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Apr 152013

In response to the Jerry Sandusky-Penn State sex abuse scandal, the Pennsylvania legislature and Governor Corbett created the Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection. Its mission was to review Pennsylvania laws and state and local procedures in order to make recommendations on how to better facilitate the reporting of child abuse in this state and streamline the procedures related to child protection.

The goal of the task force was to submit the following recommendations:

1. to improve the reporting of child abuse, including sex abuse,
2. to change state laws related to child abuse,
3. to change state and local policies and procedures relating to child abuse,
4. to better train individuals in the reporting of child abuse.

Members of the 11 person task force included a doctor, a judge, a social worker, a prosecutor and members of child abuse and sex abuse non-profit organizations. After nearly a year of reviewing Pennsylvania’s laws and local procedures, the task force issued its recommendations in a 400+ page report late last year. Click here to download the Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection report.

One of the most important recommendations is changing the definition of child abuse in Pennsylvania’s Child Protective Services Law. The current definition is vague and subject to interpretation and the task force’s recommendation is to lower the threshold for substantiating child abuse.

As a result of the recommendations and exhaustive report, members of Pennsylvania’s legislature have introduced a slew of bills to address some of the task force’s recommendations. One of those bills, House Bill 90, would make it easier to prosecute those who view child pornography on a computer.

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 Posted by on April 15, 2013 Latest News