• 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! 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

    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 Senator DePasquale’s informational meeting from either last month or October was rescheduled for this past Monday at 11 am.  “Informational meeting – Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, will give briefing on his office’s special report on Pennsylvania’s struggling child welfare system.” There was also an informational meeting for the Committee on Children and Youth on Wednesday. Penn State University gave a briefing on the University’s Child Maltreatment Solutions Network. The Judiciary Committee also held an informational meeting on Wednesday. “Informational Meeting on ‘A Study of Opioid Addiction: Prevention & Treatment’ from Dr. Eric Kocian of the Saint Vincent College Criminology Department.” I learned something…

  • 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 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

    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…

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