Children, Youth and Families

Children Jumping

Child Protective Services Law

The Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) was signed into law in 1975 and was amended in 1994. The amendments were intended to further enhance the protection of children from abuse and re-abuse; to provide rehabilitative services to ensure the child's well-being; and to preserve, stabilize and protect the integrity of family life, whenever appropriate.

Although many licensed professionals have been mandated to report suspected abuse since initial passage of the CPSL, the 1994 amendments were intended to encourage more complete reporting.

Persons under the jurisdiction of the Department's Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs who are required to report include, but are not limited to, any licensed physician, osteopath, psychologist, funeral director, dentist, optometrist, chiropractor, podiatrist, intern, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, hospital personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care or treatment of persons, social service workers and mental health professionals. In addition, any licensed professional may make such a report if there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been abused.

A person required to report a case of suspected child abuse who willfully fails to do so commits a summary offense for the first violation and a misdemeanor of the third degree for a second or subsequent violation.

View the Child Protective Services Law