Corbett Signs Additional Child Protection Bills
Laws Define Mandatory Reporters of Suspected Child Abuse
Ambler – Governor Tom Corbett today signed
into law four pieces of legislation that will further protect Pennsylvania’s
children from child abuse.
laws will expand and further define mandatory reporters and the reporting
process, increase penalties for those mandated to report suspected child abuse
who fail to do so, and provide protections from employment discrimination for
filing a good faith report of child abuse.
signing four crucial bills that demonstrate our commitment to helping protect
innocent children from the monsters that would do them harm,’’ Corbett said.
“By our actions today, we are sending a message that we will not turn a blind
eye to the abuse of children − those who we entrust with the care of our
children must be held to a higher standard.”
by legislators, advocates and a group of individuals representing individuals
required to be mandatory reporters, Corbett signed the four new bills at the
Ambler Area YMCA.
stop future acts of abuse,” Corbett said. “Today, we all stand together to say
‘no’ to crimes against our children.”
the new laws follow the recommendations from a November 2012 report by the
Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection.
laws the governor signed today will specifically do the following:
Bill 21(Ward): Effective Dec. 31, 2014
- Clarify the definition of
mandatory reporter to include anyone who comes in contact with a child, or
is directly responsible for the care, supervision, guidance, or training
of a child as a mandatory reporter.
- Outline the reporting process
for mandatory reporters, including immediate reporting to the Department
of Public Welfare by phone, with a written or electronic report filed
within 48 hours.
Bill 436 (Stephens): Effective June 16, 2014
- Add definitions, outline and
streamline reporting procedures for mandatory reporters, while expanding
those who are required to report suspected child abuse.
- Increase penalties for a
mandatory reporter’s failure to report suspected child abuse or make a
referral to the proper authorities.
Bill 431(Gingrich): Effective Dec. 31, 2014; Applicable to applications
or renewals on or after Jan. 1, 2015
- Require Department of State
licensing boards with jurisdiction over licensees identified as mandatory
reporters to provide training and continuing education, approved by the
Department of Public Welfare, on child abuse recognition and reporting.
- Define number of hours of
training required prior to the issuance or renewal of a license.
Bill 33 (Mensch): Effective Dec. 31, 2014
- Provide for protection from
employment discrimination for mandatory and permissive reporters who
report suspected child abuse in good faith.
Corbett was joined for the signing by Majority Caucus Secretary, Representative
Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery); chair of the House Children & Youth Committee,
Representative Kathy Watson (R-Bucks); and prime sponsor of House Bill 436,
Representative Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery). Representatives David Maloney
(R-Berks) and Kate Harper (R-Montgomery) were also in attendance.
information on Department of Public Welfare services and benefit programs for
children, visit www.dpw.state.pa.us/forchildren/.
information on the Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection, visit www.childprotection.state.pa.us/.
Christine Cronkright, Governor’s Office, 717-783-1116
Department of Public Welfare, 717-425-7606