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child abuse

Child Abuse Education and Training (Act 31 of 2014)  
All professional licensees identified as mandated reporters are required to have completed child abuse recognition training. Three hours are required for initial licensing and two hours for each licensure cycle. Licensees may be exempt from this requirement if they meet the following criteria:
  
1. Submit documentation that this training has been completed
2. Training was required under the Public School Code and was approved by the
      Departments of Education and Human Services
3. Amount of training received equals or exceeds amount required by this law
  
School nurses and school dental hygienists meeting all 3 criteria may submit documentation of training and an exemption form to the Boards of Nursing and Dentistry, respectively.  
 
There is an online training available which automatically submits your information to the appropriate licensing Board, free of charge through the University of Pittsburgh. The training can be accessed at https://www.reportabusepa.pitt.edu
 
  
SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE & NEGLECT (SCAN) FREE LIVE TRAINING FOR SCHOOL NURSES
 With all the recent changes to the Child Protective Services Law and the requirement for many mandated reporters to receive training, it’s good to know that there is a training program designed specifically for school nurses. Recognizing and Responding to Children at Risk is an approved Act 126 and Act 31 training that takes an in-depth view of Pennsylvania law, risk factors, abusive vs. accidental injuries, the implications of truancy, reporting procedures and what to expect after a report is made. Presented on-site by a physician and a local Children & Youth worker, this three hour program provides practical information on recognizing and reporting suspicious circumstances and models collaboration between the medical community and child protective services. The curriculum is eligible for Act 48 credit for certified school nurses and approved for Act 58 credit for registered nurses.
 
Recognizing and Responding to Children at Risk is for school nurses only and can be scheduled for district in-service days and conferences. Each participant receives a Child Abuse Office Kit including tip sheets on planning ahead, making a report, handling angry parents and establishing a district-wide protocol. This program has been featured at several state and national conferences for school nurses and, best of all, there is no cost for the training or materials.
 
Please go to www.pascan.org to submit your presentation request. Any questions can be directed to Teresa Olsen, Program Director at the PA Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics at
 
 Pertinent Laws and Regulations
Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law
Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Act (126 of 2012)
This Act requires schools to provide training to all employees who have direct contact
with children. This training shall consist of a minimum of 3 hours every 5 years.
Professional employees requiring continuing education shall receive credit hours toward
this requirement. Providers are approved by the Departments of Education and Human Services.
 
Department of Education, Office of Safe Schools, Act 126 Approved courses and additional resources regarding changes to the Child Protective Services Law.
 Child Abuse Education and Training (Act 31 of 2014) All professional licensees
identified as mandated reporters are required to have completed child abuse recognition
 training. Three hours are required for initial licensing and two hours for each licensure
cycle (every two years). Licensees may be exempt from this requirement if they meet
the following criteria:
1. Submit documentation that this training has been completed
2. Training was required under the Public School Code and was approved by the Departments of Education and Human Services
3. Amount of training received equals or exceeds amount required by this law School nurses and school dental hygienists meeting all 3 criteria may submit documentation of training and an exemption form to the Boards of Nursing and Dentistry, respectively.
 
Licensure Renewals:
There are two options for licensure renewal:
1. Complete the free on-line training from the University of Pittsburgh (as recommended by the Department of State). This training can be found here. Proof of completion is automatically submitted to the Department of State.
2. *Complete the request for exemption form. Under "Reason for Requesting Exemption", choose the first option, that training was completed as required by the Public School Code of 1949. Return the exemption form and documentation of proof of the training to the Department of State address or fax number at the top of the form.(Current list of PDE and HHS approved courses)
 
Clarification from the Board of Nursing (BON) on licensure renewal and child abuse training:
 
1. The training must have taken place within the 2 year licensure period.
2. The training must be on either the PDE or BON list of approved courses.
3. The certificate must be from the approved provider, not the school district.
*Approval of exemption requests is at the discretion of the Department of State. Any questions regarding this process should be directed to 717-787-8503.
 
 Training for Mandated Reporters 
Certain mandated reporters are required to obtain training in child abuse recognition and reporting in accordance with Act 31. This includes but is not limited to: 
Certain individuals applying or holding a license or certification through the Department of State
Current operators of child-serving institutions, facilities or agencies that Department of Human Services licenses, approved, or registers
Current employees having direct contact with children in child-serving institutions, facilities, or agencies that the Department of Human Services licenses, approved, or registers
Current caregivers and employees in family day care homes
Current foster parents
The Department of Human Services supports child abuse recognition and reporting training through a variety of delivery methods, including web-based and in-person.
The department contracts with:
Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance to provide training to school personnel, child care staff, clergy, law enforcement, public and private social service agencies, and social service professionals.
 
Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics to provide training to physicians, school nurses, hospital staff and Emergency Medical Service providers.
 

The University of Pittsburgh’s Child Welfare Resource Center to develop a free web-training. This training is approved in accordance with Act 126 of 2012 and Act 31 of 2104, for mandated and permissive reporters


 Schools

Act 126 requires that all school entities (a public school, charter school, cyber charter school, private school, nonpublic school, intermediate unit or area vocational-technical school) and independent contractors of school entities provide child abuse recognition and reporting training to all employees, including contracted substitute teachers who have direct contact with children. For more information and for a list of approved trainings, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s website.
 

Professional licensees
 
The following people are required to participate in child abuse recognition and reporting training that has been approved by the Department of State and the Department of Human Services:
 
 Individuals applying for a license or certification issued by a licensing board identified as mandated reporters must submit documentation of three hours of training
 

Individuals applying for the renewal of a license or certification issued by a licensing board identified as mandated reporters must submit documentation of two hours of training per licensure cycle

 

DHS licensees  

The following people are required to participate in child abuse recognition and reporting training that has been approved by the Department of Human Services: 
 
  • New employees having direct contact with children in child-serving institutions, facilities, or agencies that DHS licenses, approved or registers and new foster parents must receive three hours of training within 90 days of hire or approval, and three hours of training every five years thereafter
  • Prospective operators of child-serving institutions, facilities, agencies, or family day care homes that DHS licenses, approved, or registers must receive three hours of training prior to the issuance of a license, approval or registration certificate, and three hours of training every five years thereafter
  • The following individuals must receive three hours of training prior to the re-issuance of a license, approval or registration certificate and three hours of training every five years thereafter:
    • Current operators of child-serving institutions, facilities or agencies that DHS licenses, approved, or registers
    • Current employees having direct contact with children in child-serving institutions, facilities, or agencies that DHS licenses, approved, or registers
    • Current caregivers and employees in family day care homes
    • Current foster parents 
 
Exemptions
 
A person may be exempted from the requirements if all of the following apply:
 
  • The person submits acceptable documentation that they have already completed training
  • The training was required by the Public School Code or Public Welfare Code or this chapter and the training was approved by the Department either in whole or in conjunction with the Department of Education
  • The amount of training received equals or exceeds the amount required. 
 
 
 
 
 ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES
 
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has several laws which address protection from abuse and sets requirements for mandated reporters. School nurses meet the criteria in the following laws:
 
Child - pertains to persons under the age of 18. All school personnel meet the requirements of a mandated reporter.
 
Adult - pertains to adults ages 18 - 59 with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. School nurses and other school medical personnel meet the requirements of a mandated reporter. Other school personnel are voluntary reporters.
 
 
 
 
Updated: August 2017