• 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

    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

    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…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    I hope you’re all having a marvelous holiday with family and friends (or are going to soon!).  There’s not much legislative action to report regarding adoption and foster care at the moment, but there are just a couple things to note. PA State House HB 1388 – This is a bill that proposes the re-authorization of the CHIP program, which will otherwise expire on December 31st of this year.  “The CHIP program is designed to provide insurance coverage to uninsured children and teens (up to age 19) whose families earn too much to qualify for Medical Assistance, but who cannot afford to purchase private insurance.”  So hopefully it passes, and quickly. …

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    While a lot has been happening this week in the news, not much has been happening in the legislatures regarding children or child welfare.  Here are the few items I found. PA State House HB 1912 – This is a bill proposing a statewide study of secondary school start times.  This is in response to several studies into sleep and the importance of sleep to adolescent development that have gained visibility lately.  I, for one, hope that such a study in Pennsylvania gets traction, and I think anything that comes of it could positively affect kids in foster care, since they have the same developmental needs as their peers along with,…

  • Pennsylvania,  placed,  policy updates

    About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

    While a lot has been happening this week in the news, not much has been happening in the legislatures regarding children or child welfare.  Here are the few items I found. PA State House HB 1899 – This bill would require health care providers and first responders to immediately report an actual or suspected drug overdose to the appropriate county CYF agency. This would alert CYF to any overdoses by people with open CYF cases, but it would also make the health care providers and first responders investigate whether there were any children either involved in the overdose or affected by the overdose (i.e., their parents overdosed).  I have a case…

  • 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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