Over the last decade, Pennsylvania residents learned of multiple incidences of child abuse by trusted members of the public. First, a grand jury investigation uncovered widespread child sexual abuse and a subsequent cover-up within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Then in 2012, Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at Penn State, was convicted of more than 40 counts of child sexual abuse. These abuse cases shocked the public, and government and public health officials moved quickly to review and update child abuse recognition and reporting laws in Pennsylvania.
The new rules, which went into effect on December 31, 2014, resulted in sweeping changes and updates to child abuse laws in Pennsylvania. The new laws clarified the rules for mandated reporting, revised the definition of child abuse, updated and expanded definitions for perpetrator and mandatory reporter, added child labor and sex trafficking to its definition of child abuse, and streamlined the reporting process.
The goal of the new laws is to improve recognition of child abuse and provide an understanding that, if you suspect child abuse is occurring, the most important action you can take is to report the suspected abuse to ChildLine and allow trained public health officials to determine further action.
Child abuse can be stopped. To do so requires determination, education, community support, and strategies that support the development of safe, stable, and nurturing relationships.
1-800-932-0313 (to report child abuse in Pennsylvania)
Department of Human Services
Mandated reporters: http://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis
Child Welfare Information Solution
Keep Kids Safe PA
Designed to serve as the hub for information related to critical components impacting child protection including a link for mandated reporters to make reports of suspected child abuse electronically, training on child abuse recognition and reporting, information related to clearances and general information related to child protection.
Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania
Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania, a program of the PA Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics, is one of 50 state chapters of Prevent Child Abuse America. Public awareness & participation in prevention, policy and advocacy, use & promote evidence-based prevention programs.
Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center
University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work
403 East Winding Hill Road
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Phone: 717 795 9048
Fax: 717 795 8013
Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance
Phone: 800 448 4906 / 717 238 0937
Fax: 717 238 4315
2000 Linglestown Rd. Suite 301
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Task Force on Child Protection
Information about formation and composition of the Task Force and its meetings, with agendas, handouts, testimony, and audio/videos of some meetings. Provides link to the final task force report.
The Center for Children’s Justice
P.O. Box 396
Bernville, PA 19506
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Child Maltreatment Prevention website
Annie E. Casey Foundation
A private, charitable organization dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children in the United States. Partners with and forges collaborations among institutions, agencies, decision makers, and community leaders. Funds research, provides technical assistance, and puts together demonstrations that support public schools, juvenile justice agencies, and child welfare systems. Delivers services, identifies and measures what works, and shares lessons learned to help reform public policies and services for children and their families.
410 547 6600 / 410 547 6624
Center for Law and Social Policy
Develops and advocates for federal, state, and local policies to strengthen families and create pathways to education and work.
202 906 8000
Child Welfare Information Gateway /
U.S. Department of Health Human Services
Resources on child abuse prevention, protecting children from risk of abuse, and strengthening families. Includes information on supporting families, protective factors, public awareness, community activities, positive parenting, prevention programs, and more.
Child Welfare League of America
A coalition of hundreds of private and public agencies serving vulnerable children and families since 1920. Provides expertise, leadership and innovation on policies, programs, and practices help improve the lives of millions of children in all fifty states.
202 688 4200