On May 1, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) released the 2018 Child Protective Services Annual Report. While the report indicated a decrease in the number of report investigations, the slight increase in statewide substantiated reports of child abuse underscores the impact of changes to Pennsylvania’s Child Protective Services Law as outlined in the executive summary below.
- Statewide substantiated reports of child abuse increased from 1.8 per thousand children in 2017 to 1.9 per thousand children in 2018.
- Sexual abuse remains the leading category of abuse, followed by physical abuse.
- Parents continue to be the persons most responsible for abuse of their children.
- Amendments to the Child Protective Services Law, effective in December 2014, continue to drive increases in substantiated reports of child abuse. These amendments increased the number of mandated reporters of child abuse and added additional persons who could be identified as perpetrators of child abuse.
RCPA and its members continue our active partnership in statewide initiatives in keeping Pennsylvania’s children safe. Contact Jim Sharp, RCPA Children’s Division Director, with questions.