Mandated reporter charged for allegedly failing to report abuse

CYS worker accused of not reporting suspected child abuse

WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. — A Children and Youth Services worker is facing charges after police say she failed to report the suspected abuse of a 6-year-old.

Barbara Desmond has been a county social worker since 2007, but Wednesday she was charged by Greensburg police.

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Desmond told police she thought she fulfilled her obligation as a mandated reported by giving the victim’s family information on how to report the assault.

“She never made the report. It was made by somebody else but later it was learned she was aware that this incident did occur,” Greensburg Police Capt. Robert Stafford.

Desmond was made aware of the allegation because the suspect is her relative.

Police said she was on a phone call with the victim's parents and the suspect.  Desmond allegedly told the victim's parents to let the suspect report it first to ChildLine, and if he didn’t, they could make the report themselves.

But because she’s a mandated reporter, she was required to report it herself.

“It’s mandated by law, all of us, even law enforcement, you have to make a report on it, not just have someone else do it. If you’re made aware of it, by law you have to report it,” Stafford said.

Investigators say there was only one ChildLine report made, and that was by the victim’s parents.

As for the alleged assault itself, police say that’s still being investigated.