About Child Protection in Pennsylvania

Protecting Pennsylvania’s children from abuse and neglect is a shared responsibility. It requires collaboration from the formal child protective services system, community partners, and citizens to provide local safety nets for children and families who face challenges within our communities and neighborhoods.

Changes to the law

Recently, 24 pieces of legislation were enacted that change how Pennsylvania responds to child abuse. This significantly impacts the reporting, investigation, assessment, prosecution and judicial handling of child abuse and neglect cases.

The changes:

  • Strengthen our ability to better protect children from abuse and neglect by amending the definitions of child abuse and perpetrator
  • Streamline and clarify mandatory child abuse reporting processes
  • Increase penalties for failure to report suspected child abuse and protect persons who report child abuse
  • Promote the use of multi-disciplinary investigative teams (MDITs) to investigate child abuse related crimes
  • Support the use of information technology to increase efficiency and tracking of child abuse data