Reporting Child Abuse Training FAQ

About the Content for the online Reporting Child Abuse Training

Who needs to take this training? How often?

All Penn State employees, volunteers, and/or independent contractors are required to complete Reporting Child Abuse training (See Penn State Policies AD72 and AD39). Those who are working with minors, known as PA Mandated Reporters, must take the training prior to working with children and annually thereafter. Those who do not work with minors must take the training within the first 30 days of employment or volunteerism.

What is a PA Mandated Reporter?

Per policy AD72, All University employees, volunteers, and independent contractors are required to report all instances of suspected child abuse consistent with this Policy, and because this Policy imposes broader obligations than the law, the obligation on employees, volunteers, and independent contractors of the University is broader than the obligations on the general public.

Solely under the law, a mandated reporter is a person who is required to make a report of suspected child abuse under Pennsylvania law.  Accordingly, pursuant to the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law, the following shall make a report of suspected child abuse, if the person has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse (23 Pa. C.S. §6311(a)):

  1. A person licensed or certified to practice in any health-related field under the jurisdiction of the Department of State.
  2. A medical examiner, coroner or funeral director.
  3. An employee of a health care facility or provider licensed by the Department of Health, who is engaged in the admission, examination, care or treatment of individuals.
  4. A school employee (specifically includes employees of state-related universities who have direct contact with children).
  5. An employee of a child-care service who has direct contact with children in the course of employment.
  6. A clergyman, priest, rabbi, minister, Christian Science practitioner, religious healer or spiritual leader of any regularly established church or other religious organization.
  7. An individual paid or unpaid, who, on the basis of the individual's role as an integral part of a regularly scheduled program, activity or service, accepts responsibility for a child.
  8. An employee of a social services agency who has direct contact with children in the course of employment.
  9. A peace officer or law enforcement official.
  10. An emergency medical services provider certified by the Department of Health.
  11. An employee of a public library who has direct contact with children in the course of employment.
  12. An individual supervised or managed by a person listed under sections 1 – 11 above, who has direct contact with children in the course of employment.
  13. An independent contractor.
  14. An attorney affiliated with an agency, institution, organization or other entity, including a school (which includes state-related universities) or regularly established religious organization that is responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or control of children.
  15. A Foster Parent.

Do I need to take this training?

If you are a Penn State employee (any staff, faculty, technical service, or student employee that has been paid by the University), or a volunteer or independent contractor who interacts with minors, you must complete the Reporting Child Abuse Training.

I'm part of the Penn State Hershey Medical Center campus. Do I take this training?

Per policy AD72, Penn State Hershey Medical Center campus (including the College of Medicine) will follow separate policies that reflect their unique activities.

When do I need to take the training?

If you will be working with minors, you must complete the training prior to starting that work and annually thereafter. Those not working with minors must complete the training within the first 30 days of employment or volunteerism.   

How do I log into the site to access the training?

The training is available online through the Learning Resource Network site. If you have any questions or have trouble accessing the Penn State Learning Resource Network, please contact the IT Service Desk at 814-865-4357.

Do I have to complete the training all at once?

Ideally, users should complete the training in one sitting. The full training will take about 1 hour. However, users don’t have to complete the training all at once. Users must remember that the system will not track their progress or bookmark their current location. So, if they need to exit and return to the training, they should record their progress separately.

Why do I need to take this training? My job does not require me to work directly with children.

As outlined in Penn State Policy AD72, all employees, by virtue of their employment at Penn State, are required to take this training, and are required to report suspected child abuse.

It is estimated that Penn State works with over 150,000 children each year. There is a high likelihood you will encounter children in one of the many following circumstances: university students who are 17 years old and under (a category that many new freshmen, and others, fall into each year); patrons of our public libraries and museums; pre-enrollment activities such as tours, admissions visits or recruitment activities; children working in labs; campus child care center activities; research studies involving children; children participating in field trips to our campuses; overnight guest visits; youth program campers; and employees who are 17 years old and under who work in a variety of university facilities.

What happens after I complete the training?

Once you complete the training and pass the short assessment, your completion will be recorded in the Learning Resource Network’s system. You will also receive an email confirming your completion and can view and print a certificate of completion for your records. In order to pass, you are required to obtain an 80% completion score, or higher, on the assessment at the end of the training.

What if I am working with minors out of state as part of my employment at Penn State?

  • You can visit the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Child Welfare Information Gateway for a list of state child abuse and neglect Reporting Numbers
  • You can call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)
  • Even though you may be outside of the state of Pennsylvania at the time you suspect child abuse, you can call ChildLine at 1-800-932-0310 and they may be able to assist you by providing the reporting information regarding the state in question
  • If out of the country, please contact the local authorities in that country
  • Whether the report is made in Pennsylvania or elsewhere, PSU is to be notified of the report by emailing [email protected] (as outlined in Policy AD72)

What if no one answers when I call ChildLine?

If you make a call to ChildLine to report suspected child abuse and no one answers, you should continue to call until someone picks up, or you can report online at ChildLine is available 24 hours a day, seven days per week, to receive reports of suspected child abuse. In addition, if you have any concerns or questions about how your call was handled, you can contact an Intake Manager or the Director at 717-783-1964.