2014 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes
Chapter 63 - Child Protective Services
Section 6370 - Voluntary or court-ordered services; findings of child abuse

23 PA Cons Stat § 6370 (2014) What's This?

§ 6370. Voluntary or court-ordered services; findings of child abuse.

(a) General rule.--Based on the investigation and evaluation conducted pursuant to this chapter, the county agency shall provide or contract with private or public agencies for the protection of the child at home whenever possible and those services necessary for adequate care of the child when placed in protective custody. Prior to offering these services to a family, the agency shall explain that it has no legal authority to compel the family to receive the services but may inform the family of the obligations and authority of the county agency to initiate appropriate court proceedings.

(b) Initiation of court proceeding.--

(1) In those cases in which an appropriate offer of service is refused and the county agency determines that the best interests of the child require court action, the county agency shall initiate the appropriate court proceeding. The county agency shall assist the court during all stages of the court proceeding in accordance with the purposes of this chapter.

(2) (i) If the county agency deems it appropriate in a dependency or delinquency proceeding, including an instance in which the alleged perpetrator has access or poses a threat to a child, the county agency may petition the court under 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to juvenile matters) for a finding of child abuse.

(ii) If the court makes a specific finding that child abuse as defined by this chapter has not occurred, the county agency shall consider the court's finding to be a determination that the report of suspected abuse was an unfounded report. The county agency shall immediately notify the department of the change in the status of the report from an indicated report to an unfounded report. Upon notice, the department shall be responsible for expunging the indicated report consistent with the expunction requirements of this chapter.

(iii) If there is a determination that the subjects of the unfounded report need services provided or arranged by the county agency, the county agency may retain those records only if it specifically identifies the report as an unfounded report of suspected child abuse.


(Dec. 16, 1994, P.L.1292, No.151, eff. July 1, 1995)

Cross References. Section 6370 is referred to in section 6340 of this title.

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