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School District of Philadelphia
Policy and Procedures
Subject Child Abuse and Neglect
Classification Child Protective Services Law
Date Issued December, 1990
Policy Number 504.0 {Updated refer to 111.6/504.0}
Issued by School Health Services Comprehensive Student Support Services
Supersedes April 1988
Review Before To be determined

It is the Policy of the School District of Philadelphia that all of its employees are to be aware of and comply with the Child Protective Services Law, P.L. 438, Act 124, 1975.

A. Under P.L. 438, Act 124, 1975, Section 11, as amended by Act 33 (1985) any person who in good faith, reports suspected child abuse or cooperates with an investigation "shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise result from such action." The good faith of all persons required under the Act is presumed.

B. Under P.L. 438, Act 124, Section 12, any person who is required to report a case of suspected child abuse and fails to do so "shall be guilty of a misdemeanor."

C. The privileged communication between any professional person required to report and the patient or client does not apply to situations involving child abuse and does not constitute grounds for failure to report suspected child abuse.

D. Persons Required to Report:
1. School personnel, because of their sustained contact with school-age children, are in a position to identify children who may be abused or neglected.
2. Thus, School District employees are required to report suspected child abuse and/or neglect under P.L. 438, Act 124, 1975, Section 4.

E. Definitions contained in P.L. 438, Act 124, 1975.
1. Child Abuse - Serious physical or mental injury which is not explained by the available medical history as being accidental, or sexual abuse exploitation, or serious physical neglect has been caused by the acts or omissions of the child's parents, or an individual residing in the same home as the child, or a paramour of a child's parents.
2. Serious Bodily Injury - Injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a body member or organ.
3. Serious Mental Injury - A psychological condition as diagnosed by a physician or licensed psychologist caused by the acts or omissions - including the refusal of appropriate treatment - of the perpetrator which does one of the following:
a. Renders the child chronically and severely anxious, agitated, depressed, socially withdrawn, psychotic, or in reasonable fear that the child's life or safety is threatened.
b. Seriously interferes with the child's ability to accomplish age appropriate developmental and social tasks.
4. Serious Physical Injury - An injury caused by the acts or omissions of a perpetrator which does one of the following:
a. Causes the child severe pain.
b. Significant impairs the child's physical functioning, either temporarily or permanently.
c. Is accompanied by physical evidence of a continuous pattern of separate, unexplained injuries to the child.
5. Serious Physical Neglect - A physical condition caused by the acts or omissions of a perpetrator which endangers the child's life or development or impairs the child's functioning and is the result of one of the following:
a. Prolonged or repeated lack of supervision.
b. Failure to provide essentials of life, including adequate medical care.
6. Sexual Abuse - Any of the following when committed on a child by a perpetrator:
a. Statutory Abuse - Sexual intercourse with a child who is less than 14 years of age by a person 18 years of age or older.
b. Involuntary or Voluntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse - Involuntary intercourse by mouth or rectum or with an animal, or with a child who is less than 16 years of age by a person 18 years of age or older.
c. Sexual Assault - Sexual involvement, including the touching or exposing of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person, for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire in either the perpetrator or subject child.
d. Incest - Sexual intercourse with an ancestor descendant - by blood or adoption - brother or sister of the whole or half blood, or an uncle, aunt, nephew or niece of the whole blood.
e. Promoting Prostitution - Inducing or encouraging a child to engage in prostitution.
f. Rape - Sexual intercourse by force or compulsion, or with a person who, because of age, mental derangement or deficiency or unconscious and is incapable or consent.
(1) The obscene filming or photographing of children or showing of obscene films or photographs to arouse or gratify sexual desire in either the perpetrator, subject child or viewing audience.
(2) The obscene photographing, filming or depiction of children for commercial purposes.

F. Subpoena of School Personnel
School personnel having information regarding abuse and/or neglect of children may be subpoenaed, as required by law.