Child Protection Legislative Updates
Over the past several years, the House Republican Caucus has been focused on protecting Pennsylvania’s children.
During the 2017-18 session, the House continues to lead efforts to protect children and ensure justice for child abuse victims.
This session, the following bills have passed the House:
• Child Abuse Investigations (HB 44
– awaiting Senate action): Amends the Protection from Abuse Act to provide the court with information regarding whether the defendant has been involved with a child abuse investigation. To read more, click here
• Task Force on Impact of Opioid Crisis on Infants and Children (HB 235
– awaiting Senate action): Establishes a task force to examine the opioid abuse epidemic’s impact on infants and children. To read more, click here
• No ARD for Sex Offenses (HB 594
– awaiting Senate action): Prohibits Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition for certain sex offenses against children. To read more, click here
Last session, the following new laws were enacted to help keep kids safe:
• Background Check Clarifications (Act 15 of 2015
, formerly HB 1276): Clarifies certain provisions in the Child Protective Services Law regarding the criminal background check clearance requirements and child abuse clearance requirements for volunteers who work with children. To view video on this legislation, click here
• Protecting Against Cyber Bullying (Act 26 of 2015
, formerly HB 229): Establishes the offense of cyber harassment of a child and makes it a third-degree misdemeanor.
• Custody and Child Support (Act 40 of 2015
, formerly SB 663): Allows for involuntary termination of parental rights, but explicitly prohibits termination of support obligations, when a child is conceived as a result of certain sexual offenses, and limits custody awards to a parent convicted of such offenses.
• Interstate Family Support Act (Act 94 of 2015
, formerly HB 1603): Brings Pennsylvania into compliance with changes that have been made to the federal Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.
• Compliance with Federal Child Protection Law (Act 115 of 2016
, formerly SB 1311): Amends the Adoption Act, the Juvenile Act and the Child Protective Services Law in order to comply with the latest requirements of the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). The changes are necessary to qualify for federal funding that supports prevention, assessment, investigation, treatment and prosecution of child abuse and neglect.
If you suspect child abuse or neglect, call ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313.
Mandated reporters can report electronically at www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis
More information about recent child protection laws, requirements for mandated reporters, background clearances and training resources are available here
How Can I Learn More?
for links to:
• Online training.
• Training providers.
• Changes to the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL).
• Online ChildLine clearances with links to State Police and FBI clearance applications.
• Electronic reporting of child abuse suspicions.