Child Abuse Reporting
In an emergency, always call 911
To report abuse or suspected abuse in Pennsylvania, call ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313 or online here.
To report abuse or suspected abuse in Cecil County, Maryland call the Department of Social Services, Child Protective Services at (410) 996-0100 or, after hours, at (410) 996-5350
After making the report to the authorities, if the situation involves Scouts or leaders, contact the Chester County Council Scout Executive at (610) 696-2900 ext. 11
BSA Mandatory Report of Child Abuse
All persons involved in Scouting must report to local authorities any good-faith suspicion or belief that any child is or has been physically or sexually abused, physically or emotionally neglected, exposed to any form of violence or threat, exposed to any form of sexual exploitation, including the possession, manufacture, or distribution of child pornography, online solicitation, enticement, or showing of obscene material. This reporting responsibility may not be abdicated to any other person.
Steps to Reporting Child Abuse
- Ensure the child is in a safe environment.
- In cases of witnessed child abuse or medical emergencies, call 911 immediately.
- In cases of reported or suspected abuse follow the reporting guidelines for your state.
- If the abuse involves a Scout, notify the Scout Executive.
Pennsylvania Child Abuse Reporting Law
In addition to the above BSA Policy, Pennsylvania has extensive mandated reporter laws. A Pennsylvania Scouter 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 is a mandated reporter.
Click here to download a printable information brochure covering types of abuse, how to report abuse, and frequently asked questions about mandated reporters in Pennsylvania.
There is no required training for this for Scouting volunteers. Some categories of state mandated reporters are required to complete three hours of training. Volunteers at community organizations were added to the list of mandated reporters under separate legislation which does not require the training.
Maryland Child Abuse Reporting Requirements
Click here to download a printable copy of the full details on how to report abuse or suspected abuse in Maryland.