April 5, 2014 Comments Off on Bills would change child abuse reporting requirements in Pa., defining who reports and how
Bills would change child abuse reporting requirements in Pa., defining who reports and how
By Charles Thompson April 04, 2014
….But lawyers and non-lawyers appear to have reached a compromise on what may be the biggest upgrade yet to Pennsylvania’s child protection laws coming out of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
Final votes are expected at the Capitol next week on bills that redesign mandatory reporting requirements in cases of suspected child abuse.
Lawmakers have already modernized the definition of abuse, and approved measures that strengthen law enforcement and child welfare response.
But, as some child protection advocates note, the best system in the world doesn’t get activated without a report.
“Without a report (of suspected child abuse)… the cavalry doesn’t come running to ask that child if they’re OK,” explained Rep. Todd Stephens, a Montgomery County Republican who played a key role in late-stage negotiations on the bills.
The new requirements delineate 14 categories of mandated reporters, including all school employees, all staff at child care and medical facilities, librarians and even – in a Pennsylvania first – volunteers who work regularly in youth sports or other activities like church groups, Boy Scouts or dance companies….