Child Abuse en Sen. Casey Introduces New Bill Addressing Child Abuse <p>U.S. Sen. Bob Casey says the federal government can play a role in prosecuting child abusers.</p><p>Casey is introducing a bill, the Speak Up to Protect Every Abused Kid Act, that says all adults responsible for children should be required to report cases of child abuse and neglect.</p><p>“It would require all states to pass and enforce a law requiring adults with a professional responsibility to children to report instances of known or suspected child abuse,” Casey said.</p><p>The proposal comes in the wake of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal.</p> Thu, 15 May 2014 19:37:33 +0000 Erika Beras 29277 at Expected to Pass This Week, Bill Will Broaden Scope of Mandated Reporters <p>A plethora of legislation was proposed in the aftermath of the Sandusky Penn State sex abuse case. One of the most comprehensive bills is expected to pass this week.</p><p>Senate Bill 21 will broaden the scope of mandated reporters when it comes to child abuse – and hold them more accountable.</p><p>Mandated reporters are those who have contact with children, anyone from a public library employee to clergy to a medical examiner. These reporters would be required to alert law enforcement when they suspect a child is being abused.</p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 22:24:48 +0000 Erika Beras 27280 at Legislature Expected To Clarify Who Must Report Child Abuse <p>Proposals to change how suspected child abuse must be reported in Pennsylvania are nearing the finish line after stalling for several months.<br /><br />Two measures are awaiting final votes in the House and Senate to clarify who must report child abuse and how they should do it. But a plan that originated in the state Senate would now exclude lawyers from the list of people who will be mandated reporters, after House lawmakers voiced concerns about breaching attorney-client privilege: should lawyers be mandated reporters if filing a complaint could violate the trust of their client? Sun, 06 Apr 2014 21:18:10 +0000 Mary Wilson 27114 at Work Remains for PA Lawmakers on Child Protection Legislation <p>Work still remains for state lawmakers on child protection legislation, in spite of the slew of bills signed by the governor last week.<br /><br />The 10 proposals are the result of more than a year of work to tighten up the state’s child protection laws.<br /><br />Central to the effort was a proposal to re-write the state’s legal definition of child abuse to make it less vague.<br /><br />But Bucks County District Attorney Dave Heckler says there’s more to come.<br /> Fri, 27 Dec 2013 15:04:52 +0000 Mary Wilson 22007 at Corbett Inks Post-Sandusky PA Child-Abuse Bills <p>Pennsylvania enacted its first new laws Wednesday in the Legislature's wide-ranging response to the Jerry Sandusky and Roman Catholic clergy child sexual abuse scandals, a step that expands the nearly 20-year-old playbook for how caseworkers and investigators can handle reports of child abuse.<br /> Thu, 19 Dec 2013 20:43:39 +0000 The Associated Press 21677 at Making Child Abuse Easier to Define in Pennsylvania <p>The Pennsylvania Senate could be voting on legislation this week to overhaul the state's child abuse laws.</p><p>Three Senate committees have advanced six bills, the most important of which would change the definition of what constitutes child abuse, making it tougher and bringing it into line with the standards used in many other states.</p><p>The new wording would include, “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to a child.” It also lists a number of acts that would constitute abuse, such as kicking, burning or forcefully shaking or striking a child less than one year old. Mon, 09 Dec 2013 18:57:39 +0000 Heather McClain 21064 at Making Child Abuse Easier to Define in Pennsylvania $1.5 Million Goes to Organizations Fighting Child Abuse in Pennsylvania <p>The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare has announced the 2013 grantees of Children’s Trust Fund grants. $1.5 million dollars will be divvied up to 13 organizations across the state.</p><p>“These are grants that are awarded to organizations to focus on strengthening families and building protective factors and resiliency within parents, caregivers and children in order to prevent child abuse and neglect,” said Theresa Campisi, family support program manager with DPW.</p> Mon, 09 Dec 2013 08:30:00 +0000 Deanna Garcia 20803 at Child Protection Legislation Passed by PA Senate <p>A legislative package aimed at deterring child abuse in Pennsylvania is a big step closer to becoming law.</p><p>Two weeks after approving six child protection bills, the state Senate has unanimously passed another five measures to strengthen current law.&nbsp;</p><p>These bills would:</p> Thu, 17 Oct 2013 18:59:51 +0000 Kevin Gavin 18304 at 911-Style Hotline For Child Abuse Debated <p>A few local lawmakers are teaming up with a Democrat from Luzerne County in an effort to make it as easy to report child abuse as it is to report a fire.&nbsp;</p><p>The Child Abuse Hotline Bill has made it out of the State Senate Aging and Youth Committee and is now before the Communications and Technology Committee. Senate Bill 26 would create a three digit, toll-free number similar to 911 that would be reserved for reporting child abuse.</p> Thu, 10 Oct 2013 15:56:06 +0000 Mark Nootbaar 17931 at Fontana: Reforming Child Abuse Laws 'Taking a Long Time' <p>A Pittsburgh-area state lawmaker believes last week’s conviction of a former Pittsburgh Public Schools police officer demonstrates the need for immediate reporting of suspected child abuse.</p><p>Robert Lellock, 44, of Pittsburgh was convicted of sexually assaulting four boys at the Rooney Middle School on the North Side during the 1998-99 academic year.</p> Tue, 06 Aug 2013 07:30:00 +0000 Kevin Gavin 14323 at Child Protection Bill Passes, But With Parent's Caution <p>A state House proposal to make it easier for some to report suspected child abuse is headed to the Senate, though concerns voiced before a final vote suggest some misgivings about legislating a solution to problems of child abuse — that doing so could interfere with parents who discipline their kids with a smack.<br> Fri, 21 Jun 2013 14:16:14 +0000 Mary Wilson 11859 at Calls of Suspected Child Abuse Up Over 2,000 in the Last Year <p>An annual report from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare showed a record-breaking number of calls of suspected child abuse or neglect, but this might not be all bad news.</p><p>Department spokeswoman Anne Bale said officials think the increase in calls might not be because there are more cases of actual abuse happening.</p> Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:30:00 +0000 Jessica Nath 10829 at State Lawmakers Propose Expanded Definition of Child Abuse <p>State lawmakers are getting ready to move forward with proposals to expand the definition of child abuse in Pennsylvania in an effort to flag more incidents of suspected mistreatment.<br><br>The changes come at the suggestion of a task force convened last year to study child protection laws and issues.<br><br>Attorney Jason Kutulakis, a member of the panel, said the commonwealth’s legal definition of child abuse must be expanded and made clearer.<br> Wed, 05 Jun 2013 19:59:11 +0000 Mary Wilson & WESA Staff 10851 at Protection From Abuse: Recognizing Child Abuse and Reporting It <p></p><p>Last summer, our content partner Public Source investigated allegations of sexual abuse against a former high school English teacher and coach, <a href="">David Scott Zimmerman</a>. The story brought up questions of how abusive behavior goes unreported in schools. Now, with a <a href="">package of 16 bills</a> on child abuse in the legislature and the <a href="">results</a> of a statewide task force on child protection, we take a look at <a href="">the latest</a> with the Zimmerman case and talk about ways to recognize the warning signs of potential sexual abuse. How do you teach your kids to speak up on questionable behaviors? And what questions should parents be asking before they let another adult spend time with their child? Joining us for the discussion, Public Source investigative reporter <strong>Bill Heltzel</strong>&nbsp; and <a href=",+Rachel+P.,+MD,+MPH"><strong>Dr. Rachel Berger</strong></a>, a Pediatrician at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and member of the statewide task force on child abuse. Tue, 09 Apr 2013 01:00:00 +0000 Heather McClain 7503 at Protection From Abuse: Recognizing Child Abuse and Reporting It