University of Pittsburgh
January 20, 2015

Pitt School of Social Work Launches Online Training to Help Prevent Child Abuse

Free training on recognizing and reporting abuse now available for the public and licensed professionals
Contact:  412-624-4147

Please e-mail Helen Cahalane at for general inquiries. For media inquiries, please contact Sharon Blake at 412-624-4364 (office), 412-277-6926 (cell), or


PITTSBURGH—In response to Pennsylvania's new Act 31—which requires all professionals in the state who regularly come in contact with children to receive training in the recognition and reporting of child abuse—the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work is offering a comprehensive online training program free of charge.

Through its Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center and its Continuing Education program, the school has developed an accessible, three-hour training program titled "Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse: Mandated and Permissive Reporting in Pennsylvania." Visit to access it.

"Ending child abuse and neglect is a public responsibility, and it takes everyone working together to keep children safe," said Helen Cahalane, clinical associate professor of social work and the school's principal investigator of child welfare education and research programs. "Pitt's School of Social Work has a long-standing commitment to child welfare education, and our Child Welfare Resource Center is among the top training and technical assistance programs in the country. Our development of this training on recognizing and reporting suspected child abuse and neglect is directly in line with our mission of protecting children, supporting families, and strengthening communities."

The training covers points like these:

  • how to recognize the behavioral indicators of child abuse and neglect,
  • how to determine who is a mandated reporter, and
  • the impact of not intervening in instances of suspected abuse or neglect.

The training, which offers three continuing-education credit hours, was developed in response to the Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection's recommendation for improvements to child protection throughout the state. Act 31 was signed last April. Pitt's School of Social Work designed and is delivering the training at the request of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services' Office of Children, Youth and Families.