Suspect abuse? Report it!
- Call 911 if you suspect a child is in immediate danger.
- Call PA ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313
Make an electronic ChildLine report: https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home
Mandated reporters are certain adults, who are legally required to report suspected child abuse if they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse.
The law requires that the mandated reporter identify themselves and where they can be reached. In addition to having documentation that the report was made, this information is also helpful so that if clarification on the situation or additional information is needed, the children and youth caseworker can contact the mandated reporter.
As a Mandated Reporter, how should I report suspected child abuse?
- Call PA ChildLine by telephone: 1-800-932-0313; OR
- Report electronically through the Child Welfare Portal: https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home
*electronic reports are preferred
- If you suspect a child is in immediate danger, call 911.
How do I know if I'm a mandated reporter?
Mandated Reporters are defined under the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law (CPSL), Section 6311. Persons required to report suspected child abuse:
Mandated Reporters.– The following adults shall make a report of suspected child abuse, subject to subsection (B), if the person has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse:
- 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,
- An employee of a child care service, who has direct contact with the children in the course of employment,
- 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, is a person responsible for the child’s welfare or has direct contact with children,
- 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 under paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11), (13) 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,
- A foster parent,
- 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 which are subject to supervision or licensure by the department under Articles IX and X of the act of June 13, 1967 (P.L.31, No.21), known as the Public Welfare Code.
What are my requirements as a mandated reporter?
- In, if you are a mandated reporter and have “reasonable cause to suspect” a child is being abused or neglected, you must report that suspicion to law enforcement or child welfare professionals—and you are required by law to do it immediately.
- A mandated reporter should make a report of suspected child abuse if he or she has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse 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 of 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, Pennsylvania or there 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.
What information do I need to report child abuse?
When making a report of suspected child abuse or general child well-being concerns, it is important to provide as much information as possible.
The below list will give you a general idea of what information you’ll be asked to provide:
- Name and physical description of the child
- Age or approximate age range of the child
- Name, home address, and telephone number of legal guardian or parent of the child
- Name or physical description of suspected child abuse perpetrator
- Home address and telephone number of suspected child abuse perpetrator
- Suspected perpetrator’s relationship to the child
- Description of the suspected injury to the child
- Where the incident took place
- Any concern for the child’s immediate safety
- Your relationship to the child
- Your contact information, although you may report anonymously if you are a permissive reporter
Suspected abuse is not required to be proven.
Please, report your suspicions to the proper authorities. Do not attempt to conduct your own investigation. It’s the role of the Office of Children and Youth as well as local law enforcement officials to investigate any suspicions of abuse.