Child Line is the 24-hour toll free telephone reporting system operated by the Department of Public Welfare to receive reports of suspected child abuse.
Child Line forwards the report of suspected abuse to the local county Children and Youth agency which investigates the report, decides if the report is a valid instance of child abuse/neglect and, if so, arranges for or provides the services needed to prevent further maltreatment of the child and to preserve family unity.
A person who, in the course of employment, occupation or practice of a profession, has reasonable cause to suspect, on the basis of medical, professional or other training and experience, that a child under the care, supervision, guidance or training of that person or of an agency, institution, organization or other entity with which that person is affiliated is a victim of child abuse, including child abuse by an individual who is not a perpetrator.
It is not necessary for mandated reporters to determine if an individual is a perpetrator under the CPSL and a report shall be made to Child Line regardless of the status of the individual.
Child abuse also includes any recent act, failure to act, or series of acts or failures to act by a perpetrator that creates an imminent risk of serious physical injury to or sexual abuse or exploitation of a child under 18 years of age.
These are situations that would have resulted in serious injury or sexual abuse if not prevented by happenstance, third-party intervention or the actions of the child.
Child abuse, according to the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL), includes: serious recent physical injury which is non-accidental; mental injury which is non-accidental; sexual abuse; or serious physical neglect of children under age 18 caused by the acts or omissions of a perpetrator."Recent" is defined as an abusive act within two years from the date Child Line is called.