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Act 126 Co​​urse Provider Approval Outline

Please note: Both the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services have collaborated on im​plementation of the Child Protective Services Law, including submission process for prospective Act 126 providers.​

​​I. Instructions – submission for course review must include:

    1. Email address and phone number contact for agency/course lead
    2. General training description including the method of delivery
    3. Title of the training
    4. Timed agenda and estimated length of training
    5. Learning objectives
    6. Intended audience
    7. All course related materials including but not limited to: handouts; narrated script and talking points for training (required); PowerPoint and note pages; interactive activities; exercises; and videos
    8. Knowledge checks, quizzes, assessment of participant understanding of the material
    9. Citation of sources, including permission to use copyrighted material
    10. Written permission to use any copyrighted materials, if applicable
    11. Anticipated credentials and/or experience level of presenter or biography of presenter if known
    12. Any printed materials used to market the training
    13. Evaluation assessing participant satisfaction with the presentation
    14. Information to be submitted to course participants upon course completion. Documentation evidencing attendance and training completion must include:
      1. Title of the training;
      2. Date of training;
      3. Length of training;
      4. Name of presenter and signature; and
      5. Statement affirming the participant attended the entire course (2 hours or 3 hours).
    15. Online trainings – all of the above and transcript of audio training, if applicable

II. Required course content for child abuse rec​ognition and reporting training

  1. ​​Description of child welfare in Pennsylvania
    1. ​Child Protective Services vs. General Protective Services
    2. Description/differentiation of the two types
    3. Criteria for a report as a Child Protective Services vs. General Protective Services entity
  2. ​Definitions that must be covered:
    1. ​Components of child abuse
      1. ​Child
      2. Perpetrator
        1. ​Inclusion of school employees
      3. Act or failure to act
    2. ​All categories of child abuse
    3. Exclusions to child abuse
      1. ​Clarify exclusion to substantiating a report versus exclusion to reporting
  3. Provisions and responsibilities for reporting of suspected child abuse
    1. Permissive reporters
    2. Mandated reporters
      1. ​Attorneys as mandated reporters
      2. Privileged/confidential communications
    3. ​Reporting process
      1. ​Mandated reporters role related to reasonable cause to suspect vs. conducting an investigation
      2. Reporting without having to determine the relationship of the perpetrator to the victim child
      3. Streamlining of the reporting process
        1. ​Direct reports by the person who suspects
        2. Report immediately
        3. Electronic submission of reports by mandated reporters
      4. ​Reporting scenarios
      5. To whom and how quickly reports are made
      6. What happens after a report is made
    4. Protections for reporters
    5. Penalties for failure to report
    6. Mandated reporters Right-to-Know
  4. ​Recognition of child abuse, i.e. indicators

III. Requir​​ed course content for the Educator Discipline Act and maintaining professional and appropriate relationships with students. 

All information can be found in the Educator Discipline Act, the Commission's Bylaws and Statement of Policy (Chapter 233), Pennsylvania's Code of Professional Practice and Conduct for Educators (Chapter 235), Definitions of Statutory Terms (Chapter 237), Section 1-111 of the Pennsylvania School Code and Act 126.

  1. Overview of commission
    1. Composition and role of the commission, including jurisdiction, disciplinary authority and types of discipline
    2. Code of Professional Practice and Conduct for Educators
    3. Grounds for discipline-criminal vs. non-criminal grounds
    4. Statutory definitions
    5. Professional discipline vs. local disciplinary action
  2. Discipline procedure
    1. Role of the department in investigating and prosecuting educator misconduct
    2. Complaints of misconduct, including how to file a complaint and the department's review of complaints
    3. Immunity for filing a complaint
    4. Confidentiality and unauthorized release of information
    5. Duties of local school boards
    6. Hearing procedures and appeal
    7. Reinstatement procedure and bars to reinstatement
  3. Reporting to the department
    1. ​Duties of chief school administrators and their designees
    2. Duties of individual educators to report misconduct of other educators
    3. Self-reporting
    4. Time period for reporting
    5. Failure to comply with reporting requirements
    6. Permissive reporting and duty to protect students
  4. Maintaining appropriate relationships with students
    1. ​​Ethical and fiduciary obligation to protect students
    2. Acting as a role model
    3. Relationships with students
    4. Maintaining appropriate boundaries and communications with students
    5. Private and professional lives
    6. Acceptable and unacceptable conduct – black and white behaviors, positive acceptable behaviors, “gray" areas and risk factors
    7. Appearances of impropriety
    8. Student and educator vulnerabilities
    9. Dealing with challenges (such as being attracted to a student or a student being attracted to you)
    10. Recognizing “grooming" behaviors and techniques/red flags
    11. Sexual misconduct
    12. Responding to misconduct​​​