Stephens Bill to Expand Mandated Reporters of Child Abuse Passes House

HARRISBURG--Legislation sponsored by Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) to better protect children by expanding the list of those mandated to report suspected child abuse has passed the House.

House Bill 436 tracks closely with the recommendations of the Task Force on Child Protection empaneled following the issues at Penn State University.

“This bill will ensure that when a child in Pennsylvania is abused the authorities are notified immediately,” Stephens said.

Under this legislation, those required to report suspected child abuse include all school personnel, including those at colleges and universities; child care providers; religious leaders; physicians and other health care workers; social services workers; law enforcement officers; attorneys; librarians; emergency medical service providers; and employees and independent contractors of each of these entities.

The bill fulfills a recommendation by the Task Force on Child Protection to clarify the law on who must report suspected child abuse, but it also increases the penalties for failing to do so to a felony in the most egregious circumstances.

“We are all obligated to protect Pennsylvania’s children,” Stephens said.  “But those in positions of trust or who are responsible for caring for our children must be vigilant in reporting suspected child abuse.”

Representative Todd Stephens

151st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster
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