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Under Pennsylvania law and Archdiocesan policy, all reports of suspected abuse must go immediately and directly to ChildLine. Reports to ChildLine can be made by telephone  to the 24-hour child abuse reporting hotline at 800.932.0313 or made electronically, when a child does not appear to be in immediate risk of abuse or harm.

Within 48-hours of a report by phone to ChildLine, a written CY47 report must be made to the county children and youth agency in which the alleged abuse occurred. A CY47 does not need to be completed if the report has been made electronically. In addition, the person in charge of the institution must be notified immediately.

Get more detailed information on the Archdiocese's reporting policy here.

After a Report to ChildLine Has Been Completed:

Based on the information provided, the professionals at ChildLine may send the report to child protective services at the county level for and/or to the police for investigation.  Once a report is received by the county children and youth agency, the child must be seen within 24-hours.  The investigation will determine what further action is needed to ensure the child’s safety and welfare.

You are required by law to report concerns of child abuse and neglect.


Under the revised CPSL, child abuse involves an act or a failure to act by an individual against a child.  In Pennsylvania, the act or failure to act must occur intentionally, knowingly or recklessly.  

Intentionally: Done with the direct purpose of causing the type of harm that resulted.
Knowingly: Understanding that the harm is “practically certain to result.”
Recklessly: Conscious disregard for foreseeable risk (PA Child Welfare Resource Center).

PA law identifies specific categories of abuse which include:

Bodily Injury
Serious Physical Neglect
Sexual Abuse or Exploitation
Serious Mental Injury
Additional Specific Recent Acts

The definition of child abuse and the categories of abuse are reviewed thoroughly in OCYP’s free online training, Mandated Reporting of Suspected Abuse. 

Mandated Reporting