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Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting in Pennsylvania

presented by Antonio Garcia, MSW, PhD

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial— Antonio Garcia receives compensation from MedBridge for the production of this course. There are no other relevant financial relationships. Nonfinancial— No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

Accreditation Check:
Video Runtime: 106 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 76 Minutes

The main objective of this introductory-level course is to provide professionals who interact with children and families the information and resources needed to recognize and report suspected cases of abuse. Through lecture, panels, and case studies, participants will be able to define different categories of abuse as described by Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, recall indicators of and risk factors for abuse, and know procedures and practices for reporting alleged incidents of abuse. In turn, participants will be able to help child welfare agencies achieve their primary goal of protecting children from harm and ongoing trauma.

Please allow at least 10 days from completion to receive a PA Department of State status update from MedBridge. We cannot submit your course if your profile is not updated with:

  • Exact first and last name on your license or application
  • Date of birth
  • Last 4 digits of your SSN.
  • Please update your profile BEFORE completing the course. Refer to the PA Child Abuse Course FAQ in the knowledge base for further details.

    Meet Your Instructor

    Antonio Garcia, MSW, PhD

    Dr. Antonio Garcia's research is informed by his experience as a former Child Protective Services worker and supervisor in Washington State. Having broad interdisciplinary training in psychology, Spanish, social work, and services research, he is committed to effectively engaging community stakeholders to shrink the child welfare research-to-practice gap. Since he joined the School of Social…

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    Chapters & Learning Objectives

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    1. Defining Child Abuse and Neglect

    A brief history of child welfare and how the state of Pennsylvania handles or triages different types of cases will be discussed in Chapter 1. As mandated reporters, participants will learn what abuse entails and the different types of abuse to screen for. This chapter will also cover exclusions to abuse—or types of incidents that would not be considered abuse. The information will help provide participants the knowledge and self-efficacy to report suspected abuse.

    2. Recognizing Indicators and Risk of Child Abuse and Neglect

    Chapter 2 will focus on recognizing indicators and risk of child abuse and neglect. While interacting with children and families, knowing indicators will increase participants’ confidence in knowing when to make a report to the child abuse hotline. Ms. Jessica Merson, a current Department of Human Services worker in the state of Pennsylvania, will join the conversation to share some of her experiences regarding her efforts to ensure child safety, permanency, and well-being. This chapter contains an addendum covering Act 54 of 2018 updates, including mandatory notification of substance exposed infants by health care providers and creation of a plan of safe care.

    3. Panel Convenes to Recognize Indicators and Risk Factors of Child Abuse and Neglect

    Chapter 3 connects the dots between what we learned in Chapters 1 and 2 by showcasing what typically happens behind the scenes when a report is made to the hotline. A panel of child welfare experts will be asked to assess an alleged report of abuse and neglect, and weigh in on the following: 1) indicators of child abuse and neglect, and 2) risk factors that suggest abuse may occur in the future.

    4. Reporting Suspected Cases of Child Abuse and Neglect

    This chapter focuses on what to do when reporting is warranted due to the presence of indicators and risk factors for child abuse and neglect. Differences between permissive versus mandated reporters, whether or not suspected abuse should be reported during privileged communications, and the process for reporting will be discussed.

    5. Illustrating the Reporting Process

    In Chapter 5, participants will have an opportunity to gain insight into what information is needed to make a report of suspected abuse online. Information gathered from the case study introduced in Chapter 3 will be used to illustrate the reporting process.

    6. Protections, Penalties, and Rights as Mandated Reporters

    Participants have learned how to screen for indicators and risk factors for abuse, and know how to report those concerns when abuse or neglect is suspected. This last chapter focuses on protections and rights for mandated reporters, and penalties for not reporting abuse. As a mandated reporter, it is imperative to know what your rights and responsibilities are.

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