2010 Pennsylvania Code
Title 23 - DOMESTIC RELATIONS
Chapter 63 - Child Protective Services
6303 - Definitions.

     § 6303.  Definitions.
        (a)  General rule.--The following words and phrases when used
     in this chapter shall have the meanings given to them in this
     section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
        "Accept for service."  Decide on the basis of the needs and
     problems of an individual to admit or receive the individual as
     a client of the agency or as required by a court order entered
     under 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to juvenile matters).
        "Child."  Includes a newborn.
        "Child-care services."  Child day-care centers, group and
     family day-care homes, foster homes, adoptive parents, boarding
     homes for children, juvenile detention center services or
     programs for delinquent or dependent children; mental health,
     mental retardation, early intervention and drug and alcohol
     services for children; and other child-care services which are
     provided by or subject to approval, licensure, registration or
     certification by the Department of Public Welfare or a county
     social services agency or which are provided pursuant to a
     contract with these departments or a county social services
     agency. The term does not include such services or programs
     which may be offered by public and private schools, intermediate
     units or area vocational-technical schools.
        "Child protective services."  Those services and activities
     provided by the Department of Public Welfare and each county
     agency for child abuse cases.
        "Children's advocacy center."  A local public agency in this
     Commonwealth or a not-for-profit entity incorporated in this
     Commonwealth which:
            (1)  is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the
        Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Public Law 99-514, 26 U.S.C. §
        501(c)(3)); and
            (2)  operates within this Commonwealth for the primary
        purpose of providing a child-focused, facility-based program
        dedicated to coordinating a formalized multidisciplinary
        response to suspected child abuse that, at a minimum, either
        onsite or through a partnership with another entity or
        entities, assists county agencies, investigative teams and
        law enforcement by providing services, including forensic
        interviews, medical evaluations, therapeutic interventions,
        victim support and advocacy, team case reviews and a system
        for case tracking.
        "Cooperation with an investigation or assessment."  Includes,
     but is not limited to, a school or school district which permits
     authorized personnel from the Department of Public Welfare or
     county agency to interview a student while the student is in
     attendance at school.
        "County agency."  The county children and youth social
     service agency established pursuant to section 405 of the act of
     June 24, 1937 (P.L.2017, No.396), known as the County
     Institution District Law, or its successor, and supervised by
     the Department of Public Welfare under Article IX of the act of
     June 13, 1967 (P.L.31, No.21), known as the Public Welfare Code.
        "Department."  The Department of Public Welfare of the
     Commonwealth.
        "Expunge."  To strike out or obliterate entirely so that the
     expunged information may not be stored, identified or later
     recovered by any mechanical or electronic means or otherwise.
        "Family members."  Spouses, parents and children or other
     persons related by consanguinity or affinity.
        "Founded report."  A child abuse report made pursuant to this
     chapter if there has been any judicial adjudication based on a
     finding that a child who is a subject of the report has been
     abused, including the entry of a plea of guilty or nolo
     contendere or a finding of guilt to a criminal charge involving
     the same factual circumstances involved in the allegation of
     child abuse.
        "Founded report for school employee."  A report under
     Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in public and private
     schools) if there has been any judicial adjudication based on a
     finding that the victim has suffered serious bodily injury or
     sexual abuse or exploitation, including the entry of a plea of
     guilty or nolo contendere or a finding of guilt to a criminal
     charge involving the same factual circumstances involved in the
     allegations of the report.
        "General protective services."  Those services and activities
     provided by each county agency for nonabuse cases requiring
     protective services, as defined by the Department of Public
     Welfare in regulations.
        "Indicated report."  A child abuse report made pursuant to
     this chapter if an investigation by the county agency or the
     Department of Public Welfare determines that substantial
     evidence of the alleged abuse exists based on any of the
     following:
            (1)  Available medical evidence.
            (2)  The child protective service investigation.
            (3)  An admission of the acts of abuse by the
        perpetrator.
        "Indicated report for school employee."  A report made under
     Subchapter C.1 (relating to students in public and private
     schools) if an investigation by the county agency determines
     that substantial evidence of serious bodily injury or sexual
     abuse or exploitation exists based on any of the following:
            (1)  Available medical evidence.
            (2)  The county agency's investigation.
            (3)  An admission of the acts of abuse by the school
        employee.
        "Individual residing in the same home as the child."  An
     individual who is 14 years of age or older and who resides in
     the same home as the child.
        "Near fatality."  An act that, as certified by a physician,
     places a child in serious or critical condition.
        "Newborn."  As defined in section 6502 (relating to
     definitions).
        "Nonaccidental."  An injury that is the result of an
     intentional act that is committed with disregard of a
     substantial and unjustifiable risk.
        "Perpetrator."  A person who has committed child abuse and is
     a parent of a child, a person responsible for the welfare of a
     child, an individual residing in the same home as a child or a
     paramour of a child's parent.
        "Person responsible for the child's welfare."  A person who
     provides permanent or temporary care, supervision, mental health
     diagnosis or treatment, training or control of a child in lieu
     of parental care, supervision and control. The term does not
     include a person who is employed by or provides services or
     programs in any public or private school, intermediate unit or
     area vocational-technical school.
        "Private agency."  A children and youth social service agency
     subject to the requirements of 55 Pa. Code Ch. 3680 (relating to
     administration and operation of a children and youth social
     service agency).
        "Protective services."  Those services and activities
     provided by the Department of Public Welfare and each county
     agency for children who are abused or are alleged to be in need
     of protection under this chapter.
        "Recent acts or omissions."  Acts or omissions committed
     within two years of the date of the report to the Department of
     Public Welfare or county agency.
        "Resource family."  A family which provides temporary foster
     or kinship care for children who need out-of-home placement and
     may eventually provide permanency for those children, including
     an adoptive family.
        "Risk assessment."  A Commonwealth-approved systematic
     process that assesses a child's need for protection or services
     based on the risk of harm to the child.
        "School employee."  An individual employed by a public or
     private school, intermediate unit or area vocational-technical
     school. The term includes an independent contractor and
     employees. The term excludes an individual who has no direct
     contact with students.
        "Secretary."  The Secretary of Public Welfare of the
     Commonwealth.
        "Serious bodily injury."  Bodily injury which creates a
     substantial risk of death or which causes serious permanent
     disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of function of
     any bodily member or organ.
        "Serious mental injury."  A psychological condition, as
     diagnosed by a physician or licensed psychologist, including the
     refusal of appropriate treatment, that:
            (1)  renders a child chronically and severely anxious,
        agitated, depressed, socially withdrawn, psychotic or in
        reasonable fear that the child's life or safety is
        threatened; or
            (2)  seriously interferes with a child's ability to
        accomplish age-appropriate developmental and social tasks.
        "Serious physical injury."  An injury that:
            (1)  causes a child severe pain; or
            (2)  significantly impairs a child's physical
        functioning, either temporarily or permanently.
        "Sexual abuse or exploitation."  Any of the following:
            (1)  The employment, use, persuasion, inducement,
        enticement or coercion of a child to engage in or assist
        another individual to engage in sexually explicit conduct.
            (2)  The employment, use, persuasion, inducement,
        enticement or coercion of a child to engage in or assist
        another individual to engage in simulation of sexually
        explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual
        depiction, including photographing, videotaping, computer
        depicting and filming.
            (3)  Any of the following offenses committed against a
        child:
                (i)  Rape.
                (ii)  Sexual assault.
                (iii)  Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.
                (iv)  Aggravated indecent assault.
                (v)  Molestation.
                (vi)  Incest.
                (vii)  Indecent exposure.
                (viii)  Prostitution.
                (ix)  Sexual abuse.
                (x)  Sexual exploitation.
        "Student."  An individual enrolled in a public or private
     school, intermediate unit or area vocational-technical school
     who is under 18 years of age.
        "Subject of the report."  Any child, parent, guardian or
     other person responsible for the welfare of a child or any
     alleged or actual perpetrator or school employee named in a
     report made to the Department of Public Welfare or a county
     agency under this chapter.
        "Substantial evidence."  Evidence which outweighs
     inconsistent evidence and which a reasonable person would accept
     as adequate to support a conclusion.
        "Substantiated child abuse."  Child abuse as to which there
     is an indicated report or founded report.
        "Under investigation."  A child abuse report pursuant to this
     chapter which is being investigated to determine whether it is
     "founded," "indicated" or "unfounded."
        "Unfounded report."  Any report made pursuant to this chapter
     unless the report is a "founded report" or an "indicated
     report."
        (b)  Child abuse.--
            (1)  The term "child abuse" shall mean any of the
        following:
                (i)  Any recent act or failure to act by a
            perpetrator which causes nonaccidental serious physical
            injury to a child under 18 years of age.
                (ii)  An act or failure to act by a perpetrator which
            causes nonaccidental serious mental injury to or sexual
            abuse or sexual exploitation of a child under 18 years of
            age.
                (iii)  Any recent act, failure to act or series of
            such acts or failures to act by a perpetrator which
            creates an imminent risk of serious physical injury to or
            sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child under 18
            years of age.
                (iv)  Serious physical neglect by a perpetrator
            constituting prolonged or repeated lack of supervision or
            the failure to provide essentials of life, including
            adequate medical care, which endangers a child's life or
            development or impairs the child's functioning.
            (2)  No child shall be deemed to be physically or
        mentally abused based on injuries that result solely from
        environmental factors that are beyond the control of the
        parent or person responsible for the child's welfare, such as
        inadequate housing, furnishings, income, clothing and medical
        care.
            (3)  If, upon investigation, the county agency determines
        that a child has not been provided needed medical or surgical
        care because of seriously held religious beliefs of the
        child's parents, guardian or person responsible for the
        child's welfare, which beliefs are consistent with those of a
        bona fide religion, the child shall not be deemed to be
        physically or mentally abused. The county agency shall
        closely monitor the child and shall seek court-ordered
        medical intervention when the lack of medical or surgical
        care threatens the child's life or long-term health. In cases
        involving religious circumstances, all correspondence with a
        subject of the report and the records of the Department of
        Public Welfare and the county agency shall not reference
        "child abuse" and shall acknowledge the religious basis for
        the child's condition, and the family shall be referred for
        general protective services, if appropriate.
     (Dec. 16, 1994, P.L.1292, No.151, eff. July 1, 1995; Mar. 31,
     1995, 1st Sp.Sess., P.L.985, No.10, eff. 60 days; Dec. 9, 2002,
     P.L.1549, No.201, eff. 60 days; Nov. 29, 2004, P.L.1291, No.160,
     eff. 60 days; Nov. 9, 2006, P.L.1358, No.146, eff. 180 days;
     Nov. 29, 2006, P.L.1581, No.179, eff. 180 days; July 3, 2008,
     P.L.276, No.33, eff. 180 days)

        2008 Amendment.  Act 33 added the defs. of "children's
     advocacy center" and "substantiated child abuse."
        2006 Amendments.  Act 146 added the defs. of "near fatality"
     and "nonaccidental" in subsec. (a) and Act 179 amended the def.
     of "sexual abuse or exploitation" in subsec. (a).
        2004 Amendment.  Act 160 added the defs. of "private agency"
     and "resource family" in subsec. (a).
        2002 Amendment.  Act 201 added the defs. of "child" and
     "newborn" in subsec. (a).
        1995 Amendment.  Act 10, 1st Sp.Sess., amended the def. of
     "sexual abuse or exploitation" in subsec. (a).
        Cross References.  Section 6303 is referred to in sections
     6340, 6368, 6502 of this title; section 4306 of Title 18 (Crimes
     and Offenses); sections 6302, 6336.1 of Title 42 (Judiciary and
     Judicial Procedure).

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