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Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 23, § 6311 sets forth a non-exhaustive list of professionals required to report suspected child abuse and neglect (including sexual abuse) to authorities. The list includes licensed medical care professionals, Christian Science practitioners and members of the clergy, school administrators and teachers, foster care workers, mental health professionals, and law enforcement officials.
Any other person who has reason to suspect that a child is abused or neglected may also make a report.
Reports must be made immediately. Failure to report is a misdemeanor.
Sexual Abuse and Exploitation
Pennsylvania Cons. Stat. Tit. 23, § 6303 provides that the term ‘child abuse’ means any of the following:
- An act or failure to act by a perpetrator that causes sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child under age 18
- Any recent act, failure to act, or series of such acts or failures to act by a perpetrator that creates an imminent risk of sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child under age 18
‘Sexual abuse or exploitation’ means any of the following:
- The employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of a child to engage in, or assist another individual to engage in, sexually explicit conduct
- The employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of a child to engage in, or assist another individual to engage in, simulation of sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction, including photographing, videotaping, computer depicting, and filming
- Any of the following offenses committed against a child:
- Sexual assault
- Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
- Aggravated indecent assault
- Indecent exposure
- Sexual abuse
- Sexual exploitation