Reporting Child Abuse & Mandated Reporting
Reporting Child Abuse
Protection of children is the responsibility of everyone in the community. Anyone may report child abuse by calling:
- ChildLine: 800-932-0313
- Washington County Children and Youth Services: 724-228-6884 or toll-free at 888-619-9906
- Mandated reporters may also report online at https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home. For more information about mandated reporters, see below.
The identity of anyone making a report is kept confidential although it may be released to law enforcement officials or the district attorney’s office.
If the child you are concerned about is in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1.
Who Are Mandated Reporters?
While anyone can report child abuse, the Child Protective Services Law requires some people to report their suspicions that a child is being abused. These people are “mandated” to report.
Mandated reporters are generally people who come into contact with children as a part of their job or as a volunteer who works directly with children. Mandated reporters are required to make a report when they have a reasonable cause to suspect child abuse.
People who are mandated reporters include those who:
- Are 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, including those who are employed by a school or who provide a program, activity or services sponsored by a school.
- Schools include public school districts, vocational technical schools, joint schools, intermediate units, charter or regional charter schools, cyber charter schools, private schools, non-public schools, community colleges, other institutions of higher education, and residential rehabilitation institutions.
- Programs, activities and services include such things as youth or recreational camps, sports or athletic programs, outreach or enrichment programs, or troops, clubs, and similar programs;
- An employee of a child-care service who had direct contact with children in the course of employment;
- Child care services include day care centers family day-care homes, juvenile detention center services or programs for delinquent or dependent children, mental health, drug and alcohol, and early intervention services for children, services for children with intellectual disabilities, and other services.
- Clergy, priests, rabbis, ministers, Christian Science practitioners, religious healers, and spiritual leaders of any regularly established church or other religious organization;
- Individuals, 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 who is supervised or managed by any of the above who has direct contact with children in the course of employment;
- An independent contractor who has direct contact with children.
- 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.
- A foster parent.
When Must a Report Be Made?
A mandated reporter must immediately and directly make a report anytime they have a reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse. A report must be made under any of the following circumstances:
- The mandated reporter comes into contact with the child in the course of employment, occupation and practice of a profession or through a regularly scheduled program, activity or service.
- The mandated reporter is directly responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or training of the child, or is affiliated with an agency, institution, organization, school, regularly established church or religious organization or other entity that is directly responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or training of the child.
- A person makes a specific disclosure to the mandated reporter that an identifiable child is the victim of child abuse.
- An individual 14 years of age or older makes a specific disclosure to the mandated reporter that the individual has committed child abuse.
How Do You Make a Report?
Mandated reporters are required to immediately and directly contact the PA Department of Human Services (ChildLine) to report suspected child abuse. There are two ways for mandated reporters to report their reasonable suspicions of child abuse:
- Online – mandated reporters can submit a report online at https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home
- By phone – contact ChildLine, at 800-932-0313. After calling in a report, mandated reporters must also complete a written report or suspected child abuse (CY47) and submit it to the county agency within 48 hours.
Training in Recognition & Reporting of Child Abuse
Certain mandated reporters are required to obtain training in recognizing and reporting child abuse in accordance with Act 31 of 2014. This includes:
- Certain individuals applying or holding a license or certification through the Department of State;
- Current operators of child-serving institutions, facilities or agencies that DHS licenses, approved or registers;
- Current employees having direct contact with children in child-serving institutions, facilities or agencies that DHS licenses, approved or registers;
- Current caregivers and employees in family day care homes; and
- Current foster parents.
Where Can I Get More Information?
You can get more information about mandated reporting, background clearances, and the Child Protective Services Law at www.keepkidssafe.pa.gov