Yes, persons making a report of suspected child abuse are immune from civil and criminal liability as long as the report was made in good faith. The good faith of a mandated reporter is assumed.
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Child abuse, according to the CPSL, means intentionally, knowingly or recklessly doing any of the following:
Child abuse also includes certain acts in which the act itself constitutes abuse without any resulting injury or condition. These recent acts include any of the following:
"Recent" is defined as an abusive act within two years from the date the report is made to ChildLine. Sexual abuse, serious mental injury, serious physical neglect and deaths have no time limit.
The following adults are considered mandated reporters and are required to report suspected child abuse if they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse:
A mandated reporter must make a report of suspected child abuse if they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse under any of the following circumstances:
Yes. Nothing requires the mandated reporter have direct contact with the child in order to make a report.
Mandated reporters must make an immediate and direct report of suspected child abuse to ChildLine either electronically at www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis or by calling 1-800-932-0313.
Yes, after making the report to ChildLine, you are required to immediately thereafter notify the person in charge of the institution, school, facility or agency or the designated agent of the person in charge.
The penalties for a mandated reporter who willfully fails to report child abuse range from a misdemeanor of second degree to a felony of the second degree.
Yes. Anyone who is concerned about the safety of a child is encouraged to make a report. Individuals who are encouraged, although not required by law, to make a report of suspected child abuse, can make a report to ChildLine by calling 1-800-932-0313.
The identity of the person making the report is kept confidential with the exception of being released to law enforcement officials or the district attorney's office. Law enforcement and district attorney's office must treat the mandated reporter as a confidential informant.
Reasonable cause to suspect is a determination you make, based on your knowledge of circumstances, observations, familiarity with the individuals, and feelings about the incident.
Knowledge of circumstances would include:
Observations would include:
Familiarity would include the knowledge you have about:
Think about your feelings and personal biases and consider how they influence your conclusions and actions.