Children & Youth Resources
Reporting Abuse or Neglect
Pennsylvania law encourages everyone to report any suspicions of child abuse or neglect in order to protect children.
Certain professionals are required to 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.
For additional information on Mandated Reporters, click the link below:
How to Report Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect?
To make a report of suspected child abuse or neglect, please contact:
The Pennsylvania Child Abuse Hotline (ChildLine): 1-800-932-0313
- Mandated reporters must make an immediate and direct report of suspected child abuse to ChildLine either electronically at www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis or by calling 1-800-932-0313.
- ChildLine is available 24 hours to receive reports of suspected child abuse and neglect.
Signs of Abuse and Neglect
- Unexplained injuries
- Unbelievable or inconsistent explanations of injuries
- Multiple bruises in various stages of healing
- Bruises located on faces, ears, necks, buttocks, backs, chests, thighs, back of legs, and genitalia
- Bruises that resemble objects such as a hand, fist, belt buckle, or rope
- Injuries that are inconsistent with a child’s age/developmental level
- Fear of going home
- Extreme apprehensiveness/vigilance
- Pronounced aggression or passivity
- Flinches easily or avoids being touched
- Play includes abusive behavior or talk
- Unable to recall how injuries occurred or account of injuries is inconsistent with the nature of the injuries
- Fear of parent or caregiver
- Sleep disturbances
- Pain or irritation in genital/anal area
- Difficulty walking or sitting
- Difficultly urinating
- Positive testing for sexually transmitted disease or HIV
- Excessive or injurious masturbation
- Sexually promiscuous
- Developmental age-inappropriate sexual play and/or drawings
- Cruelty to others
- Cruelty to animals
- Fire setting
- Frequent psychosomatic complaints (nausea, stomachache, headache, etc.)
- Speech disorders
- Expressing feelings of inadequacy
- Fearful of trying new things
- Overly compliant
- Poor peer relationships
- Excessive dependence on adults
- Habit disorders (sucking, rocking, etc.)
- Eating disorders
- Lack of adequate medical and dental care
- Often hungry
- Lack of shelter
- Child’s weight is significantly lower than what is normal for his/her age and gender
- Developmental delays
- Persistent (untreated) conditions (e.g. head lice, diaper rash)
- Exposure to hazards (e.g., illegal drugs, rodent/insect infestation, mold)
- Clothing that is dirty, inappropriate for the weather, too small or too large
- Not registered in school
- Inadequate or inappropriate supervision
- Poor impulse control
- Frequently fatigued
- “Parentified” behaviors
Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check
The Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check can be obtained online at “Pennsylvania Access To Criminal History,” (PATCH). The cost for the criminal background check for employment purposes increased to $22 on December 1, 2017. Requests for volunteer purposes is free.
Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance
The Pennsylvania Child Abuse History clearance can be submitted and paid for online through the Child Welfare Information Solution (CWIS) self-service portal. The cost of the child abuse clearances increased from $8 to $13 on July 1, 2018. Requests for the check for volunteer purposes is free.
FBI Criminal Background Check
FBI Criminal Background Checks are now done through IDEMIA (also referred to as IdentoGo or MorphoTrust) – effective November 28, 2017. It is a multi-step process – more information can be found at http://www.keepkidssafe.pa.gov/resources/clearances/index.htm.