In case you missed it, Gov. Tom Corbett signed four more child protection bills into law yesterday, adding to the great work state officials have done in recent months to better protect kids from abuse and neglect. The newest laws include:
- Senate Bill 21, sponsored by Sen. Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland), which identifies who is legally obligated to report suspected child abuse and requires them to report directly to ChildLine. Ultimately, it eliminates reporting to authorities through chain-of-command policies in some institutions – one of the key recommendations of the state’s Task Force on Child Protection.
- Senate Bill 33, sponsored by Sen. Bob Mensch (R-Montgomery), which provides employment protection for those who report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect, so no one hesitates to make a report out of fear of losing a job.
- House Bill 431, sponsored by Rep. Mauree Gingrich (R-Lebanon), which requires training for certain licensed or certified mandated reporters on how to identify and report suspected child abuse. Training requirements must be met to obtain or renew a license.
- House Bill 436, sponsored by Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery), which sets penalties for failure to report child abuse and designates attorneys who are affiliated with certain child-serving institutions as mandated reporters. The bill also provides for confidentiality protections.
Stay tuned to PPC for updates on more child protection bills we want to see enacted.
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