Tuesday, 07 March 2017 20:34

Frequently Asked Questions

What is child abuse?

Child abuse is defined when an individual acts or fails to prevent something that causes serious harm to a child under the age of 18. This harm can take many forms, such as serious physical injury, serious mental injury, or sexual abuse or exploitation.

Pennsylvania’s definition of child abuse has changed as a result of recent amendments to our Child Protective Services Law (CPSL). Effective December 31, 2014, the expanded definition of child abuse lowers the standard of what will be considered child abuse under CPSL.

The definition of child abuse has been amended to require that acts or failures to act be committed intentionally, knowingly or recklessly.

Who is a perpetrator under the CPSL?

A perpetrator of child abuse can be a child's parent, the person responsible for the welfare of a child such as a babysitter or day care staff person, an individual residing in the same home as the child who is at least 14 years of age, or the paramour of a child's parent.  Even if the person does not meet the definition of perpetrator under the CPSL, you must report suspected child abuse.

Who is a mandated reporter?

A person who, in the course of employment, occupation or practice of a profession, has reasonable cause to suspect, on the basis of medical, professional or other training and experience, that a child under the care, supervision, guidance or training of that person or of an agency, institution, organization or other entity with which that person is affiliated is a victim of child abuse, including child abuse by an individual who is not a perpetrator.  It is not necessary for mandated reporters to determine if an individual is a perpetrator under the CPSL and a report shall be made to Childline regardless of the status of the individual.

Anyone can and should report suspected child abuse; mandated reporters must report suspected abuse.

Will my name be revealed if I make a report?

Those who report abuse or neglect are protected by confidentiality laws within the Child Protective Service Law.  When cases of physical abuse and/or sexual abuse are reported to the agency, the agency muse report these to law enforcement.  Law enforcement officers are also expected to treat the referral source as confidential.  In certain instances, referral sources may become witnesses in court proceedings.

How do I make a referral?

Individuals who suspect child abuse and/or neglect are to contact Childline at 1-800-932-0313
Mandated reporters are required to immediately make a report if they have reasonable cause to suspect that abuse has occurred.  They can make a report by phone (1-800-932-0313) or through electronic submission (www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis).  However, if they report via phone, they must then submit an electronic report or a written CY47 (located on www.keepkidssafe.pa.gov) to the agency, within 48 hours.  Following submission of the report, mandated reporters are required to immediately thereafter notify the person in charge of their institution, school, facility, agency or the designated agent of the person in charge.
Additional reporting information, mandated reporter trainings, and legal requirements are available at www.keepkidssafe.pa.gov

Will I be told what the agency does with my referral?

Childline, the PA Child Abuse Registry, reports the following to mandated reporters: 1).  the final status of the child abuse report following the investigation, whether it was indicated, founded or unfounded; 2) any services provided, arranged for or to be provided by the county agency to protect the child.

How can I become a foster parent?

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, please call the agency at (814)776-1553.  The receptionist will relay your interest to the foster care coordinator who, in return, will contact you.

When is physical discipline child abuse?

Any reckless, intentional and knowing act that results in a physical injury, which causes a child substantial pain or impairs a child's physical functioning, either temporarily or permanently, is considered physical abuse by commission.

At what age can children be left unsupervised?

The law does not specify an age at which children may be left alone unsupervised.  That decision is left to the discretion of parents and caretakers who must determine if the child is mature enough to be left alone. 

How can I get a job with Children and Youth?

All positions within Elk County Children and Youth Services (with the exception of the Agency Director) are Civil Service positions.  Hiring is done in accordance with the Civil Service Regulations. You must obtain examination announcements and other information on employment opportunities from PA Career Link.  Civil Service information, procedure, summary of examinations and individual announcements are also available on the internet.







Read 6876 times Last modified on Friday, 10 March 2017 20:27
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Elk County Courthouse
250 Main Street
P.O. Box 448
Ridgway, PA 15853

Elk County Courthouse Annex
300 Center Street
P.O. Box 448
Ridgway, PA 15853