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May 30, 2007


The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is informing all Archdiocesan employees who come into contact with young people of the changes to the Child Protective Services Law in Pennsylvania which took effect on May 28, 2007. These changes expand the definition of who must report child abuse. The Law requires a report to be made based upon a reasonable cause to suspect abuse even without first-hand observation of the abused child. Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, affirms, "Protecting our young people is of paramount importance. I am pleased that these changes strengthen protection for all our children."

This new law states that anyone who, in the course of his or her employment or professional practice, comes into contact with children and has reasonable cause to suspect child abuse must report it immediately. Mandated reporters include but are not limited to clergy, parish and school personnel, coaches, classroom aides, foster care workers, child care workers, school nurses, youth or music ministers and social service workers, paid or volunteer staff. Child abuse includes inflicting or creating an imminent risk of physical injury, mental injury, sexual abuse/exploitation or harmful physical neglect.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia continues to educate employees and volunteers through a variety of methods including brochures and information booklets, the Archdiocesan web site and a series of safe environment training. Cardinal Rigali noted, I am committed to communicate these new reporting changes throughout the Archdiocese. These actions will hold those in administrative positions within Archdiocesan institutions, and other institutions, accountable for reporting and will result in more knowledgeable staff dedicated to do what is right for the protection of children.


Editor's Note: Click here for a copy of the brochure distributed
by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Donna Farrell
Director of Communications

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