The Penn State child sex abuse case highlighted failures to act among numerous adults in positions of responsibility, as chilling details of football coach Gerald Sandusky’s sexual abuse of children over the course of decades came to light.1 Although it is unclear whether adults who chose to ignore ongoing child sexual abuse and rape would have acted differently had there been a legal requirement in place, it would have at least enabled their prosecution after the fact. In the aftermath, Pennsylvania adopted extensive new legislation to prevent and detect child abuse. In particular, Pennsylvania expanded its definitions of mandatory reporters, requiring child abuse awareness training for any licensed health care professional in the state and significantly expanding mandatory lay reporters to include essentially any individual in contact with children, rather than specifically those in contact with children by virtue of their profession. In Philadelphia, these new reporting requirements have...
Unintended Consequences of Expanded Mandatory Reporting Laws
POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST: The author has indicated he has no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.
FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: The author has no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose.
Mical Raz; Unintended Consequences of Expanded Mandatory Reporting Laws. Pediatrics April 2017; 139 (4): e20163511. 10.1542/peds.2016-3511
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