Protecting children is the responsibility of us all.
Anybody who suspects that a child is being hurt, has the right to report that suspicion.
Certain professionals, due to their contact or work with children, have special responsibilities. These people are called mandated reporters and are required by law to report suspected child abuse. Mandated reporters are critical in the child abuse prevention effort.
Mandated reporters include but are not limited to:
- School employees
- A person licensed or certified to practice in any health-related field
- A medical examiner, coroner or funeral director
- An employee of a healthcare facility or provider 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
- A clergyman, priest, rabbi, minister, Christian Science practitioner, religious healer or spiritual leader of any regularly established church or other religious organization
- An independent contractor
- An employee of social services agency, who has direct contact with children in the course of employment
- A peace officer or law enforcement official
- An employee of a public library who has direct contact with children in the course of employment
- Mandated reporters are required to report abuse when they have reasonable cause to suspect, on the basis of their medical, professional or other training and experience that a child is being abused or neglect.
Mandated reporters are not trained child abuse investigators.
It is critical to child abuse prevention to report suspect abuse and not wait for the child to tell you about the abuse. It is also critical to child abuse investigations that mandated reporters do not conduct interviews to prove abuse is occurring. Suspicion is derived from professionals’ training and experiences.
To make a report of suspected child sexual abuse, call ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313, or submit a report online via the Child Welfare Portal.
PCAR has trainers across the Commonwealth in our rape crisis centers that provide in-person training on child abuse recognition and reporting. Our curriculum has been approved by the Department of Human Services in accordance with Act 31 of 2014 and approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education in accordance with Act 126 of the Pennsylvania Public School Code.
To request information and training concerning mandated reporting, please contact our training department.