Mandated Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse
Who is a Mandated Reporter?
All Drexel University Employees are considered mandated reporters of suspected (or actual) instances of child abuse.
Additionally, Volunteers, Non-Employee Associates, persons affiliated with External Sponsors and Independent Contractors are also considered mandated reporters of suspected (or actual) instances of child abuse if they have direct contact with minors as required by law and Drexel University's Protection of Minors and Reporting Child Abuse Policy (PS-1).
Under Pennsylvania Law, the following adults are considered mandated reporters and are required to report suspected child abuse if they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse:
- A person licensed or certified to practice in any health-related field under the jurisdiction of the Department of State.
- A medical examiner, coroner or funeral director.
- An employee of a health care facility or provider licensed by the Department of Health, who is engaged in the admission, examination, care or treatment of individuals.
- A school employee.
- 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 individual paid or unpaid, who, on the basis of the individual's role as an integral part of a regularly scheduled program, activity or service, accepts responsibility for a child.
- An employee of a social services agency who has direct contact with children in the course of employment.
- A peace officer or law enforcement official.
- An emergency medical services provider certified by the Department of Health.
- An employee of a public library who has direct contact with children in the course of employment.
- An individual supervised or managed by a person listed above, who has direct contact with children in the course of employment.
- An independent contractor who has direct contact with children.
- An attorney affiliated with an agency, institution, organization or other entity, including a school or regularly established religious organization that is responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or control of children.
- A foster parent.
When must a Mandated Reporter make a report?
A mandated reporter must make a report of suspected child abuse if they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse under any of the following circumstances:
- The mandated reporter comes into contact with the child in the course of employment, occupation and practice of a profession or through a regularly scheduled program, activity or service.
- The mandated reporter is directly responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or training of the child, or is affiliated with an agency, institution, organization, school, regularly established church or religious organization or other entity that is directly responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or training of the child.
- A person makes a specific disclosure to the mandated reporter that an identifiable child is the victim of child abuse.
- An individual 14 years of age or older makes a specific disclosure to the mandated reporter that the individual has committed child abuse.
Must I report suspected abuse if I learn of the abuse from someone other than the child who was allegedly abused?
Yes. Nothing requires the mandated reporter to have direct contact with the child in order to make a report.
How does a Mandated Reporter make a report if they suspect child abuse?
Mandated reporters must make an immediate and direct report of suspected child abuse.
- Pennsylvania: Call the ChildLine at 800.932.0313 or access the approved on-line form at compass.state.pa.us/cwis and file the information electronically.
- New Jersey: Call the Child Abuse Hotline at 877.652.2873.
- California: Call the Sacramento County Emergency Response Child Abuse Reporting Hotline at 916.875.5437.
Within 48 hours of the verbal report (or 36 hours in California), a written report must be submitted to the investigating agency. If the child abuse report is filed electronically in Pennsylvania, this step is not required.
Do I need to notify anyone at Drexel University after I make a report?
Yes. After reporting to the local child abuse hotline, call Drexel University's Department of Public Safety at 215.895.2222.
Upon notification to Public Safety, the Minors Coordinator will work with the reporter to make sure that the written report is submitted as required.
If a child is in imminent danger or the abuse is in progress, call 9-1-1 and report the circumstances immediately to law enforcement, and then follow the reporting steps listed above.
What if a Mandated Reporter fails to follow the law?
In Pennsylvania, the penalties for a mandated reporter who willfully fails to report child abuse range from a misdemeanor of the second degree to a felony of the second degree.
Can you report suspected abuse if you are not a mandated reporter?
Yes. Anyone who is concerned about the safety of a child is encouraged to make a report. Individuals who are encouraged, although not required by law, to make a report of suspected child abuse, can make a report to the local child abuse hotline.
Even if persons are not deemed to be mandated reporters under the law, all persons with suspicion or knowledge of child abuse are strongly encouraged to make a voluntary report of such suspected or actual child abuse in the manner described above.
Am I protected from civil and criminal liability if I make a report of suspected child abuse?
Yes. Persons making a report of suspected child abuse are immune from civil and criminal liability as long as the report was made in good faith.
If I make a report is my identity protected?
The identity of the person making the report is kept confidential with the exception of being released to law enforcement officials or the district attorney's office.