- It clarifies the role of Child Advocacy Centers, specifying that their role is both to provide a location for forensic interviews and medical exams of alleged child victims of abuse and neglect and for coordinating a multidisciplinary response that supports the needs of alleged victims.
- It mandates all multidisciplinary teams have procedures for: a) training related to mandatory reporting and identification of abuse and neglect; b) assigning roles and responsibility between DHHS and law enforcement for initial response and report sharing; c) coordinating an investigative response including the priority of response, contacting and interviewing parties, examining the alleged victim, and collecting and processing evidence; d) arranging for safe surroundings and temporary removal if necessary; and e) sharing of information between team members; g) outlining cases that will be reviewed by the teams.
- It requires Cases of high or very high risk of repeat maltreatment be included in reviews by multidisciplinary teams. Non-court involved cases’ treatment and safety plans are now open to review as are those of status offenders.
Introducing Senator: Ashford, Avery, Campbell, Dubas, Harr, Howard, Lathrop, McGill, Mello, Nordquist, Sullivan, Krist, Council – Howard Priority Bill
Committee Hearing Date: February 13, 2012
Final Status: Signed by the Governor, April 11, 2012
Estimated Fiscal Impact: The bill appropriates $500,000 to child advocacy centers (CACs) to help review more cases through the multi-disciplinary team and process and to ensure more children are served through the CACs.
Voices for Children’s Position: Support (see our testimony here).