Children & Families

Crafting policies that support families, promote child safety and ensure stable communities.



  • Act 40 of 2015 (Vulakovich) allows courts to terminate the parental rights of a convicted rapist, thereby eliminating the abuser’s access to custody of a child conceived by rape.
  • Act 5 of 2016 (Greenleaf) allows individuals who have served their punishment for nonviolent third and second degree misdemeanors, and remained free of arrest or prosecution for seven to 10 years, to petition the court for their record to be expunged.
  • Act 17 of 2016 (Baker) provides that the Treasury Department may establish a program through which federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) savings accounts may be opened for eligible individuals for payment of qualified disability expenses.
  • Act 26 of 2016 establishes the “Work Experience for High School Students with Disabilities Act.”
  • Act 54 of 2016 (Aument) expands title protection to marriage and family therapists, ensuring that only licensed and properly trained professionals can market their services to clients.
  • Act 55 of 2016 (McGarrigle) allows parents or guardians of disabled adult children in their care to receive disability license plates.
  • Act 64 of 2016 (Browne) provides for a one-time fee of $50 to cover the employer’s costs in setting up the wage garnishment to comply with the enforcement of a child support order.
  • Act 74 of 2016 requires licensed psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists and professional counselors to complete at least one hour of continuing education in suicide prevention.
  • Act 78 of 2016 (Browne) allows for the sharing of county agency, juvenile probation, drug and alcohol, mental health and education records in certain cases involving juveniles.
  • Senate Bill 163 (Greenleaf) addresses the needs of children of incarcerated parents and services available to them.
  • Senate Bill 568 (Greenleaf) makes changes for guardianship in Pennsylvania based on recommendations from the Joint State Government Commission’s Advisory Committee on Decedents’ Estates Laws.
  • Senate Bill 613 (Vance) gives every Pennsylvania county the opportunity to participate in the Human Services Development Block Grant by removing the statutory limit.
  • Senate Bill 751 (Greenleaf) prohibits the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.
  • Senate Bill 1056 (Baker) updates the law on the assignment of custody and visitation rights of deployed parents.
  • Senate Bill 1144 (Greenleaf) prohibits the sale of over-the-counter cough medicines containing dextromethorphan to minors to prevent abuse.
  • Senate Bill 1311 (Vance) brings Pennsylvania into compliance with federal requirements under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act by addressing parents who have committed child sexual abuse and the treatment of children victimized by human trafficking.
  • House Bill 1319 establishes the Pennsylvania ABLE Savings Program Tax Exemption Act to encourage eligible individuals with disabilities to save private funds from which the expenses related to their disabilities may be paid.