Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare in the case of Appeal of: R.S., File No. 21-83-1.
Jack A. Panella, Assistant County Solicitor, for petitioner.
Sandor Engel, for intervening respondent, R.S.
No appearance for respondent.
Judges Craig, Doyle and Colins, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Colins.
[ 103 Pa. Commw. Page 617]
This is an appeal from a decision by the Department of Public Welfare, Regional Office (DPW), expunging three (3) "indicated reports"*fn1 of child abuse which had
[ 103 Pa. Commw. Page 618]
been issued by the Children & Youth Services Division, Department of Human Services, County of Northampton, Pennsylvania (Human Services), pursuant to the Child Protective Services Law (Law), Act of November 26, 1975, P.L. 438, as amended, 11 P.S. §§ 2201-2224.
R.S. and L.S. are the parents of two minor daughters, N.S. and J.S., born 5/30/79 and 2/7/81, respectively. On the weekend of August 23 through August 25, 1982, R.S., the father who was separated from his wife, had overnight visitation with the children. Following an overnight visit, the mother, L.S., and the maternal grandmother, M.C., became suspicious that R.S. might have sexually abused the children.*fn2 A discussion took place between the parents and their pastor who advised them that a physician should be contacted. On August 30, 1982, Charles F. Kelly, Jr., M.D., a pediatric physician, examined both N.S. and J.S. and found no evidence of sexual abuse. Nevertheless, he contacted Human Services and reported a possible case of sexual child abuse as was his duty. David Hankard, an investigative caseworker, was assigned to investigate the report. Subsequently, the children were interviewed by caseworker Rose Bauman, and upon conclusion of this investigation, an indicated report was issued with respect to N.S.
Later, although R.S. was permitted only supervised visitation with his children, M.C. became suspicious that R.S. was sexually abusing the children during these
[ 103 Pa. Commw. Page 619]
visits. Consequently, the grandmother again contacted Human Services. David Hankard investigated the matter and after interviews with the two children by caseworker Rose Bauman, Human Services issued two more indicated ...