Mandated reporters are people who are required by law to report suspected child abuse. They make over 75% of the calls to ChildLine, the state’s 24-hour hotline to report child abuse. They are often the only link between a child and safety from abuse. It is vitally important that mandated reporters understand how to recognize child abuse and how to make reports that are timely, complete and accurate.
Mandated reporters generally are people who come into contact with children as a part of their employment, practice of their profession and, sometimes, as volunteers in child-serving programs. The Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) was amended in 2013 and in 2014, including significant changes to the list of people who are mandated to report suspected child abuse. Effective December 31, 2014, these people are considered mandated reporters under Pennsylvania Law:
- School employee (someone who is employed by the school or who provides a program, activity or service sponsored by a school). This includes youth camp/program, a recreational camp or program; sports or athletic program, outreach program, enrichment program and a troop, club or similar organization;
- Anyone licensed or certified under the Department of State to practice in any health-related field;
- 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;
- An employee of a child care service who has direct contact with children in the course of employment;
- 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, 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 including the Attorney General, a district attorney, a PA state police officer and a municipal police officer;
- 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 above 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.
Anyone can and should report suspected child abuse; mandated reporters must report suspected abuse.
Learn about your responsibilities as a mandated reporter.
Read a summary of the changes to the CPSL.