The Senate Communications and Technology Committee today approved two bills intended to improve the Commonwealth’s ability to respond to suspected child abuse cases, according to Committee Chairman Senator Randy Vulakovich.
Senate Bill 24, introduced by Senator Vulakovich, would establish a statewide database for protective services. The database will include reports of child abuse and children in need of general protective services. Reports include information relating to the subject of the report, the nature of the occurrence, information on the family, services provided, legal actions initiated, and other details required by the Department of Public Welfare.
“This database will provide a clearing house that will allow various agencies to provide and share information,’ said Senator Vulakovich. “These agencies will be able to more easily access information that may be currently missed when reviewing reports of suspected abuses cases. This will benefit law enforcement and social agencies and, especially, the children at risk for abuse.”
Senate Bill 26, introduced by Senator John Yudichak, would direct the Department of Public Welfare to establish a three-digit toll-free number, which would be monitored twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to provide all Pennsylvanians with an easy way of reporting suspected child abuse.
The bills are based on recommendations made by the Task Force on Child Protection established by SR 250 and now go to the full Senate for consideration.
Executive Director, Communications & Technology Committee