Complete Your CE Test Online - Click Here First, a law enforcement official in Pennsylvania includes the following: 1. The Attorney General. 2. A Pennsylvania district attorney. 3. A Pennsylvania State Police Officer. 4. A municipal police officer. A law enforcement official that receives a report of suspected abuse is required to immediately notify the department of the report. If it is done orally by telephone, the law enforcement official will attempt to collect as much information as possible relating to the reporting procedure and will submit either, a written report or report by electronic means, within 48hours. The exclusion applies if the person allegedly responsible for the child abuse is a nonperpetrator child, then the law enforcement official is not required to submit the report to the department. ● ● Defensive force. Reasonable force for self-defense or the defense of another individual, consistent with the provisions of 18 Pa.C.S. §§ 505 (relating to use of force in self-protection) and 506 (relating to use of force for the protection of other persons), shall not be considered child abuse. Note: These are exclusions to child abuse, not exclusions to reporting child abuse. If you suspect that an identifiable child is the victim of child abuse, please make a report. Trained professionals will determine whether or not child abuse has occurred. MANDATED REPORTERS Mandated reporters in Pennsylvania is the category that submits the most reports of suspected child abuse and in 2013 they reported 21,076 reports of suspected abuse, which is 78% of all suspected abuse reports. Of the substantiated reports, 79% came from mandated reporters. Pennsylvania is making a difference and it is beginning to show in the numbers. While some occupations determined as mandated reporters are listed by name in recent legislative updates (see below), the common factor among mandated reporters is that these are individuals who come into direct contact with children in the course of their employment, occupation, practice of their profession or outside their employment or are persons responsible for the welfare of children. Example: You volunteer at a church group, you are now considered a mandated reporter because you are in contact with children . You regularly examine children in the course of your employment as a nurse you are a mandated reporter. Note: How is direct contact with children defined? Direct contact with children is defined in § 6303 (relating to definitions) as the care, supervision, guidance or control of children or routine interaction with children. Note: How is person responsible for the child’s welfare defined? 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 control. The term includes any such person who has direct or regular contact with a child through any program, activity or service sponsored by a school, for-profit organization or religious or other not-for-profit organization. Section 6311 of the Child Protective Services Law. Persons required to report suspected child abuse. Effective December 31, 2014, the new definition of a mandated reporter includes anyone who comes into contact, or interacts, with a child or is directly responsible for the care, supervision, guidance, or training of a child. In 2015, Act 15 of 2015 amended Title 23 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes by strengthening its child welfare laws to expanding the definition of information to be reported, mandated reporters, streamlined the reporting process, increased penalties for mandated reporters who fail to report abuse or neglect, and provided protections from employment discrimination for filing a report in good faith. The law now specifically includes volunteers with children’s programs and employees (not just administrators, teachers, and nurses) of elementary, secondary, and postsecondary schools. The entire list of mandated reporters as outlined by section 6311 of Child Protective Services Law as well as Act 15 of 2015 include: ● ● A person licensed or certified to practice in any health-related field under the jurisdiction of the Department of State. ● ● A medical examiner, coroner or funeral director. ● ● An employee of a health care facility or provider licensed by the Department of Health, who is engaged in the admission, examination, care or treatment of individuals. ● ● A school employee who provides a program, activity or services sponsored by a school. The term does not apply to administrative or other support personnel unless the administrative or other support personnel have direct contact with children. ● ● An employee of a child-care service who has direct contact with children in the course of employment. ● ● A direct volunteer who provides care, supervision, guidance or control of children. ● ● A clergyman, priest, rabbi, minister, Christian Science practitioner, religious healer or spiritual leader of any regularly established church or other religious organization. ● ● An individual paid or unpaid, who, on the basis of the individual’s role as an integral part of a regularly scheduled program, activity or service, accepts responsibility for a child. ● ● An employee of a social services agency who has direct contact with children in the course of employment. ● ● A peace officer or law enforcement official. ● ● An emergency medical services provider certified by the Department of Health. ● ● An employee of a public library who has direct contact with children in the course of employment. ● ● An individual supervised or managed by a person listed above, who has direct contact with children in the course of employment. ● ● An independent contractor. ● ● An attorney affiliated with an agency, institution, organization or other entity, including a school or regularly established religious organization that is responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or control of children. ● ● An individual supervised or managed by a person listed above and who has direct contact with children in the course of employment. ● ● A foster parent. ● ● An individual paid or unpaid, who, on the basis of the individual’s roles an integral part of a regularly schedule program, activity or service, is a person responsible for the child’s welfare or has direct contact with children. ● ● An adult family member who is a person responsible for the child’s welfare and provides services to a child in a family living home, community home for individuals with an intellectual disability or host home for children who are subject to supervision or licensure by the department under Article IX or X of the act of June 13, 1967 (P.L. 31, No. 21), known of the Public Welfare Code. 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