• 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

    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

    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

    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…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    Our legislators have been busy for the past few weeks!  Some of these are recently introduced, and some of them are moving through the bill-to-law process.  Trying to keep up with everything of interest, but I’m sure there’s a ton slipping through the cracks, so let me know if you see or hear of something that’s not here and I’ll check up on it! PA State House –House Bill 59 – We talked about this one a while back, and things have been moving: it’s gone successfully through the House and the Senate, the Senate made changes and the House concurred in them last week, so it looks like this is going to…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    Some items of note that have been introduced in the various legislatures this week: PA State House House Bill 1789 – This is tangentially related to children in care.  It is legislation to set up an animal abuser registry, which has been suggested in other states because adults who abuse animals are more likely to abuse children as well.  This could be a great opportunity to protect both children and animals, but only if it is done with more precision and care than the sex offender registry, which is notorious for its unreliability.  Interestingly, there is a bill in the state senate judiciary committee right now to restructure the sex offender registry, so hopefully these two bills…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    Some items of note that have been introduced in the various legislatures this week: PA -State House Nothing that I saw. -State Senate Senate Bill 844 – This is an interesting one.  It’s seeking to amend the statutes on Domestic Relations, so not specifically child welfare necessarily, but it could affect us (I’m not sure how family court works differently than orphan’s court).  According to the senator who introduced the bill, “My legislation would give standing to an individual that has a sincere concern for the children, but do not meet the current conditions in the custody law. Under this proposal, a section would be added to allow individuals (including grandparents or other relatives) to file for…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    Some items of note that have been introduced in the various legislatures this week: PA -State House House Bill 1707– An Act amending Title 23 (Domestic Relations) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in child protective services, further providing for mandatory reporting of children under one year of age. (“Reporting Substance-Exposed Infants”) House Bill 1712– An Act amending Title 35 (Health and Safety) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in prescribing opioids to minors, providing for prescribing opioids to individuals and further providing for definitions, for prohibition and for procedure. (“Limiting Opioid Prescriptions”) House Resolution 444– A Resolution directing the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a study on the use of restraints on pregnant women and…

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