• Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    Happy Friday, everybody! PA HB 2074 – This legislation was introduced in the House this week.  It would require Pennsylvania schools to report any and all suicide attempts and completions that occur on school grounds.  Currently, such reporting is optional.  “In essence, we require school districts to report a criminal charge from a pushing match in the cafeteria but we leave it entirely to their discretion to report that a student has tragically attempted to or has taken their life while on school grounds…Additionally, our proposal would be subject to the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 to ensure that such reporting by districts does not…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    Happy Friday, everybody! PA HB 1653 – We’ve been watching this bill since it was first introduced back in October.   The governor signed it into law this week! HB 1974 – This one’s an interesting one.  It is similar to  SB 1011 in that it concerns itself with the rights of victims of crimes.  HB 1974 does not appear to call for an amendment to the PA constitution, however.  “This legislation was considered in two prior sessions, HB 2646 from the 2013-2014 Session and last session as HB 186. During both sessions, the House passed the bill unanimously but the bill was not considered by the Senate.”  It made it to the Senate this past Monday.…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    Good morning again! PA HB 1653 – We’ve been watching this bill since it was first introduced back in October.   It went before the Governor on Tuesday. S 449 – This bill is being considered in the House after passing the Senate.  It spent a long time in committee, but it’s had its second consideration at this point.  It mandates that magisterial judges use risk assessment tools to determine whether an alleged abuser needs to remain in jail instead of being out on house arrest to await trial.  Assuming the risk assessment tools are used effectively (sort of a big ask, but it’s got to be better than nothing) this would help protect abuse…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    Good morning again! Lots of oldies but goodies on the docket for this week.  Also, fun fact, I found a PDF about how a bill becomes a law in PA, which I have found helpful as I’ve been going through the heaps of legislation this week.  Find it here. PA HB 1653 – We looked at this bill when it was first introduced back in October.  It passed the house and looked like it had died in the Senate in November, but the Senate Education Committee gave it a second consideration this week and reported it as “Committed,” which is one step before a third and final passage.  Therefore, this bill looks like…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    Hello again! PA HB 825 – This bill is reminiscent of the Senate bill from a while back, SB 179, which has since been tabled, perhaps to never be heard from again.  This House bill has already been edited and amended a bit, so where it began as a bill that established an internet-based psychiatric and detox bed registry, it now is solely for detox beds.  Helpful, sure, and timely given the opioid crisis, but psychiatric beds also need a registry.  This just passed through the House this week and is off to the Senate. If you’re up for contacting your congressperson, let them know that you support a registry for more…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    Happy Friday, everyone! PA SB 1527– According to the memo for this bill that was written prior to its being submitted to the floor, it seeks to amend current mandated reporter laws to require mandated reporters to report suspected child abuse if they witness an abusive act to an identifiable child.  Evidently this was a loophole, wherein mandated reporters did not have to report abuse if they saw it, only if they were informed of it after the fact.  This bill was introduced in May, assigned to the Children and Youth committee in November, and was voted on by that committee this week. SB 872 – This bill reminds me of HB…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    Happy New Year, all!  New year, new legislation! PA HB 1753 – This bill was introduced this week in the house.  It will require schools K-12 as well as postsecondary institutions to annually report incidences of sexual assault and domestic violence to the Department of Education, which would then be published on the Department’s website as part of a Campus Report Card.  Could be interesting; I hope it’s done well and not bungled, if it’s done at all. HB 2009 – This was also introduced this week, and if it’s enacted, it will require “bullying education” to be taught in schools across all grade levels.  As a former teacher, I’m always skeptical when the…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    TGIF!  This has been a big week in the legislatures across the country, as I’m sure you’re aware. PA S 884 – This one was introduced back in September, and I thought I brought it up here, but I don’t see it.  It regards standing in custody cases, especially for grandparents. I briefly skimmed the bill, and I don’t quite understand what is new.  It feels a lot like it’s pandering and trying to look good, but it doesn’t actually change anything.  This was introduced in the Senate and is now in the House. HB 1388 – This is our old friend, the CHIP re-authorization bill. Predictably, the governor signed it into…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    Some things to note that happened this week: PA SB938 – This is a weird one.  I’m not sure why this is coming up now, and I’m not familiar enough with the current practices of record maintenance to know if this is a positive or negative suggested change.  “Reports that are assessed by the county agency and are determined to be valid, but are not accepted for services, shall be reported to the department and entered into the Statewide database. The reports shall be maintained for a period of five years, or until the child who is the subject of the report attains 23 years of age, whichever occurs first. Following…

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