violations.

  (c) COOPERATION OF COUNTY AGENCY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES.-- Consistent with the

provisions of this chapter, the county agency and law enforcement agencies shall cooperate and coordinate, to the fullest

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                                                          23 Pa.C.S. § 6346

extent possible, their efforts to respond to and investigate reports of suspected child abuse and to reports under Subchap-

ter C.1.

  (d) ADVICE TO COUNTY AGENCY.-- Whenever a report of suspected child abuse is referred from a county agency

to a law enforcement agency pursuant to section 6340(a)(9) and (10) (relating to release of information in confidential

reports), as soon as possible, and without jeopardizing the criminal investigation or prosecution, the law enforcement

agency shall advise the county agency as to whether a criminal investigation has been undertaken and the results of the

investigation and of any criminal prosecution. The county agency shall ensure that the information is referred to the

Statewide central register.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995;  Act 1998-127 (H.B. 1992), § 12, approved Dec. 15, 1998, eff. Mar. 1, 1999.

§ 6347.  Reports to Governor and General Assembly.

   (a) GENERAL RULE.-- No later than May 1 of every year, the secretary shall prepare and transmit to the Governor

and the General Assembly a report on the operations of the central register of child abuse and child protective services

provided by county agencies. The report shall include a full statistical analysis of the reports of suspected child abuse

made to the department and the reports under Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in public and private schools), to-

gether with a report on the implementation of this chapter and its total cost to the Commonwealth, the evaluation of the

secretary of services offered under this chapter and recommendations for repeal or for additional legislation to fulfill the

purposes of this chapter. All such recommendations should contain an estimate of increased or decreased costs resulting

therefrom. The report shall also include an explanation of services provided to children who were the subjects of

founded or indicated reports while receiving child-care services. The department shall also describe its actions in respect

to the perpetrators of the abuse.

  (b) REPORTS FROM COUNTY AGENCIES.-- To assist the department in preparing its annual report and the quar-

terly reports required under subsection (c), each county agency shall submit a quarterly report to the department, includ-

ing, at a minimum, the following information, on an aggregate basis, regarding general protective services, child protec-

tive services and action under Subchapter C.1:

  (1) The number of referrals received and referrals accepted.

  (2) The number of children over whom the agency maintains continuing

  supervision.

  (3) The number of cases which have been closed by the agency.

  (4) The services provided to children and their families.

  (5) A summary of the findings with nonidentifying information about

  each case of child abuse or neglect which has resulted in a child

  fatality or near fatality.

  (c) QUARTERLY REPORTS.-- The department shall prepare and transmit to the Governor and the General Assem-

bly a quarterly report that includes a summary of the findings with nonidentifying information about each case of child

abuse or neglect that has resulted in a child fatality or near fatality. One of the quarterly reports may be included within

the annual report required under subsection (a).

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1996.;  Act 2006-146 (H.B. 2670), § 5, approved Nov. 9, 2006, eff. in 180 days.

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                                                            23 Pa.C.S. § 6348

§ 6348.  Regulations

  The department shall adopt regulations necessary to implement this chapter.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days.

§ 6349.  Penalties

   (a) FAILURE TO AMEND OR EXPUNGE INFORMATION.--

  (1) A person or official authorized to keep the records mentioned in            section 6337 (relating to disposition of un-

founded reports) or 6338 (relating to disposition of founded and indicated reports) who willfully fails to amend or ex-

punge the information when required commits a summary offense for the first violation and a misdemeanor of

  the third degree for a second or subsequent violation.

  (2) A person who willfully fails to obey a final order of the secretary or designated agent of the secretary to amend or

expunge the summary of        the report in the Statewide central register or the contents of any report filed pursuant to sec-

tion 6313 (relating to reporting procedure) commits a summary offense.

  (b) UNAUTHORIZED RELEASE OF INFORMATION.-- A person who willfully releases or permits the release of

any information contained in the pending complaint file, the Statewide central register or the county agency records

required by this chapter to persons or agencies not permitted by this chapter to receive that information commits a mis-

demeanor of the third degree. Law enforcement agencies shall insure the confidentiality and security of information

under this chapter. A person, including an employee of a law enforcement agency, who violates the provisions of this

subsection shall, in addition to other civil or criminal penalties provided by law, be denied access to the information

provided under this chapter.

  (c) NONCOMPLIANCE WITH CHILD-CARE PERSONNEL REGULATIONS.-- An administrator, or other person

responsible for employment decisions in a child-care facility or program, who willfully fails to comply with the provi-

sions of section 6344 (relating to information relating to prospective child-care personnel) commits a violation of this

chapter and shall be subject to a civil penalty as provided in this subsection. The department shall have jurisdiction to

determine violations of section 6344 and may, following a hearing, assess a civil penalty not to exceed $ 2,500. The

civil penalty shall be payable to the Commonwealth.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 3,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

§ 6351.  Definitions

  The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter shall have the meanings given to them in this section

unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

  "ADMINISTRATOR." The person responsible for the administration of a public or private school, intermediate unit

or area vocational-technical school. The term includes an independent contractor.

HISTORY: Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 4, approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

                                                                      )

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                                                       23 Pa.C.S. § 6353.1

§ 6352.  School employees

   (a) REQUIREMENT.--

  (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), a school employee who has reasonable cause to suspect, on the basis of pro-

fessional or other training and experience, that a student coming before the school employee in the employee's profes-

sional or official capacity is a victim of serious bodily injury or sexual abuse or sexual exploitation by a school em-

ployee shall immediately contact the administrator.

  (2) If the school employee accused of seriously injuring or sexually abusing or exploiting a student is the administra-

tor, the school employee who has reasonable cause to suspect, on the basis of professional or other training and experi-

ence, that a student coming before the school employee in the employee's professional or official capacity is a victim of

serious bodily injury or sexual abuse or sexual exploitation shall immediately report to law enforcement officials and

  the district attorney under section 6353(a) (relating to administration). If an administrator is the school employee who

  suspects injury or abuse, the administrator shall make a report under section 6353(a).

  (3) The school employee may not reveal the existence or content of the report to any other person.

  (b) IMMUNITY.-- A school employee who refers a report under subsection (a) shall be immune from civil and crimi-

nal liability arising out of the report.

  (c) CRIMINAL PENALTY.--

  (1) A school employee who willfully violates subsection (a) commits a summary offense.

  (2) A school employee who, after being sentenced under paragraph (1), violates subsection (a) commits a misde-

meanor of the third degree.

HISTORY: Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 4, approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

§ 6353.  Administration

   (a) REQUIREMENT.-- An administrator and a school employee governed by section 6352(a)(2) (relating to school

employees) shall report immediately to law enforcement officials and the appropriate district attorney any report of se-

rious bodily injury or sexual abuse or sexual exploitation alleged to have been committed by a school employee against

a student.

  (b) REPORT.-- A report under subsection (a) shall include the following information:

  (1) Name, age, address and school of the student.

  (2) Name and address of the student's parent or guardian.

  (3) Name and address of the administrator.

  (4) Name, work and home address of the school employee.

  (5) Nature of the alleged offense.

  (6) Any specific comments or observations that are directly related to the alleged incident and the individuals in-

volved.

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                                                        23 Pa.C.S. § 6353.1

  (c) IMMUNITY.-- An administrator who makes a report under subsection (a) shall be immune from civil or criminal

liability arising out of the report.

  (d) CRIMINAL PENALTY.-- An administrator who willfully violates subsection (a) commits a misdemeanor of the

third degree.

HISTORY: Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 4, approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

CASE NOTES

1. In an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim where plaintiffs alleged that school administrators had inten-

tionally failed to report a teacher for incidents against other children, the court held that the administrators did not have

a duty to report under the Child Protective Services Act. The alleged incidents, which involved conduct such as yelling

at students and grabbing them by the arm, did not involve serious bodily injuries under 23 Pa.C.S. §§ 6303 and 6353(a)

that would have required the administrators to make a report. Pursel v. McCartney, 2006 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS

260 (Feb. 15, 2006).

2. Parent's complaint averring that supervisors failed to report a teacher's prior assaults on students did not plead a

criminal violation of the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa.C.S. § 6302 et seq., as it not allege they

had actual knowledge of and intentionally did not report acts that led to serious bodily injury, sexual abuse, or sexual

exploitation of students. Therefore, the supervisors were immune from suit under the Pennsylvania Political Subdivision

Tort Claims Act, 42 Pa.C.S. § 8501 et seq. Pursel v. Parkland Sch. Dist., 70 Pa. D. & C.4th 129, 2005 Pa. Dist. & Cnty.

Dec. LEXIS 165 (2005).

3. Even a supervisor's actual knowledge of a teacher's prior assaults against a student is not sufficient to sustain a claim

of intentional tort for purposes of 42 Pa.C.S. § 8550 of the Pennsylvania Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act, 42

Pa.C.S. § 8501 et seq., unless the supervisor was aware that a repetition of these actions was substantially certain to

ensue. Pursel v. Parkland Sch. Dist., 70 Pa. D. & C.4th 129, 2005 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 165 (2005).

4. In an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim where plaintiffs alleged that school administrators had inten-

tionally failed to report a teacher for incidents against other children, the court held that the administrators did not have

a duty to report under the Child Protective Services Act. The alleged incidents, which involved conduct such as yelling

at students and grabbing them by the arm, did not involve serious bodily injuries under 23 Pa.C.S. §§ 6303 and 6353(a)

that would have required the administrators to make a report. Pursel v. McCartney, 2006 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS

260 (Feb. 15, 2006).

5. Parent's complaint averring that supervisors failed to report a teacher's prior assaults on students did not plead a

criminal violation of the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa.C.S. § 6302 et seq., as it not allege they

had actual knowledge of and intentionally did not report acts that led to serious bodily injury, sexual abuse, or sexual

exploitation of students. Therefore, the supervisors were immune from suit under the Pennsylvania Political Subdivision

Tort Claims Act, 42 Pa.C.S. § 8501 et seq. Pursel v. Parkland Sch. Dist., 70 Pa. D. & C.4th 129, 2005 Pa. Dist. & Cnty.

Dec. LEXIS 165 (2005).

6. Even a supervisor's actual knowledge of a teacher's prior assaults against a student is not sufficient to sustain a claim

of intentional tort for purposes of 42 Pa.C.S. § 8550 of the Pennsylvania Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act, 42

Pa.C.S. § 8501 et seq., unless the supervisor was aware that a repetition of these actions was substantially certain to

ensue. Pursel v. Parkland Sch. Dist., 70 Pa. D. & C.4th 129, 2005 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 165 (2005).

7. Parent's complaint averring that supervisors failed to report a teacher's prior assaults on students did not plead a

criminal violation of the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa.C.S. § 6302 et seq., as it not allege they

had actual knowledge of and intentionally did not report acts that led to serious bodily injury, sexual abuse, or sexual

exploitation of students. Therefore, the supervisors were immune from suit under the Pennsylvania Political Subdivision

Tort Claims Act, 42 Pa.C.S. § 8501 et seq. Pursel v. Parkland Sch. Dist., 70 Pa. D. & C.4th 129, 2005 Pa. Dist. & Cnty.

Dec. LEXIS 165 (2005).

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                                                     23 Pa.C.S. § 6353.1

8. Even a supervisor's actual knowledge of a teacher's prior assaults against a student is not sufficient to sustain a claim

of intentional tort for purposes of 42 Pa.C.S. § 8550 of the Pennsylvania Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act, 42

Pa.C.S. § 8501 et seq., unless the supervisor was aware that a repetition of these actions was substantially certain to

ensue. Pursel v. Parkland Sch. Dist., 70 Pa. D. & C.4th 129, 2005 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 165 (2005).

§ 6353.1.  Investigation

   (a) GENERAL RULE.-- Upon receipt of a report under section 6353 (relating to administration), an investigation

shall be conducted by law enforcement officials, in cooperation with the district attorney, and a determination made as

to what criminal charges, if any, will be filed against the school employee.

  (b) REFERRAL TO COUNTY AGENCY.--

  (1) If local law enforcement officials have reasonable cause to suspect on the basis of initial review that there is evi-

dence of serious bodily injury, sexual abuse or sexual exploitation committed by a school employee against a student,

local law enforcement officials shall notify the county agency in the county where the alleged abuse or  injury occurred

for the purpose of the agency conducting an investigation of the alleged abuse or injury.

  (2) To the fullest extent possible, law enforcement officials and the county agency shall coordinate their respective

investigations. In  respect to interviews with the student, law enforcement officials and the county agency shall conduct

joint interviews. In respect to interviews with the school employee, law enforcement officials shall be given an opportu-

nity to interview the school employee prior to the employee having any contact with the county agency.

  (3) The county agency and law enforcement officials have the authority to arrange for photographs, medical tests or

X-rays of a student alleged to have been abused or injured by a school employee. The county agency and law enforce-

ment officials shall coordinate their efforts in this regard and, to the fullest extent possible, avoid the duplication of any

photographs, medical tests or X-rays.

  (4) Law enforcement officials and the county agency shall advise each other of the status and findings of their respec-

tive investigations on an ongoing basis.

HISTORY: Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 4, approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

§ 6353.2.  Responsibilities of county agency

   (a) INFORMATION FOR THE PENDING COMPLAINT FILE.-- Immediately after receiving a report under section

6353.1 (relating to investigation), the county agency shall notify the department of the receipt of the report, which is to

be filed in the pending complaint file as provided in section 6331(1) (relating to establishment of pending complaint

file, Statewide central register and file of unfounded reports). The oral report shall include the following information:

  (1) The name and address of the student and the student's parent or guardian.

  (2) Where the suspected abuse or injury occurred.

  (3) The age and sex of the student.

  (4) The nature and extent of the suspected abuse or injury.

  (5) The name and home address of the school employee alleged to have committed the abuse or injury.

  (6) The relationship of the student to the school employee alleged to have committed the abuse or injury.

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                                                                                                                        Page 69

                                                     23 Pa.C.S. § 6353.2

  (7) The source of the report to the county agency.

  (8) The actions taken by the county agency, law enforcement officials, parents, guardians, school officials or other

persons, including the taking of photographs, medical tests and X-rays.

  (b) INVESTIGATION OF REPORTS.-- Upon receipt of a report under section 6353.1, the county agency shall com-

mence, within the time frames established in department regulations, an investigation of the nature, extent and cause of

any alleged abuse or injury enumerated in the report. The county agency shall coordinate its investigation to the fullest

extent possible with law enforcement officials as provided in section 6353.1(b).

  (c) COMPLETION OF INVESTIGATION.-- The investigation by the county agency to determine whether the report

is an indicated report for school employee or an unfounded report shall be completed within 60 days.

  (d) NOTICE TO SUBJECT OF A REPORT.-- Prior to interviewing a subject of the report, the county agency shall

orally notify the subject of the report of the existence of the report and the subject's rights under this chapter in regard to

amendment or expungement. Within 72 hours following oral notification to the subject, the county agency shall give

written notice to the subject. The notice may be reasonably delayed if notification is likely to threaten the safety of the

student or the county agency worker, to cause the school employee to abscond or to significantly interfere with the con-

duct of a criminal investigation.

  (e) RELIANCE ON FACTUAL INVESTIGATION.-- The county agency may rely on a factual investigation of sub-

stantially the same allegations by a law enforcement officials to support the agency's finding. This reliance shall not

relieve the county agency of its responsibilities relating to the investigation of reports under this subchapter.

  (f) NOTICE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE COUNTY AGENCY'S DETERMINATION.-- As soon as the county

agency has completed its investigation, the county agency shall advise the department and law enforcement officials of

its determination of the report as an indicated report for school employee or an unfounded report. Supplemental reports

shall be made at regular intervals thereafter in a manner and form the department prescribes by regulation to the end that

the department is kept fully informed and up-to-date concerning the status of the report.

HISTORY: Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 4, approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

§ 6353.3.  Information in Statewide central register

  The Statewide central register established under section 6331 (relating to establishment of pending complaint file,

Statewide central register and file of unfounded reports) shall retain only the following information relating to reports of

abuse or injury of a student by a school employee which have been determined to be a founded report for school em-

ployee or an indicated report for school employee:

  (1) The names, Social Security numbers, age and sex of the subjects of the report.

  (2) The home address of the subjects of the report.

  (3) The date and the nature and extent of the alleged abuse or injury.

  (4) The county and state where the abuse or injury occurred.

  (5) Factors contributing to the abuse or injury.

  (6) The source of the report.

  (7) Whether the report is a founded or indicated report.

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                                                                                                                     Page 70

                                                    23 Pa.C.S. § 6353.4

  (8) Information obtained by the department in relation to the school employee's request to release, amend or expunge

information retained by the department or the county agency.

  (9) The progress of any legal proceedings brought on the basis of the report.

  (10) Whether a criminal investigation has been undertaken and the  result of the investigation and of any criminal

prosecution.

HISTORY: Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 4, approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

§ 6353.4.  Other provisions

  The following provisions shall apply to the release and retention of information by the department and the county

agency concerning reports of abuse or injury committed by a school employee as provided by this subchapter:

  Section 6336(b) and (c) (relating to information in Statewide central register).

  Section 6337 (relating to disposition of unfounded reports).

  Section 6338(a) and (b) (relating to disposition of founded and indicated reports).

  Section 6339 (relating to confidentiality of reports).

  Section 6340 (relating to release of information in confidential reports).

  Section 6341(a) through (f) (relating to amendment or expunction of information).

  Section 6342 (relating to studies of data in records).

HISTORY: Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 4, approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

§ 6354.  Definitions

  The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter shall have the meanings given to them in this section

unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

  "APPLICANT." An individual who applies for a position as a school employee. The term includes an individual who

transfers from one position as a school employee to another position as a school employee.

  "ADMINISTRATOR." The person responsible for the administration of a public or private school, intermediate unit

or area vocational-technical school. The term includes a person responsible for employment decisions in a school and an

independent contractor.

HISTORY: Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 4, approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1996.

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                                                                                                                     Page 71

                                                     23 Pa.C.S. § 6355

§ 6355.  Requirement

   (a) INVESTIGATION.--

  (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), an administrator shall require each applicant to submit an official clearance

statement obtained from the department within the immediately preceding year as to whether the applicant is named as

the perpetrator of an indicated or a founded report or is named as the individual responsible for injury or abuse in

  an indicated report for school employee or a founded report for school employee.

  (2) The official clearance statement under paragraph (1) shall not be required for an applicant who:

   (i) transfers from one position as a school employee to another position as a school employee of the same school

district or of the same organization; and

   (ii) has, prior to the transfer, already obtained the official clearance statement under paragraph (1).

  (b) GROUNDS FOR DENYING EMPLOYMENT.-- Except as provided in section 6356 (relating to exceptions), an

administrator shall not hire an applicant if the department verifies that the applicant is named as the perpetrator of a

founded report or is named as the individual responsible for injury or abuse in a founded report for school employee. No

individual who is a school employee on the effective date of this subchapter shall be required to obtain an official clear-

ance statement under subsection (a)(1) as a condition of continued employment.

  (c) PENALTY.-- An administrator who willfully violates this section shall be subject to an administrative penalty of $

2,500. An action under this subsection is governed by 2 Pa.C.S. Ch. 5 Subch. A (relating to practice and procedure of

Commonwealth agencies) and Ch. 7 Subch. A (relating to judicial review of Commonwealth agency action).

HISTORY: Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 4, approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1996.

§ 6356.  Exceptions

  Section 6355 (relating to requirement) shall not apply to any of the following:

  (1) A school employee who is:

   (i) under 21 years of age;

   (ii) participating in a job development or job training program; and

   (iii) employed for not more than 90 days.

  (2) A school employee hired on a provisional basis pending receipt of information under section 6355(a) if all of the

following apply:

   (i) The applicant demonstrates application for the official clearance statement under section 6355(a).

   (ii) The applicant attests in writing by oath or affirmation that the applicant is not disqualified under section 6355(b).

   (iii) The administrator has no knowledge of information which would disqualify the applicant under section 6355(b).

   (iv) The provisional period does not exceed:

     (A) 90 days for an applicant from another state; and

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                                                       23 Pa.C.S. § 6356

     (B) 30 days for all other applicants.

   (v) The hiring does not take place during a strike under the act of July 23, 1970 (P.L. 563, No. 195), known as the

Public Employee Relations Act.

HISTORY: Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 4, approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1996.

§ 6357.  Fee

  The department may charge a fee of not more than $ 10 for the official clearance statement required under section

6355(a) (relating to requirement).

HISTORY: Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 4, approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1996.

§ 6358.  Time limit for official clearance statement

  The department shall comply with the official clearance statement requests under section 6355(a) (relating to require-

ment) within 14 days of receipt of the request.

HISTORY: Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 4, approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1996.

§ 6361.  Organization for child protective services

   (a) ESTABLISHMENT.-- Every county agency shall make available child protective services within the agency. The

department may waive the requirement that a county agency be the sole civil agency for receipt and investigation of

reports pursuant to section 6362 (relating to responsibilities of county agency for child protective services) upon a

showing by the county that:

  (1) It is participating in a demonstration project for or has become part of an approved combined intake system for

public human service agencies as permitted by department regulations. Nothing in this paragraph is intended to permit

noncounty government agencies to participate in the receipt and investigation of the reports.

  (2) The goals and objectives of this chapter will continue to be met if a waiver is granted.

If the department grants a waiver under this subsection, the county agency and its agents shall be bound by all other

provisions of this chapter, including requirements concerning the maintenance and disclosure of confidential informa-

tion and records.

  (b) STAFF AND ORGANIZATION.-- The county agency shall have a sufficient staff of sufficient qualifications to

fulfill the purposes of this chapter and be organized in a way to maximize the continuity of responsibility, care and ser-

vices of individual workers toward individual children and families. The department, by regulation, shall set forth staff-

to-family ratios for the various activities required of the county agency under this chapter, including reports and investi-

gations of suspected child abuse, risk assessment and the provision or monitoring of services to abused children and

their families.

  (c) FUNCTIONS AUTHORIZED.-- The county agency staff shall perform those functions assigned to it by this chap-

ter and such other functions as would further the purposes of this chapter.

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                                                      23 Pa.C.S. § 6361

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 5,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, See section of this act for effective date information.

§ 6362.  Responsibilities of county agency for child protective services

   (a) GENERAL RULE.-- The county agency shall be the sole civil agency responsible for receiving and investigating

all reports of child abuse made pursuant to this chapter, specifically including, but not limited to, reports of child abuse

in facilities operated by the department and other public agencies, for the purpose of providing protective services to

prevent further abuses to children and to provide or arrange for and monitor the provision of those services necessary to

safeguard and ensure the well-being and development of the child and to preserve and stabilize family life wherever

appropriate.

  (b) ASSUMPTION OF RESPONSIBILITY BY DEPARTMENT.-- When the suspected abuse has been committed by

the county agency or any of its agents or employees, the department shall assume the role of the agency with regard to

the investigation and directly refer the child for services.

  (c) ACTION BY AGENCIES FOR ABUSE BY AGENTS OR EMPLOYEES.-- Where suspected child abuse has

occurred and an employee or agent of the department or the county agency or a private or public institution is a subject

of the report, the department, agency or institution shall be informed of the investigation so that it may take appropriate

action.

  (d) RELIANCE ON FACTUAL INVESTIGATION.-- An agency charged by this section or section 6361 (relating to

organization for child protective services) with investigating a report of child abuse may rely on a factual investigation

of substantially the same allegations by a law enforcement agency to support the agency's finding. This reliance shall

not, however, limit the duties imposed by section 6368(a) (relating to investigation of reports).

  (e) RISK ASSESSMENT.-- Each county agency shall implement a State-approved risk assessment process in per-

formance of its duties under this subchapter.

  (f) WEEKLY FACE-TO-FACE CONTACTS.-- For those children assessed as being at high risk for abuse or neglect

who are remaining in or returning to the home in which the abuse or neglect occurred, the county agency shall ensure

that those children are seen at least once a week, either directly by a county agency worker or through purchase of ser-

vice, until they are no longer assessed as being at high risk for abuse or neglect.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 5,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, See section of this act for effective date information;  Act 1999-50 (H.B. 518), § 1, approved

Nov. 24, 1999, eff. in 60 days.

§ 6363.  County plan for protective services

  The county agency shall include provisions for protective services in its annual plan as required by the act of June 13,

1967 (P.L. 31, No. 21), known as the Public Welfare Code.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 5,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

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                                                      23 Pa.C.S. § 6364

§ 6364.  Purchasing services of other agencies

  Any other provision of law notwithstanding but consistent with sections 6361 (relating to organization for child pro-

tective services) and 6362 (relating to responsibilities of county agency for child protective services), the county

agency, based upon the plan of services as provided in section 6363 (relating to county plan for protective services),

may purchase and utilize the services of any appropriate public or private agency.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 5,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

§ 6365.  Services for prevention, investigation and treatment of child abuse

   (a) INSTRUCTION AND EDUCATION.-- Each county agency shall make available among its services for the pre-

vention and treatment of child abuse instruction and education for parenthood and parenting skills, protective and pre-

ventive social counseling, outreach and counseling services to prevent newborn abandonment, emergency caretaker

services, emergency shelter care, emergency medical services and the establishment of self-help groups organized for

the prevention and treatment of child abuse, part-day services, out-of-home placement services, therapeutic activities for

child and family directed at alleviating conditions that present a risk to the safety and well-being of a child and any

other services required by department regulations.

  (b) MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAM.-- The county agency shall make available among its services a multidisciplinary

team for the prevention, investigation and treatment of child abuse and shall convene the multidisciplinary team at any

time, but not less than annually:

  (1) To review substantiated cases of child abuse, including responses by the county agency and other agencies provid-

ing services to the child.

  (2) Where appropriate to assist in the development of a family service plan for the child.

  (c) INVESTIGATIVE TEAM.-- The county agency and the district attorney shall develop a protocol for the conven-

ing of investigative teams for any case of child abuse involving crimes against children which are set forth in section

6340(a)(9) and (10) (relating to release of information in confidential reports). The county protocol shall include stan-

dards and procedures to be used in receiving and referring reports and coordinating investigations of reported cases of

child abuse and a system for sharing the information obtained as a result of any interview. The protocol shall include

any other standards and procedures to avoid duplication of fact-finding efforts and interviews to minimize the trauma to

the child. The district attorney shall convene an investigative team in accordance with the protocol. The investigative

team shall consist of those individuals and agencies responsible for investigating the abuse or for providing services to

the child and shall at a minimum include a health care provider, county caseworker and law enforcement official.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 5,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1996;  Act 1998-127 (H.B. 1992), § 12, approved Dec. 15, 1998, eff. Mar. 1, 1999;

Act 2002-201 (S.B. 654), § 5, approved Dec. 9, 2002, eff. in 60 days.

§ 6366.  Continuous availability to receive reports

  Each county agency shall receive 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all reports, both oral and written, of suspected

child abuse in accordance with this chapter, the county plan for the provision of child protective services and the regula-

tions of the department.

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                                                         23 Pa.C.S. § 6366

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 5,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

§ 6367.  Reports to department and coroner

   (a) REPORTS TO DEPARTMENT.-- Upon the receipt of each report of suspected child abuse made pursuant to this

chapter, the county agency shall immediately transmit a child abuse report summary as provided in section 6313 (relat-

ing to reporting procedure) to the department. Supplemental reports shall be made at regular intervals thereafter in a

manner and form the department prescribes by regulation to the end that the department is kept fully informed and up-

to-date concerning the status of reports of child abuse.

  (b) REPORTS TO CORONER.-- The county agency shall give telephone notice and forward immediately a copy of

reports made pursuant to this chapter which involve the death of a child to the appropriate coroner pursuant to section

6317 (relating to mandatory reporting and postmortem investigation of deaths).

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 5,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

§ 6368.  Investigation of reports

   (a) GENERAL RULE.-- Upon receipt of each report of suspected child abuse, the county agency shall immediately

commence an appropriate investigation and see the child immediately if emergency protective custody is required or has

been or shall be taken or if it cannot be determined from the report whether emergency protective custody is needed.

Otherwise, the county agency shall commence an appropriate investigation and see the child within 24 hours of receipt

of the report. The investigation shall include a determination of the risk of harm to the child or children if they continue

to remain in the existing home environment, as well as a determination of the nature, extent and cause of any condition

enumerated in the report, any action necessary to provide for the safety of the child or children and the taking of photo-

graphic identification of the child or children to be maintained with the file. During the investigation, the county agency

shall provide or arrange for services necessary to protect the child while the agency is making a determination pursuant

to this section. If the investigation indicates serious physical injury, a medical examination shall be performed on the

subject child by a certified medical practitioner. Where there is reasonable cause to suspect there is a history of prior or

current abuse, the medical practitioner has the authority to arrange for further medical tests or the county agency has the

authority to request further medical tests. The investigation shall include communication with the department's service

under section 6332 (relating to establishment of Statewide toll-free telephone number). Prior to interviewing a subject of

the report, the county agency shall orally notify the subject who is about to be interviewed of the existence of the report,

the subject's rights under 42 Pa.C.S. § 6337 (relating to right to counsel) and 6338 (relating to other basic rights) and the

subject's rights pursuant to this chapter in regard to amendment or expungement. Within 72 hours following oral notifi-

cation to the subject, the county agency shall give written notice to the subject. The notice may be reasonably delayed if

notification is likely to threaten the safety of the victim, a nonperpetrator subject or the investigating county agency

worker, to cause the perpetrator to abscond or to significantly interfere with the conduct of a criminal investigation.

However, the written notice must be provided to all subjects prior to the county agency's reaching a finding on the va-

lidity of the report.

  (A.1) INVESTIGATION OF REPORT CONCERNING CHILD-CARE SERVICE PERSONNEL.-- Upon notifica-

tion that an investigation involves suspected child abuse perpetrated by child-care service personnel, including a child-

care service employee, service provider or administrator, the respective child-care service must immediately implement

a plan of supervision or alternative arrangement subject to the county agency's approval for the individual under inves-

tigation to ensure the safety of the child and other children who are in the care of the child-care service. Such plan of

supervision or alternative arrangement shall be kept on file with the county agency until such time that the investigation

is completed.

  (b) CONDITIONS OUTSIDE HOME ENVIRONMENT.-- The investigation shall determine whether the child is

being harmed by factors beyond the control of the parent or other person responsible for the welfare of the child, and, if

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                                                      23 Pa.C.S. § 6369

so determined, the county agency shall promptly take all available steps to remedy and correct these conditions, includ-

ing, but not limited to, the coordination of social services for the child and the family, or referral of the family to appro-

priate agencies for the provision of services.

  (c) COMPLETION OF INVESTIGATIONS.-- The investigation by the county agency to determine whether the re-

port is "founded," "indicated" or "unfounded" and whether to accept the family for service shall be completed within 60

days in all cases. If, due to the particular circumstances of the case, the county agency cannot complete the investigation

within 30 days, the particular reasons for the delay shall be described in the child protective service record and available

to the department for purposes of determining whether the county agency has strictly followed the provisions of this

chapter and whether the county agency is subject to action as authorized by section 6343 (relating to investigating per-

formance of county agency). Where a petition has been filed under 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to juvenile matters) al-

leging that the child is a dependent child, the county agency shall make all reasonable efforts to complete the investiga-

tion to enable the hearing on the petition to be held as required by 42 Pa.C.S. § 6335 (relating to release or holding of

hearing).

  (d) REFERRAL FOR INVESTIGATION.-- If the complaint of suspected abuse is determined to be one which cannot

be investigated under this chapter because the person accused of the abuse is not a perpetrator within the meaning of

section 6303 (relating to definitions) but does suggest the need for investigation, the county agency shall immediately

transmit the information to the appropriate authorities, including the district attorney, the district attorney's designee or

other law enforcement official, in accordance with the county protocols for investigative teams required by section

6365(c) (relating to services for prevention, investigation and treatment of child abuse).

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 5,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1996.;  Act 2006-126 (S.B. 63), § 1, approved Oct. 27, 2006, eff. in 60 days.;  Act

2006-179 (S.B. 1054), § 6, approved Nov. 29, 2006, eff. in 180 days.

§ 6369.  Taking child into protective custody

  Pursuant to the provisions of section 6315 (relating to taking child into protective custody) and after receipt of a court

order, the county agency shall take a child into protective custody for protection from abuse. No county agency worker

may take custody of the child without judicial authorization based on the merits of the situation.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 5,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

§ 6370.  Voluntary or court-ordered services; findings of child abuse

   (a) GENERAL RULE.-- Based on the investigation and evaluation conducted pursuant to this chapter, the county

agency shall provide or contract with private or public agencies for the protection of the child at home whenever possi-

ble and those services necessary for adequate care of the child when placed in protective custody. Prior to offering these

services to a family, the agency shall explain that it has no legal authority to compel the family to receive the services

but may inform the family of the obligations and authority of the county agency to initiate appropriate court proceed-

ings.

  (b) INITIATION OF COURT PROCEEDING.--

  (1) In those cases in which an appropriate offer of service is refused and the county agency determines that the best

interests of the child require court action, the county agency shall initiate the appropriate court proceeding. The county

agency shall assist the court during all  stages of the court proceeding in accordance with the purposes of this

  chapter.

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                                                     23 Pa.C.S. § 6370

   (2)(i) If the county agency deems it appropriate in a dependency or delinquency proceeding, including an instance in

which the alleged perpetrator has access or poses a threat to a child, the county agency may petition the court under 42

Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to juvenile matters) for a finding of child abuse.

   (ii) If the court makes a specific finding that child abuse as defined by this chapter has not occurred, the county

agency shall consider the court's finding to be a determination that the report of suspected abuse was an unfounded re-

port. The county agency shall immediately notify the department of the change in the status of the  report from an indi-

cated report to an unfounded report. Upon notice, the department shall be responsible for expunging the indicated

   report consistent with the expunction requirements of this chapter.

   (iii) If there is a determination that the subjects of the unfounded report need services provided or arranged by the

county agency, the county agency may retain those records only if it specifically identifies the report as an unfounded

report of suspected child abuse.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 5,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

§ 6371.  Rehabilitative services for child and family

  The county agency shall provide or arrange for and monitor rehabilitative services for children and their families on a

voluntary basis or under a final or intermediate order of the court.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 5,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

§ 6372.  Protecting well-being of children maintained outside home

  The county agency shall be as equally vigilant of the status, well-being and conditions under which a child is living

and being maintained in a facility other than that of a parent, custodian or guardian from which the child has been re-

moved as the service is of the conditions in the dwelling of the parent, custodian or guardian. Where the county agency

finds that the placement for any temporary or permanent custody, care or treatment is for any reason inappropriate or

harmful in any way to the physical or mental well-being of the child, it shall take immediate steps to remedy these con-

ditions including petitioning the court.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 5,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

§ 6373.  General protective services responsibilities of county agency

   (a) PROGRAM OBJECTIVES.-- Each county agency is responsible for administering a program of general protec-

tive services to children and youth that is consistent with the agency's objectives to:

  (1) Keep children in their own homes, whenever possible.

  (2) Prevent abuse, neglect and exploitation.

  (3) Overcome problems that result in dependency.

  (4) Provide temporary, substitute placement in a foster family home or  residential child-care facility for a child in

need of care.

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                                                      23 Pa.C.S. § 6373

  (5) Reunite children and their families whenever possible when children are in temporary, substitute placement.

  (6) Provide a permanent, legally assured family for a child in temporary, substitute care who cannot be returned to his

own home.

  (7) Provide services and care ordered by the court for children who have been adjudicated dependent.

  (b) EFFORTS TO PREVENT NEED FOR REMOVAL FROM HOME.-- In its effort to assist the child and the child's

parents, pursuant to Federal regulations, the county agency will make reasonable efforts prior to the placement of a

child in foster care to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from his home and to make it possible for

the child to return to home.

  (c) ASSISTANCE IN OBTAINING AVAILABLE BENEFITS.-- The county agency shall aid the child and the fam-

ily in obtaining benefits and services for which they may qualify under Federal, State and local programs.

  (d) DUPLICATION OF SERVICES.-- Except where ordered by the court in a proceeding brought under 42 Pa.C.S.

Ch. 63 (relating to juvenile matters), a county agency shall not be required to duplicate services which are the statutory

responsibility of any other agency.

HISTORY: Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 6, approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1997.

§ 6374.  Principles and goals of general protective services

   (a) PRIMARY PURPOSE.-- The primary purpose of general protective services is to protect the rights and welfare of

children so that they have an opportunity for healthy growth and development.

  (b) ASSISTANCE TO PARENTS.-- Implicit in the county agency's protection of children is assistance to parents in

recognizing and remedying conditions harmful to their children and in fulfilling their parental duties more adequately.

HISTORY: Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 6, approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1997.

§ 6375.  County agency requirements for general protective services

   (a) DUTIES OF COUNTY AGENCY.-- The county agency shall make available a program of general protective

services within each agency. The county agency shall perform those functions assigned by this chapter and others that

would further the purposes of this chapter. It shall have sufficient staff of sufficient qualifications to fulfill the purposes

of this chapter and be organized in a way as to maximize the continuity of responsibility, care and service of individual

workers toward individual children and families. The department by regulation shall set forth staff-to-family ratios for

the receipt and assessment of reports of children in need of protective services and for the provision of services to ne-

glected children and their families.

  (b) ORGANIZATION OF COUNTY AGENCY.-- Each county agency shall be organized and staffed to ensure that

the agency can provide intake for general protective services. Intake occurs when a report or referral is made to the

agency or when a parent or person responsible for the child's welfare requests the assistance of the agency.

  (c) ASSESSMENT FOR SERVICES.--

  (1) Within 60 days of receipt of a report, an assessment shall be completed and a decision on whether to accept the

family for service shall be made. The county agency shall provide or arrange for services necessary to protect the child

during the assessment period.

  (2) Each county agency shall implement a State-approved risk assessment process in performance of its duties.

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                                                        23 Pa.C.S. § 6375

  (d) RECEIVING AND ASSESSING REPORTS.-- The county agency shall be the sole civil agency responsible for

receiving and assessing all reports of children in need of protective services made pursuant to this chapter for the pur-

pose of providing protective services to prevent abuse or neglect to children and to provide or arrange for and monitor

the provision of those services necessary to safeguard and ensure the child's well-being and development and to pre-

serve and stabilize family life wherever appropriate. The department may waive the receipt and assessment requirement

pursuant to section 6361 (relating to organization for child protective services). Nothing in this subsection limits 42

Pa.C.S. § 6304 (relating to powers and duties of probation officers).

  (e) FAMILY SERVICE PLAN.-- The county agency shall prepare a written family service plan in accordance with

regulations adopted by the department.

  (f) TYPES OF SERVICES.-- Each county agency shall make available for the prevention and treatment of child abuse

and neglect: multidisciplinary teams, instruction and education for parenthood and parenting skills, protective and pre-

ventive social counseling, emergency caretaker services, emergency shelter care, emergency medical services, part-day

services, out-of-home placement services, therapeutic activities for the child and family directed at alleviating condi-

tions that present a risk to the safety and well-being of a child and any other services required by department regula-

tions.

  (g) MONITORING, EVALUATING AND ASSESSING.-- The county agency shall frequently monitor the provision

of services, evaluate the effectiveness of the services, conduct in-home visits and make a periodic assessment of the risk

of harm to the child, which shall include maintaining an annually updated photograph of the child and verification of the

identification of the child.

  (h) EMERGENCY COVERAGE.-- As part of its general protective services program, a county agency shall provide

24-hour-a-day emergency coverage and be accessible to the public.

  (i) PROTECTIVE CUSTODY.-- Pursuant to section 6315 (relating to taking child into protective custody) and after

receipt of a court order, the county agency shall take a child into protective custody to protect the child from abuse or

further neglect. No county agency worker may take custody of a child without judicial authorization based on the merits

of the situation.

  (j) COURT ACTION.-- If the county agency determines that protective services are in the best interest of a child and

if an offer of those services is refused or if any other reason exists to warrant court action, the county agency shall initi-

ate the appropriate court proceedings.

  (k) ADJUDICATION OF DEPENDENCY.-- The county agency shall maintain its responsibility for petitioning the

court when necessary for the adjudication of dependency of a child pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to juvenile

matters).

  (l) ASSISTANCE TO COURT.-- The county agency shall assist the court during all stages of a court proceeding in

accordance with the purposes of this chapter.

  (m) WEEKLY FACE-TO-FACE CONTACTS.-- For those children assessed under this section as being at high risk

for abuse or neglect who are remaining in or returning to the home in which the abuse or neglect occurred, the county

agency shall ensure that those children are seen at least once a week, either directly by a county agency worker or

through purchase of service, until they are no longer assessed as being at high risk for abuse or neglect.

  (n) TRANSFER OF FILES BETWEEN COUNTY AGENCIES.-- Whenever a county agency transfers to another

county agency a file relating to a child who receives or is in need of protective services under this chapter, the file shall

include any photographic identification and an annual photograph taken of the child.

HISTORY: Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 6, approved Dec. 16, 1994, See section of this act for effective date informa-

tion;  Act 1999-50 (H.B. 518), § 1, approved Nov. 24, 1999, eff. in 60 days.;       Act 2006-126 (S.B. 63), § 2, approved

Oct. 27, 2006, eff. in 60 days.

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                                                        23 Pa.C.S. § 6376

§ 6376.  Appeals with respect to general protective services

   (a) RIGHT TO APPEAL.-- A custodial parent or person who has primary responsibility for the welfare of a child

may appeal the county agency's decision to accept the family for services. Written notice of this right, along with an

explanation of the agency's decision, shall be given to the family within seven days of the decision to accept for service.

The department has no authority to modify an order of a court of common pleas.

  (b) RECEIPT AND GROUNDS OF APPEAL.-- Appeals must be received by the county agency within 45 days of the

date when the notice was mailed to the custodial parent or person who has primary responsibility for the welfare of a

child. Requests must be made on the grounds that the child is or is not at risk of abuse or neglect.

  (c) REVIEW AND DECISION AND REQUEST FOR HEARING.-- The county agency shall review the request and

issue a written decision within 45 days of receipt of the appeal. If the agency denies the request, the custodial parent or

person who has primary responsibility for the welfare of a child may request a hearing before the department. The re-

quest must be made within 45 days of the date of the county agency's decision.

  (d) HEARING.-- If a hearing is requested, the secretary or his designated agent shall schedule a hearing pursuant to

Article IV of the act of June 13, 1967 (P.L. 31, No. 21), known as the Public Welfare Code, and applicable department

regulations. The burden of proof in the hearing shall be on the county agency. The department shall assist the county

agency as necessary.

  (e) ORDER.-- The department is authorized and empowered to make any appropriate order regarding records to make

them accurate or consistent with the requirements of this chapter.

  (f) OTHER APPEALS.-- Action by a custodial parent or person who has primary responsibility for the welfare of a

child under this section does not preclude his right to exercise other appeals available through department regulations or

the courts.

HISTORY: Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 6, approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1997.

§ 6377.  Caseloads

  The department by regulation shall set forth staff-to-family ratios for general protective services.

HISTORY: Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 6, approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1997.

§ 6378.  Purchase of services

  Except for the receipt and assessment of reports alleging a need for protective services, the county agency may pur-

chase and utilize the services of any appropriate public or private agency. The department shall promulgate regulations

establishing standards and qualifications of persons or agencies providing services for a county agency. The department

may, by regulation, provide for the establishment of regional facilities or a regional coordination of licensed profes-

sional service providers to provide county agencies with access to licensed physicians and psychologists, as required by

this section.

HISTORY: Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 6, approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1997.

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                                                      23 Pa.C.S. § 6384

§ 6381.  Evidence in court proceedings

   (a) GENERAL RULE.-- In addition to the rules of evidence provided under 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to juvenile

matters), the rules of evidence in this section shall govern in child abuse proceedings in court or in any department ad-

ministrative hearing pursuant to section 6341 (relating to amendment or expunction of information).

  (b) REPORTS OF UNAVAILABLE PERSONS.-- Whenever a person required to report under this chapter is un-

available due to death or removal from the jurisdiction of the court, the written report of that person shall be admissible

in evidence in any proceedings arising out of child abuse other than proceedings under Title 18 (relating to crimes and

offenses). Any hearsay contained in the reports shall be given such weight, if any, as the court determines to be appro-

priate under all of the circumstances. However, any hearsay contained in a written report shall not of itself be sufficient

to support an adjudication based on abuse.

  (c) PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATIONS.-- Except for privileged communications between a lawyer and a client and

between a minister and a penitent, a privilege of confidential communication between husband and wife or between any

professional person, including, but not limited to, physicians, psychologists, counselors, employees of hospitals, clinics,

day-care centers and schools and their patients or clients, shall not constitute grounds for excluding evidence at any pro-

ceeding regarding child abuse or the cause of child abuse.

  (d) PRIMA FACIE EVIDENCE OF ABUSE.-- Evidence that a child has suffered child abuse of such a nature as

would ordinarily not be sustained or exist except by reason of the acts or omissions of the parent or other person respon-

sible for the welfare of the child shall be prima facie evidence of child abuse by the parent or other person responsible

for the welfare of the child.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 7,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

CASE NOTES

1. Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare properly reversed an order of the Pennsylvania Bureau

of Hearings and Appeals adopting the recommendation of an ALJ that an indicated report of child abuse by a paramour

be expunged as 23 Pa.C.S. § 6381(d) created a rebuttable presumption that the parents or those who were responsible

for the child's welfare were the ones that inflicted the child abuse and only the abuse itself had to be established in the

case of an indicated child abuse by prima facie evidence. J. B. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 898 A.2d 1221, 2006 Pa.

Commw. LEXIS 242 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2006).

2. 23 Pa.C.S. § 6381(d) creates a presumption that the parents or those who were responsible for the child's welfare

were the ones that inflicted the child abuse, and only the abuse itself has to be established in the case of an indicated

child abuse by prima facie evidence; the presumption can be rebutted, like other statutory presumptions, with counter-

vailing competent, substantial evidence. J. B. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 898 A.2d 1221, 2006 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 242

(Pa. Commw. Ct. 2006).

3. Communications by defendant to his wife were admissible because they did not arise from the confidence existing

between them, but from the want of it; therefore, counsel was not ineffective for failing to object to evidence of the

communications. In light of 23 Pa.C.S. § 6381(c), a husband who described to his spouse his previous rape of her child,

or his plans to abduct and rape her children in the future, could have no reasonable expectation under Pennsylvania law

that that communication would remain confidential. Commonwealth v. Spetzer, 572 Pa. 17, 813 A.2d 707, 2002 Pa.

LEXIS 3116 (2002).

4. Although the mother's boyfriend was responsible for the child's welfare for a significant amount of time on date in

question, he was not the only adult responsible for the child that day, rather several other adults supervised the child for

a substantial period of time prior to the discovery of the perineal cut; in addition, the first doctor to examine the child

did not find an injury to the hymen. Therefore, the presumption found in 23 Pa.C.S. § 6381(d) could not be applied.

C.E. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 917 A.2d 348, 2007 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 57 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2007).

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                                                      23 Pa.C.S. § 6384

5. Even though abuse is alleged as part of a dependency proceeding, and a court's finding of abuse as defined by the

Child Protective Services Law would be sufficient evidence under most circumstances to support an adjudication of

dependency, it is not determinative in adjudicating a child dependent. In Interest of R.T., 405 Pa. Super. 156, 592 A.2d

55, 1991 Pa. Super. LEXIS 1425 (1991).

6. Under the statutes concerning dependency, the court is required to determine by clear and convincing evidence that

the abused child is without proper care necessary for their well-being. In Interest of R.T., 405 Pa. Super. 156, 592 A.2d

55, 1991 Pa. Super. LEXIS 1425 (1991).

7. Order of the lower court was vacated that granted physical custody of a child to the child's grandfather where evi-

dence indicated that the grandfather could be an abuser of the child; 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6381(d) narrowed the list

of possible abusers to the mother and the grandfather and the best interests of the child directed that he be returned to

his foster parents. In the Interest of G.C., 449 Pa. Super. 258, 673 A.2d 932, 1996 Pa. Super. LEXIS 461 (1996),

quashed by 454 Pa. Super. 265, 685 A.2d 180, 1996 Pa. Super. LEXIS 3770 (1996), affirmed by an equally divided

court at 558 Pa. 116, 735 A.2d 1226, 1999 Pa. LEXIS 2246 (1999).

8. Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare properly reversed an order of the Pennsylvania Bureau

of Hearings and Appeals adopting the recommendation of an ALJ that an indicated report of child abuse by a paramour

be expunged as 23 Pa.C.S. § 6381(d) created a rebuttable presumption that the parents or those who were responsible

for the child's welfare were the ones that inflicted the child abuse and only the abuse itself had to be established in the

case of an indicated child abuse by prima facie evidence. J. B. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 898 A.2d 1221, 2006 Pa.

Commw. LEXIS 242 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2006).

9. 23 Pa.C.S. § 6381(d) creates a presumption that the parents or those who were responsible for the child's welfare

were the ones that inflicted the child abuse, and only the abuse itself has to be established in the case of an indicated

child abuse by prima facie evidence; the presumption can be rebutted, like other statutory presumptions, with counter-

vailing competent, substantial evidence. J. B. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 898 A.2d 1221, 2006 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 242

(Pa. Commw. Ct. 2006).

10. Although the mother's boyfriend was responsible for the child's welfare for a significant amount of time on date in

question, he was not the only adult responsible for the child that day, rather several other adults supervised the child for

a substantial period of time prior to the discovery of the perineal cut; in addition, the first doctor to examine the child

did not find an injury to the hymen. Therefore, the presumption found in 23 Pa.C.S. § 6381(d) could not be applied.

C.E. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 917 A.2d 348, 2007 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 57 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2007).

11. Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare properly reversed an order of the Pennsylvania Bureau

of Hearings and Appeals adopting the recommendation of an ALJ that an indicated report of child abuse by a paramour

be expunged as 23 Pa.C.S. § 6381(d) created a rebuttable presumption that the parents or those who were responsible

for the child's welfare were the ones that inflicted the child abuse and only the abuse itself had to be established in the

case of an indicated child abuse by prima facie evidence. J. B. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 898 A.2d 1221, 2006 Pa.

Commw. LEXIS 242 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2006).

12. 23 Pa.C.S. § 6381(d) creates a presumption that the parents or those who were responsible for the child's welfare

were the ones that inflicted the child abuse, and only the abuse itself has to be established in the case of an indicated

child abuse by prima facie evidence; the presumption can be rebutted, like other statutory presumptions, with counter-

vailing competent, substantial evidence. J. B. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 898 A.2d 1221, 2006 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 242

(Pa. Commw. Ct. 2006).

§ 6382.  Repealed. 2000, May 10, P.L. 74, No. 18, § 4, effective in 60 days

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                                                                                                                     Page 83

                                                     23 Pa.C.S. § 6384

§ 6383.  Education and training

   (a) DUTIES OF DEPARTMENT AND COUNTY AGENCIES.-- The department and each county agency, both

jointly and individually, shall conduct a continuing publicity and education program for the citizens of this Common-

wealth aimed at the prevention of child abuse and child neglect, including the prevention of newborn abandonment, the

identification of abused and neglected children and the provision of necessary ameliorative services to abused and ne-

glected children and their families. The department and each county agency shall conduct an ongoing training and edu-

cation program for local staff, persons required to make reports and other appropriate persons in order to familiarize

those persons with the reporting and investigative procedures for cases of suspected child abuse and the rehabilitative

services that are available to children and families. In addition, the department shall, by regulation, establish a program

of training and certification for persons classified as protective services workers. The regulations shall provide for the

grandfathering of all current permanent protective services workers as certified protective services workers. Upon re-

quest by the county agency and approval of the department, the agency may conduct the training of the county's protec-

tive services workers.

  (A.1) STUDY BY DEPARTMENT.-- The department shall conduct a study to determine the extent of the reporting of

suspected child abuse in this Commonwealth where the reports upon investigation are determined to be unfounded and

to be knowingly false and maliciously reported or it is believed that a minor was persuaded to make or substantiate a

false and malicious report. The department shall submit the report to the Governor, General Assembly and Attorney

General no later than June 1, 1996. The report shall include the department's findings and recommendations on how to

reduce the incidence of knowingly false and malicious reporting.

  (b) DUTIES OF DEPARTMENT OF STATE.--

  (1) The Department of State shall make training and educational programs and materials available for all professional

licensing boards whose licensees are charged with responsibilities for reporting child abuse under this chapter with a

program of distributing educational materials to all licensees.

  (2) Each licensing board with jurisdiction over professional licensees identified as mandated reporters under this chap-

ter shall promulgate  regulations within one year of the effective date of this subsection on the responsibilities of man-

dated reporters. These regulations shall clarify that the provisions of this chapter take precedence over any professional

standard that might otherwise apply in order to protect children from abuse.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days;  Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 7,

approved Dec. 16, 1994, See section of this act for effective date information;  Act 2002-201 (S.B. 654), § 5, approved

Dec. 9, 2002, eff. in 60 days.

§ 6384.  Legislative oversight

  A committee of the Senate designated by the President pro tempore of the Senate and a committee of the House of

Representatives designated by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, either jointly or separately, shall review the

manner in which this chapter has been administered at the State and local level for the following purposes:

  (1) Providing information that will aid the General Assembly in its oversight responsibilities.

  (2) Enabling the General Assembly to determine whether the programs and services mandated by this chapter are ef-

fectively meeting the goals of this chapter.

  (3) Assisting the General Assembly in measuring the costs and benefits of this program and the effects and side-

effects of mandated program services.

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                                                       23 Pa.C.S. § 6384

  (4) Permitting the General Assembly to determine whether the confidentiality of records mandated by this chapter is

being maintained at the State and local level.

  (5) Providing information that will permit State and local program administrators to be held accountable for the ad-

ministration of the programs mandated by this chapter.

HISTORY: Act 1990-206 (H.B. 1023), § 2, approved Dec. 19, 1990, eff. in 90 days.

CASE NOTES

1. On appeal for review by a social services agency, an order of the office of hearing and appeals of the department of

public welfare accepting a hearing officer's recommendations and granting the expungement of an indicated report of

child sexual abuse against a child's mother issued pursuant to the Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§

6301 to 6384, was vacated because the hearing officer failed to resolve factual issues before him by making specific

findings of fact; remanded for reconsideration of testimony. Bucks County Children & Youth Social Servs. Agency v.

Department of Pub. Welfare, 151 Pa. Commw. 110, 616 A.2d 170, 1992 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 627 (1992).

2. On appeal for review by a social services agency, an order of the office of hearing and appeals of the department of

public welfare accepting a hearing officer's recommendations and granting the expungement of an indicated report of

child sexual abuse against a child's mother issued pursuant to the Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§

6301 to 6384, was vacated because the hearing officer failed to resolve factual issues before him by making specific

findings of fact; remanded for reconsideration of testimony. Bucks County Children & Youth Social Servs. Agency v.

Department of Pub. Welfare, 151 Pa. Commw. 110, 616 A.2d 170, 1992 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 627 (1992).

§ 6385.  Reimbursement to county agencies

  The department shall certify in accordance with the needs-based budgeting provisions of Article VII of the act of June

13, 1967 (P.L. 31, No. 21), known as the Public Welfare Code, a level of funds sufficient to meet the cost of services

required by the provisions of this chapter which are reasonable and allowable as defined in Article VII.

HISTORY: Act 1994-151 (H.B. 1001), § 8, approved Dec. 16, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995.

CASE NOTES

1. In a child abuse case although the legislature amended and consolidated the Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa.

Cons. Stat. §§ 6301-6385, the standard of proof required of the county agency to support, at a hearing, an indicated re-

port of child abuse was still substantial evidence that the abuse occurred A.O. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 838 A.2d 35,

2003 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 917 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2003).

2. In a child abuse case although the legislature amended and consolidated the Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa.

Cons. Stat. §§ 6301-6385, the standard of proof required of the county agency to support, at a hearing, an indicated re-

port of child abuse was still substantial evidence that the abuse occurred A.O. v. Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 838 A.2d 35,

2003 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 917 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2003).

§ 6386.  Mandatory reporting of infants born and identified as being affected by illegal substance abuse

  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.

HISTORY: Act 2006-146 (H.B. 2670), § 6, approved Nov. 9, 2006, eff. in 180 days.

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               THE CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES LAW (CPSL)

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE CPSL?

The legislative purposes of the CPSL are to:

1. encourage complete reporting of suspected child abuse;

2. involve law enforcement agencies in responding to child abuse;

3. establish in each county a child protective service capable of investigating

reports swiftly and competently;

4. provide children with protection from further abuse;

5. provide rehabilitative services to the parents and child;

6. preserve and stabilize family life whenever appropriate and provide children

with an alternative permanent family when family unity cannot be maintained;

7. ensure that each county children and youth agency establish a program of

protective services to assess the risk of harm to a child, respond adequately and

prioritize services to children most at risk.

WHO MUST REPORT SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE?

In an effort to assure that all child abuse is reported and properly dealt with, Act

179 was recently enacted to broaden the scope of who is required to report child

abuse. The current law requires any person who, in the course of employment,

occupation, or practice comes into contact with children, to report when the

person has reasonable cause to suspect on the basis of medical, professional or

other training or 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.100 This law differs a

great deal from the previous law, which required abuse to be reported only when

the child came before the reporter in his or her official capacity. Furthermore,

under Act 179, these mandated reporters must also report child abuse committed

by an individual who is not a “perpetrator”.101 Prior to Act 179's passage,

mandatory reporters were only compelled under the CPSL to report child abuse

committed by a ”perpetrator” as that term is defined in the CPSL.102 The current

law requires mandatory reporters to make reports even when the abuse is

committed by an individual who does not meet the CPSL’s definition of

“perpetrator.” Traditionally, instances of child abuse that did not fall into the

category of abuse by a perpetrator were dealt with under the criminal code.

Rather than making mandatory reporters responsible for determining whether the

abuse is a mandatory reporting situation dealt with under the CPSL or the

criminal code, Act 179 gives the ChildLine hotline workers the responsibility of

sorting through reports and referring reports of abuse by a non-perpetrator to

appropriate law enforcement authorities rather that commencing a CPS

investigation. See the definition of child abuse under the CPSL in the following

pages for more discussion on this issue.

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Individuals who are considered mandatory reporters of child abuse include but

are not limited to:

1. Licensed physicians

2. Medical examiners

3. Coroners

4. Osteopaths

5. Dentists

6. Optometrists

7. Chiropractors

8. Podiatrists

9. Interns

10. Registered nurses

11. Licensed practical nurses

12. School teachers, administrators, and nurses

13. Social services workers

14. Child care or foster care workers

15. Mental health professionals

16. Law enforcement officials

17. Christian Science Practitioners

18. Hospital personnel engaged in the admission, examination, and care or

treatment of persons

19. Members of the clergy

Except with respect to confidential communications an ordained member of the

clergy, the privileged communication between a professional person required to

report and his patient or client does not apply to situations involving child abuse

and may not constitute grounds for failure to report suspected child abuse. Upon

the passage of Act 179, confidential communications made to an attorney also

fall under the exception of this rule.105 This change has not yet been reflected in

the Pennsylvania Code.

Though a certain category of individuals are mandated to report child abuse

under the CPSL, any person with reasonable cause to suspect that a child has

been abused may make a report. Reports shall be accepted regardless of

whether the person identifies himself. It is important to note that under the CPSL

as amended by Act 179, a duty to report is not triggered when an individual

admits to a mandated reporter that s/he has abused a child unless that child is

also under the care, supervision, or guidance of the mandated reporter or of an

agency, institution, organization, or other entity with which the reporter is

affiliated. In other words, there still has to be some nexus between the reporter

and the child victim to trigger the report.

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WHAT IS CHILD ABUSE UNDER THE CPSL?

As expressed in the CPSL, child abuse means any of the following:

1.  Any recent act or failure to act, which causes nonaccidental serious physical

injury to a child under 18 years of age;

2. An act or failure to act, which causes nonaccidental serious mental injury to or

sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child under 18 years of age;

3.  Any recent act, failure to act or series of such acts or failures to act, which

creates an imminent risk of serious physical injury to or sexual abuse or sexual

exploitation of a child under 18 years of age;

Note that although the CPSL covers abuse by a school employee, such abuse is

not called “child abuse”, and thus a “perpetrator” of child abuse does not include

a school employee.

Individuals who do not fall into the category of perpetrator can be any other

individual, regardless of his/her relationship with the suspected victim of abuse.

For example, this can include a school bus driver, volunteer baseball coach,

priest, or local business owner.

4. Serious physical neglect by a perpetrator constituting prolonged or repeated

lack of supervision or the failure to provide essentials of life, including adequate

medical care, which endangers a child’s life or development or impairs the child’s

functioning.

Prior to Act 179, a mandatory report of child abuse was only triggered when the

suspected abuse was committed by a perpetrator. A “perpetrator” is defined as “a

person who has committed child abuse and is a parent of a child, a person

responsible for the welfare of a child, an individual residing in the same home as

a child or a paramour of a child’s parent.” A person responsible for the child’s

welfare is one who “provides permanent or temporary care, supervision, mental

health diagnosis or treatment, training or control of a child in lieu of parental care,

supervision and control. The term does not include a person who is employed by

or provides services or programs in any public or private school, intermediate unit

or area vocational-technical school”. Act 179 eliminated the requirement that

abuse must be committed by an individual who falls into this category of

perpetrator to trigger a mandatory report of child abuse. Even child abuse

committed by a non-perpetrator must be reported by mandatory reporters.110

Therefore abuse committed by a school employee m ay now trigger a mandatory

report of child abuse.

The CPSL specifically excludes harm to a child that is the result of environmental

factors such as inadequate housing, furnishings, income, clothing and medical

care which are beyond the control of parents or other persons responsible for the

child’s welfare.

In addition, a child will not be considered abused solely because the child is

being treated for physical or mental illness through spiritual means in accord with

the practice of a recognized church or religious denomination. However,

the county agency must closely monitor the child and seek court-ordered medical

intervention when the lack of medical or surgical care threatens the child’s life or

long-term health.

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HOW DOES THE CPSL DEFINE ABUSE?

1. Serious Physical Injury is an injury that:

        (a) causes a child severe pain; or

        (b) significantly impairs the child’s physical functioning, either temporarily

or permanently.

2. Serious Bodily Injury is bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death

or which causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or

impairment of function of any bodily member or organ.

3. Serious Mental Injury is a psychological condition, as diagnosed by a

physician or licensed psychologist, including the refusal of appropriate treatment,

that:

        (a) renders a child chronically and severely anxious, agitated, depressed,

socially withdrawn, psychotic or in reasonable fear that the child’s life or safety is

threatened; or

         (b) seriously interferes with a child’s ability to accomplish age-appropriate

developmental and social tasks.

4. Serious Physical Neglect is a physical condition caused by acts or omissions

which endanger the child’s life or development or impair his functioning as a

result of:

        (a) prolonged or repeated lack of supervision; or

        (b) failure to provide essentials of life, including adequate medical and

dental care.115

5. The definition of Sexual Abuse or Exploitation has changed slightly with the

adoption of Act 179. The current definition describes sexual abuse or exploitation

as:

        (a) The employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement or coercion

of a child to engage in or assist another individual to engage in sexually explicit

conduct;

        (b) The employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or

coercion of a child to engage in or assist another individual to engage in

simulation of sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual

depiction, including photographing, videotaping, computer directing and filming;

        (c) Any of the following offenses committed against a child: rape, sexual

assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault,

molestation, incest, indecent exposure, prostitution, sexual abuse, sexual

exploitation.

It is important to note that the new definition of sexual abuse or exploitation does

not include statutory sexual assault in its list of offenses that are considered child

abuse if committed against a child. Statutory sexual assault is defined as sexual

intercourse between two unmarried people when one is under the age of 16 and

the other is four or more years older. Although statutory sexual assault is still

considered criminal conduct, it no longer triggers a mandatory report of child

abuse.

Under the criminal code of conduct, the definitions of aggravated indecent

assault and involuntary deviate

----------------------- Page 89-----------------------

sexual intercourse, both offenses listed above, include behaviors between

unmarried individuals when one is under the age of 16 and the other is four or

more years older. However, because the legislature expressly removed the

offense of statutory sexual assault from its list of offenses that would be

considered child abuse, it is reasonable to conclude that other sexual behaviors

(oral sex, anal sex, penetration) between two unmarried individuals when one is

under 16 years of age and the other is four or more years older, would also not

trigger a mandatory report of child abuse.

WHAT OBSERVATIONS WOULD SUGGEST THAT AN INJURY MAY BE THE

RESULT OF ABUSE?

When a person first observes     what s/he believes may be examples of either

serious physical injury, serious physical neglect, serious mental injury, or sexual

abuse, s/he may look to other indicators to help decide whether or not there is

reason to believe abuse has occurred. Observers may suspect abuse when they

have evidence of a serious injury or condition and when:

1. A child seems unduly afraid of his/her parents; or

2. His/her parents inappropriately describe him/her as being “different” or place

the total blame for the child’s condition on the child; or

3. Parents delay in seeking medical help for their child (and they are not delaying

for religious reasons); or

4. The parents are secretive and reluctant to give information about the child’s

condition or offer bizarre or contradictory explanations; or

5. The parents seldom touch or have eye contact with the child or impatiently

ignore the child’s crying; or

6. The parents criticize or get angry with the child for being injured.

It must be remembered, however, that child abuse involves actual harm to the

child or imminent danger of harm. For child abuse to exist under the law, there

must be either serious physical or mental injury or serious physical neglect that

poses an imminent danger to the child.

WHAT REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THE CPSL GOVERN

COUNTY CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICE AGENCIES?

The Chapter 3490 regulations of 55 Pennsylvania Code, which govern child

protective service agencies, set forth procedures and standards for the reporting

of suspected child abuse, the confidentiality of child abuse information, the

investigation of child abuse reports, the taking of a child into protective custody,

and the requirement of acquiring criminal and child abuse record history

information on prospective foster parents, adoptive parents, and applicants or

prospective operators of a child care service. Although the Pennsylvania

Department of Public Welfare amended the Chapter 3490 regulations in 1999 to

implement earlier changes made to the CPSL the current regulations do not

incorporate the most recent amendments to the CPSL (those made in 1998 and

2006). The instances in which the Chapter 3490 regulations have not yet been

----------------------- Page 90-----------------------

amended to incorporate the changes to the CPSL are indicated in the pages that

follow. The provisions of the CPSL take precedence over the Chapter 3490

regulations in all instances where the two differ. It is possible that the Chapter

3490 regulations will be amended very soon. The reader is referred to the

Juvenile Law Center website, www.jlc.org, for changes to the Pennsylvania

Code.

The following sections highlight several of the Chapter 3490 requirements and

provide the citations to the corresponding provisions in the CPSL and the Rules

of Juvenile Court Procedure where applicable.

HOW IS A CASE OF SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE REPORTED?

1. Any person may report suspected child abuse to:

       (a) The toll-free Pennsylvania ChildLine and Abuse Registry at 1-800-932-

0313; or

       (b) The child protective services unit of the county children and youth

agency. (See appendix A.)

       (c)  Required reporters must report suspected child abuse to ChildLine

and may also report such abuse to the appropriate county agency.

               (1) Required reporters who work in an institution, school, facility, or

       agency shall immediately notify the person in charge, or his/her designee,

       of the suspected abuse. The person in charge, or the designee, has a

       legal obligation to make a report to ChildLine immediately.

               (2) The person in charge, or the designee, may not make an

       independent determination of whether to report. The employee who is a

       required reporter may make an independent report directly to ChildLine.

               (3) A required reporter must make a written report within 48 hours

       to the child protective service in the county where the suspected abuse

       occurred.

WHAT ARE THE LEGAL EFFECTS OF REPORTING OR FAILING TO

REPORT SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE?

Any persons required by the CPSL to report a case of suspected child abuse

who willfully fail to do so may be criminally prosecuted for the failure to report.

Prior to Act 179, the first failure to report was graded as a summary offense and

subsequent convictions were graded as misdemeanors. Now, however, the

failure to report or make a referral to the appropriate authorities is a

misdemeanor of the third degree for the first violation and a misdemeanor of the

second degree for subsequent violations. Moreover, any person who, in his or

her official capacity, prevents or interferes with the making of a report of

suspected child abuse, shall be committing the offense of endangering the

welfare of a child.

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The CPSL presumes that a person who reports a case of suspected child abuse

has acted in good faith. And, any person who makes a report in good faith is

immune from criminal and civil liability.

WHAT INFORMATION SHOULD REPORTS OF SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE

CONTAIN?

When a written report of suspected child abuse is made, it should include the

following information if available:

1. The names and addresses of the child and the parents or other persons

responsible for the care of the child if known.

2. Where the suspected abuse occurred.

3. The age and sex of the subjects of the report.

4. The nature and extent of the suspected child abuse, including any evidence of

prior abuse to the child or siblings of the child.

5. The name and relationship of the person or persons responsible for causing

the suspected abuse, if known, and any evidence of prior abuse by that person

or persons.

6. Family composition.

7. The source of the report.

8. The person making the report and where that person can be reached.

9. The actions taken by the reporting source, including the taking of photographs

and X-rays, removal or keeping of the child or notifying the medical examiner or

coroner.

10. Any other information which the department may require by regulation.

MAY PICTURES OR X-RAYS BE TAKEN OF THE CHILD?

Any person or official required to report suspected child abuse may take

photographs of areas of the child’s body that show visible trauma. A child may

also be referred by a physician for a radiological examination and other medical

tests if medically indicated. The pictures and x-rays must be sent to the children

and youth agency when the written report of suspected child abuse is submitted,

or as soon thereafter as possible.

MAY A CHILD WHO IS SUSPECTED OF HAVING BEEN ABUSED BE TAKEN

INTO PROTECTIVE CUSTODY?

A child may be taken into protective custody in a hospital or medical facility by

the physician, the director, or a person designated in writing by such director, if

protective custody is immediately necessary to protect the child from further

serious physical injury, sexual abuse, or serious physical neglect. Also, law

enforcement officers or duly authorized officers of the court may take a child into

custody if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the child is suffering from

illness or injury or is in imminent danger from his surroundings and that removal

is necessary.

----------------------- Page 92-----------------------

Protective custody is merely an emergency protective measure to ensure that the

child has a safe environment in which to live on a short-term basis. The county

child protective service agency must be notified immediately and the protective

custody m ay not last more than 24 hours unless a court orders that the child

shall be held in custody for a longer period.

                            JUVENILE LAW CENTER

                             The Philadelphia Building

                          1315 W alnut Street - 4th Floor

                              Philadelphia, PA 19107

                                  (215) 625-0551

                               In PA: (800) 875-8887

                                E-mail: info@jlc.org

                               Website: www.jlc.org

      Part or all of this publication may be reproduced if credited to Juvenile

         Law Center. Seventh edition prepared by Riya S. Shah, Esq. and

                                  Joanna Darcus.

                     COPYRIGHT 2007, Juvenile Law Center

                            ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

----------------------- Page 93-----------------------

CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICE

                    REGULATIONS

              PA CODE, TITLE 55

                PUBLIC WELFARE

                   CHAPTER 3490

        PROTECTIVE SERVICES

            Click here to access.

----------------------- Page 94-----------------------

                             PENNSYLVANIA- State law

                          Mandatory Reporting: At a Glance

                                  Child Sexual Abuse

         (Adapted from State Law and Child Welfare Information Gateway)

Mandatory Reporting?

        Yes, by “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 affilitated is a victim of child

abuse…” (PA Child Protective Services Law, §6311 )

        Exceptions: “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

or 5928 (relating to confidential communications to attorney)…” (PA Child

Protective Services Law, §6311)

Definition of a Child:

        A person under the age of 18

Definition of Perpetrator:

        *A parent of a child

        *A person responsible for the welfare of a child

        *An individual residing in the same home as a child

        * A paramour of a child’s parent

Civil/Criminal Immunity for Reporter?

        Yes. “A person, hospital, institution, school, facility, agency or agency

employee that participates in good faith in the making of a report, …shall have

immunity from civil and criminal liability that might otherwise result by reason of

those actions.” (PA Child Protective Services Law, §6318)

Charges Against Health Provider if not Reported?

        Yes. “A person or official required by this chapter to report a case of

suspected child abuse or to make a referral to the appropriate 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 and subsequent

violation.” (PA Child Protective Services Law, §6319).

Where to Report Abuse:

Revised 5/20/2008

----------------------- Page 95-----------------------

        ChildLine: (800) 932-0313

        A toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week hotline established by Pennsylvania’s

Department of Public Welfare to receive reports of suspected abuse and neglect

of children. The reports are forwarded to the local children and youth agency for

investigation.

Before Act 179 amended the CPSL, a duty to report was only triggered when

there was suspicion of abuse by a person who was a “perpetrator” as defined by

the CPSL. However, Act 179 amended the CPSL to now require mandated

reporters to report abuse when they have reasonable cause to suspect that the

child has been abused by any individual, not just those limited to the definition of

“perpetrator” above.

Before filing a sexual abuse report it is recommended that you consult with your

supervisor. Careful documentation is essential. If you have any questions about the

mandated requirements of reporting, you may contact ChildLine or your local County

Children and Youth agency.

Revised 5/20/2008

----------------------- Page 96-----------------------

----------------------- Page 97-----------------------

----------------------- Page 98-----------------------

                          COUNTY CHILDREN & YOUTH AGENCIES

ADAMS                                                   BERKS

ADAMS COUNTY CHILDREN                                   BERKS COUNTY CHILDREN

& YOUTH SERVICES                                        & YOUTH SERVICES

100 N. Stratton Street                                  633 Court Street, 11th Floor

Gettysburg, PA 17325                                    Reading, PA 19601

(717) 337-0110                                          (610) 478-6700

After normal working hours call: 911                    After normal working hours calls are transferred

                                                        to 911

ALLEGHENY

                                                        BLAIR

ALLEGHENY COUNTY OFFICE OF

CHILDREN, YOUTH & FAMILIES                              BLAIR COUNTY CHILDREN

1 Smithfield Street, Suite 400                          & YOUTH SERVICES

Pittsburgh, PA 15222-2225                               423 Allegheny Street, Suite 132

(412) 350-5701                                          Hollidaysburg, PA 16648

After normal working hours call: Intake office at       (814) 693-3130

(412) 473-2000.                                         After normal working hours call: (814) 949-4917

ARMSTRONG                                               BRADFORD

ARMSTRONG COUNTY CHILDREN, YOUTH &                      BRADFORD COUNTY CHILDREN

FAMILY SERVICES                                         & YOUTH SERVICES

310 South Jefferson Street                              220 Main Street, Unit 1

Kittanning, PA 16201                                    Towanda, PA 18848

(724) 548-3466                                          (570) 265-1760

After normal working hours call: (724) 543-6509         After normal working hours call: (570) 265-2424

BEAVER                                                  BUCKS

BEAVER COUNTY CHILDREN                                  BUCKS COUNTY CHILDREN & YOUTH

& YOUTH SERVICES                                        SOCIAL SERVICES AGENCY

1080 Eighth Avenue                                      4259 West Swamp Road, Suite 200

Beaver Falls, PA 15010                                  Doylestown, PA 18901

(724) 891-5800                                          (215) 348-6900

After normal working hours call the same                After normal working hours an answering service

number.                                                 calls will refer calls to an intake worker

BEDFORD                                                 BUTLER

BEDFORD COUNTY CHILDREN                                 BUTLER COUNTY CHILDREN

& YOUTH SERVICES                                        & YOUTH SERVICES

220 South Thomas Street                                 124 W Diamond Street, 2nd Floor

Bedford, PA 15522                                       P.O. Box 1208

(814) 623-4804                                          Butler, PA 16003

After normal working hours calls are forwarded          (724) 284-5156 (ask for Children & Youth

to intake                                               Services)

                                                        After normal working hours call: (724) 287-7769

                                                        or 911.

----------------------- Page 99-----------------------

                          COUNTY CHILDREN & YOUTH AGENCIES

CAMBRIA                                                CLARION

CAMBRIA COUNTY CHILDREN                                CLARION COUNTY CHILDREN

& YOUTH SERVICES                                       & YOUTH SERVICES

110 Franklin Street, Suite 400                         214 S 7th Avenue, Suite B

Johnstown, PA 15901                                    Clarion, PA 16214

(814) 539-7454                                         (814) 226-9280

After normal working hours call: (814) 536-5311        After normal working hours call: 911

CAMERON

                                                       CLEARFIELD

CHILDREN & YOUTH SERVICES                              CLEARFIELD COUNTY CHILDREN

OF CAMERON COUNTY                                      & YOUTH SERVICES

20 E 5th Street                                        650 Leonard Street

Emporium, PA 15834                                     Clearfield, PA 16830

(814) 486-3265                                         (814) 765-1541

After normal working hours call: (814) 772-0000        After normal working hours use the same

                                                       number or call 911 if an emergency situation

CARBON

                                                       CLINTON

CARBON COUNTY CHILDREN

& YOUTH SERVICES                                       CLINTON COUNTY CHILDREN

69 Broadway, 3rd Floor                                 & YOUTH SERVICES

Jim Thorpe, PA 18229                                   232 East Main Street

(570) 325-3644                                         Lock Haven, PA 17745

After normal working hours use the same                (570) 893-4100

number                                                 After normal working hours call Communications

                                                       Center: (570) 748-2936

CENTRE

                                                       COLUMBIA

CENTRE COUNTY CHILDREN

& YOUTH SERVICES                                       COLUMBIA COUNTY CHILDREN

Willowbank Office Building                             & YOUTH SERVICES

420 Holmes Street                                      26 W est 1st Street

Bellefonte, PA 16823                                   Bloomsburg, PA 17815

(814) 355-6755                                         (570) 389-5700

After normal working hours call: 1-800-479-0050        After normal working hours call: (570) 784-0212

CHESTER                                                CRAWFORD

CHESTER COUNTY CHILDREN                                CRAWFORD COUNTY CHILDREN

& YOUTH SERVICES                                       & YOUTH SERVICES

601 Westtown Road, Suite 310                           654 Arch Street, Suite B101

West Chester, PA 19382                                 Meadville, PA 16335

(610) 344-5800                                         (814) 724-8380

1-800-692-1100                                         After normal working hours call: CHILDLINE at

After normal working hours call: (610) 344-5100        1-800-932-0313 or County Control: (814) 724-

                                                       2545

----------------------- Page 100-----------------------

                          COUNTY CHILDREN & YOUTH AGENCIES

CUMBERLAND                                              ERIE

CUMBERLAND COUNTY CHILDREN                              ERIE COUNTY OFFICE

& YOUTH SERVICES                                        OF CHILDREN & YOUTH

16 West High Street                                     154 W. 9th Street

Suite 200 - Human Services Building                     Erie, PA 16501

Carlisle, PA 17013-2931                                 (814) 451-6600

(717) 240-6120                                          After normal working hours call: (814) 453-5656

After normal working hours call:

(717) 243-4121 (Carlisle)                               FAYETTE

(717) 238-9676 (West Shore)

(717) 532-8878 (Shippensburg)                           FAYETTE COUNTY CHILDREN

                                                        & YOUTH SERVICES

DAUPHIN                                                 130 Old New Salem Road

                                                        Uniontown, PA 15401

DAUPHIN COUNTY SOCIAL SERVICES                          (724) 430-1283

FOR CHILDREN & YOUTH                                    After normal working hours call: (724) 430-1287

25 South Front Street, 7th Floor                        or CHILDLINE at 1-800-932-0313

Harrisburg, PA 17101

(717) 780-7200                                          FOREST

After normal working hours use the same

number                                                  FOREST COUNTY CHILDREN

                                                        & YOUTH SERVICES

DELAWARE                                                613 Elm Street

                                                        P.O. Box 523

DELAWARE COUNTY SOCIAL SERVICES                         Tionesta, PA 16353

FOR CHILDREN & YOUTH                                    (814) 755-3622

20 S. 69th Street, 3rd Floor                            After normal working hours call: (814) 726-1380

Upper Darby, PA 19082                                   or 1-800-406-1255

(215) 891-4806

531 Penn Street                                         FRANKLIN

Chester, PA 19013

(610) 447-1000                                          FRANKLIN COUNTY CHILDREN

Sexual Abuse                                            & YOUTH SERVICES

100 W. 6th Street, Ground Floor                         425 Franklin Farm Lane

Media, PA 19063                                         Chambersburg, PA 17201

(610) 891-5258                                          (717) 263-1900

After normal working hours call: (610) 892-8400         After normal working hours call Emergency

                                                        Management Agency: (717) 263-1611

ELK

                                                        FULTON

ELK COUNTY CHILDREN

& YOUTH SERVICES                                        FULTON COUNTY SERVICES FOR CHILDREN

P.O. Box 448                                            219 North 2nd Street

Ridgway, PA 15853                                       McConnellsburg, PA 17233

(814) 776-1553                                          (717) 485-3691

After normal working hours call: 1-888-355-8128         After normal working hours use the same

                                                        number

----------------------- Page 101-----------------------

                          COUNTY CHILDREN & YOUTH AGENCIES

GREENE                                                 LACKAWANNA

GREENE COUNTY CHILDREN                                 LACKAWANNA COUNTY CHILDREN

& YOUTH SERVICES                                       & YOUTH SOCIAL SERVICES AGENCY

19 S. Washington Street, Room 201                      200 Adams Avenue, 4th Floor

Waynesburg, PA 15370                                   Scranton, PA 18503

(724) 852-5217                                         (570) 963-6781

After normal working hours call : 911                  After normal working hours use the same

                                                       number

HUNTINGDON

                                                       LANCASTER

HUNTINGDON COUNTY CHILDREN

& YOUTH SERVICES                                       LANCASTER COUNTY CHILDREN

430 Penn Street                                        & YOUTH AGENCY

Huntingdon, PA 16652                                   900 East King Street

(814) 643-3270                                         Lancaster, PA 17602

After normal working hours call: 911                   (717) 299-7925

                                                       After normal working hours call: (717) 396-8085

INDIANA

                                                       LAWRENCE

INDIANA COUNTY CHILDREN

& YOUTH SERVICES                                       LAWRENCE COUNTY CHILDREN

350 North 4th Street                                   & YOUTH SERVICES

Indiana, PA 15701                                      1001 E Washington Street

(724) 465-3895                                         New Castle, PA 16101

After normal working hours call: 911 or                (724) 658-2558

(724) 349-4128 if not an emergency                     After normal working hours call: 911

JEFFERSON                                              LEBANON

JEFFERSON COUNTY CHILDREN                              LEBANON COUNTY CHILDREN

& YOUTH SERVICES                                       & YOUTH SERVICES

155 Main Street                                        Room 401, Municipal Building

Brookville, PA 15825                                   400 S. 8th Street

(814) 849-3696                                         Lebanon, PA 17042

After normal working hours call County Control:        (717) 274-2801

(814) 849-1617                                         After normal working hours call: (717) 272-2054

JUNIATA                                                LEHIGH

JUNIATA COUNTY CHILDREN                                LEHIGH COUNTY CHILDREN

& YOUTH SOCIAL SERVICES AGENCY                         & YOUTH SERVICES

11 N. 3rd Street                                       Government Center

Fry Building                                           17 S. 7th Street

Mifflintown, PA 17059                                  Allentown, PA 18101-2400

(717) 436-7707                                         (610) 782-3064

After normal working hours call: (717) 436-7770        Leave a message on the tape after normal

                                                       working hours.

----------------------- Page 102-----------------------

                          COUNTY CHILDREN & YOUTH AGENCIES

LUZERNE                                                MONROE

LUZERNE COUNTY CHILDREN                                MONROE COUNTY CHILDREN

& YOUTH SERVICES                                       & YOUTH SERVICES

111 North Pennsylvania Blvd.                           730 Phillips Street

Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701                                 Stroudsburg, PA 18360

(570) 826-8710                                         (570) 420-3590

Calls are transferred to HELPLINE [(570) 829-          After normal working hours use the same

1341] after 5:00 p.m. in winter and 4:00 p.m. in       number

summer.

                                                       MONTGOMERY

LYCOMING

                                                       MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE

LYCOMING COUNTY DEPARTMENT                             OF CHILDREN & YOUTH

OF CHILDREN & YOUTH                                    1430 DeKalb Street

Sharwell Building                                      Norristown, PA 19401

200 East Street                                        Clinical Services: (610) 278-5800

Williamsport, PA 17701                                 After normal working hours calls are taken by

(570) 326-7895                                         Radio Room: (610) 275-1222

After normal working hours use the same

number                                                 MONTOUR

MCKEAN                                                 MONTOUR COUNTY CHILDREN

                                                       & YOUTH SERVICES AGENCY

MCKEAN COUNTY CHILDREN                                 114 Woodbine Lane, Suite 201

& YOUTH SERVICES                                       Danville, PA 17821

Courthouse                                             (570) 271-3050

Smethport, PA 16749                                    After normal working hours call: (570) 275-1911

(814) 887-3350

After normal working hours call: (814) 887-4911        NORTHAMPTON

MERCER                                                 NORTHAMPTON COUNTY CHILDREN,

                                                       YOUTH & FAMILIES DIVISION

MERCER COUNTY CHILDREN                                 45 North Second Street

& YOUTH SERVICES                                       Easton, PA 18042

8425 Sharon-Mercer Road                                (610) 559-3290

Mercer, PA 16137                                       1-800-634-0808

(724) 662-2703                                         After normal working hours call: (610) 252-9060

After normal working hours call: (724) 662-3221

                                                       NORTHUMBERLAND

MIFFLIN

                                                       NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY CHILDREN

MIFFLIN COUNTY CHILDREN                                & YOUTH SERVICES

& YOUTH SERVICES                                       322 North Second Street

144 East Market Street                                 Sunbury, PA 17801

Lewistown, PA 17044                                    (570) 988-4237

(717) 248-3994                                         After normal working hours call CHILDLINE at 1-

After normal working hours use the same                800-932-0313

number

----------------------- Page 103-----------------------

                          COUNTY CHILDREN & YOUTH AGENCIES

PERRY                                                   1-800-722-8341

                                                       After normal working hours use the same

PERRY COUNTY CHILDREN                                  numbers

& YOUTH SERVICES

Courthouse                                             SNYDER

P.O. Box 123

New Bloomfield, PA 17068                               SNYDER COUNTY CHILDREN

(717) 582-2131 Ext. 2212                               & YOUTH SERVICES

After 4:00 p.m. call: (717) 582-4311 or 1-888-         713 Bridge Street, Suite 15

454-3105                                               Selinsgrove, PA 17870

                                                       (570) 374-4570

PHILADELPHIA                                           After normal working hours call: (570) 372-0826

PHILADELPHIA COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF                      SOMERSET

HUMAN SERVICES,CHILDREN & YOUTH

AGENCY                                                 SOMERSET COUNTY CHILDREN

Intake: 1515 Arch Street                               & YOUTH SERVICES

Philadelphia, PA 19102                                 300 N Center Avenue, Suite 220

(215) 683-6000                                         Somerset, PA 15501

(215) 683-4347                                         (814) 445-1600

Child Abuse 24-hour Hotline: (215) 686-6100            After normal working hours call: 1-800-452-0218

PIKE                                                   SULLIVAN

PIKE COUNTY CHILDREN                                   SULLIVAN COUNTY SOCIAL SERVICES

& YOUTH SERVICES                                       AGENCY FOR CHILDREN & YOUTH

506 Broad Street                                       Sullivan County Courthouse

Milford, PA 18337                                      P.O. Box 157

(570) 296-3446                                         Laporte, PA 18626

After normal working hours use the same                (570) 946-4250

number                                                 After normal working hours, call State Police:

                                                       (570) 946-4610

POTTER

                                                       SUSQUEHANNA

POTTER COUNTY CHILDREN

& YOUTH SERVICES                                       SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY SERVICES

P.O. Box 241                                           FOR CHILDREN & YOUTH

62 North Street                                        31 Public Avenue

Roulette, PA 16746                                     Montrose, PA 18801

(814) 544-7315                                         (570) 278-4600 Ext. 300

After normal working hours use the same                After normal working hours call regular number

number or call 911                                     or County Communication Center: (570) 278-

                                                       3841

SCHUYLKILL

SCHUYLKILL COUNTY CHILDREN

& YOUTH SERVICES

410 N. Centre Street

Pottsville, PA 17901

(570) 628-1050

----------------------- Page 104-----------------------

                          COUNTY CHILDREN & YOUTH AGENCIES

TIOGA                                                   WAYNE

                                                        WAYNE COUNTY CHILDREN

TIOGA COUNTY AGENCY                                     & YOUTH SERVICES

FOR CHILDREN & YOUTH                                    Wayne County Courthouse

P.O. Box 766                                            648 Park Street, Suite C

Wellsboro, PA 16901                                     Honesdale, PA 18431

Children’s Services (570) 724-5766 or                   (570) 253-5972

1-800-242-5766                                          After normal working hours call: (570) 253-3109

After normal working hours call:

GUIDELINE at 1-800-332-6718                             WESTMORELAND

UNION                                                   WESTMORELAND COUNTY

                                                        CHILDREN’S BUREAU

UNION COUNTY CHILDREN                                   303 Court House Square

& YOUTH SERVICES                                        Greensburg, PA 15601

1610 Industrial Blvd., Ste. 200                         (724) 830-3301

Lewisburg, PA 17837                                     After 8 P.M. call: (724) 836-1551

(570) 522-1330

After normal working hours call: (570) 523-1113         WYOMING

VENANGO                                                 WYOMING COUNTY CHILDREN

                                                        & YOUTH SERVICES

VENANGO COUNTY CHILDREN                                 P.O. Box 29

& YOUTH SERVICES                                        Tunkhannock, PA 18657

P.O. Box 1130                                           (570) 836-3131

1283 Liberty Street                                     After normal working hours use the same

Franklin, PA 16323                                      number

(814) 432-9743

After normal working hours call the Integrated          YORK

Crisis Service: (814) 677-7118                          YORK COUNTY CHILDREN

                                                        & YOUTH SERVICES

WARREN                                                  100 W. Market Street, 4th Floor

                                                        York, PA 17401

FOREST-WARREN CHILDREN                                  (717) 846-8496

& YOUTH SERVICES                                        After normal working hours use the same

27 Hospital Drive                                       number

Warren, PA 16365

(814) 726-2100

After normal working hours call: (814) 726-1380

WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON COUNTY CHILDREN

& YOUTH SERVICES

100 West Beau Street, Suite 502

502 Courthouse Square

Washington, PA 15301

(724) 228-6884

After normal working hours use the same

number

----------------------- Page 105-----------------------

                                                                                                         Related 

                                                                                                    ORganizatiOns 

                                                                                                           list

                                                                                                         June 2007

                                                                                                   Disponible en espaƱol

                                                                                              www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/

          Toll-Free Crisis                                                                          reslist/sp_tollfree.cfm

          Hotline Numbers

    Child abuse                                               Family Violence

Childhelp®                                                National Domestic Violence Hotline

Phone: 800.4.A.CHILD (800.422.4453)                       Phone: 800.799.SAFE (800.799.7233)

Who They Help: Child abuse victims,                       Who They Help: Children, parents, 

parents, concerned individuals                            friends, offenders

     Child sexual abuse                                       Mental illness

Stop It Now!                                              National Alliance on Mental Illness 

Phone: 888.PREVENT (888.773.8368)                         Phone: 800.950.NAMI (800.950.6264)

Who They Help: Adults, parents, offenders,                Who They Help: Individuals, families, 

concerned individuals                                     professionals

     Crime Victims

National Center for Victims of Crime

Phone: 800.FYI.CALL (800.394.2255)

Who They Help: Families, communities, and 

individuals harmed by crime

                                                                                      Child Welfare Information Gateway

                                                                                      Children’s Bureau/ACYF

                   U.S. Department of Health and Human Services                       1250 Maryland Avenue, SW

                         Administration for Children and Families                     Eighth Floor

                                                                                      Washington, DC 20024

                   Administration on Children, Youth and Families                     703.385.7565 or 800.394.3366

                                               Children’s Bureau                      Email: info@childwelfare.gov

                                                                                      www.childwelfare.gov

----------------------- Page 106-----------------------

Toll-Free Crisis Hotline Numbers                                                              www.childwelfare.gov

            Missing/abducted                                     substance abuse

           Children

                                                              National Alcohol and Substance Abuse 

        Child Find of America                                 Information Center

        Phone: 800.I.AM.LOST (800.426.5678)                   Phone: 800.784.6776

        Who They Help: Parents reporting lost or              Who They Help: Families, professionals, 

        abducted children                                     media, policymakers, concerned individuals

        Child Find of America – Mediation

        Phone: 800.A.WAY.OUT (800.292.9688)                      suicide Prevention

        Who They Help: Parents (abduction, 

        prevention, child custody issues)

                                                              National Suicide Hopeline 

        National Center for Missing and                       Phone: 800.784.2433

        Exploited Children                                    Who They Help: Families, concerned 

        Phone: 800.THE.LOST (800.843.5678)                    individuals

        Who They Help: Families and professionals 

        (social services, law enforcement)                    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 

                                                              Phone: 800.273.8255

                                                              Who They Help: Families, concerned 

                                                              individuals

            Rape/incest

        Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network                    Youth in        trouble/ 

        (RAINN)

        Phone: 800.656.HOPE, Ext.1                                Runaways

        (800.656.4673, Ext.1)

        Who They Help: Rape and incest victims, 

                                                              National Runaway Switchboard

        media, policymakers, concerned individuals

                                                              Phone: 800.RUNAWAY (800.786.2929)

                                                              Who They Help: Runaway and homeless 

                                                              youth, families

    This material may be freely reproduced and distributed. However, when doing so, please credit            2

    Child Welfare Information Gateway. Available online at www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/reslist/tollfree.cfm

----------------------- Page 107-----------------------

CHILDLINE AND ABUSE

                      REGISTRY

      PA DEPARTMENT OF

          PUBLIC WELFARE

     Click here to access.

----------------------- Page 108-----------------------

SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE AND

    NEGLECT PROGRAM (SCAN)

     PA CHAPTER OF AMERICAN

      ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS

             Click here to access.