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Pennsylvania’s Child Protection Reforms Putting the CHILD back in child protection (February 2014) The Center for Children's Justice (www.C4CJ.org)www.C4CJ.org © Permission required to reprint any part of this presentation 1
PA is a statistical outlier PA reports investigated = 8.6 per 1,000 children The Center for Children's Justice (www.C4CJ.org) © Permission required to reprint any part of this presentation 2
Child victims in PA = 1.2 per 1,000 children Child victims nationally = 9.2 per 1,000 children The Center for Children's Justice (www.C4CJ.org) © Permission required to reprint any part of this presentation 3
Child victim rate per 1,000 children through the years STATE 201220112010200920082000 National9.2 9.3 9.512.2 California18.104.22.168.88.314.0 Delaware11.412.010.39.710.89.3 Hawaii22.214.171.124.96.311.9 Illinois9.08.38.58.6 9.7 Minnesota126.96.36.199.74.49.2 Missouri188.8.131.52 5.4 New Jersey4.54.04.44.34.2 New York16.016.917.817.516.415.8 North Carolina10.110.09.69.810.018.4 Ohio11.011.411.5 12.218.7 Pennsylvania1.2 1.31.4 1.7 The Center for Children's Justice (www.C4CJ.org) © Permission required to reprint any part of this presentation 4
April 2011 Call to Action Informed and mobilized by the Center for Children’s Justice (formerly the Protect Our Children Committee) 60 + organizations and individual advocates urged the Governor and PA General Assembly to create an “intentional time-limited and interdisciplinary Task Force on Child Protection and Accountability” to examine how child abuse is defined, identified, investigated and treated. Physician-informed research – related to abusive head trauma and the rates of hospital admission for medically diagnosed “child abuse” – revealed a tangible disconnect between PA statistics on “child abuse” and on-the-ground experiences of children. Partial list of organizations joining the call for a Task Force: A Child’s Place at Mercy * Adams County Children's Advocacy Center * Alice Paul House * Allegheny Lutheran Social Ministries * American Academy of Pediatrics - PA Chapter * Bucks County Children's Advocacy Center * Central Susquehanna Valley Children's Advocacy Center * Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC * Crime Victim Center of Erie County, Inc. * Dauphin County Victim Witness Assistance * Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Northwestern PA Synod * Family Design Resources * Family Support Policy Board * Field Center for Children's Policy, Practice & Research * Fight Crime: Invest in Kids * Juvenile Law Center * KidsVoice * Luzerne County Office of Human Services * Maternity Care Coalition * Mission Kids – Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County * National Association of Social Workers – PA Chapter * Nurse-Family Partnership National Service Office * Pennsylvania Association of School Nurses and Practitioners * Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police * Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape * Pennsylvania Court Appointed Special Advocates * PA Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention & Awareness Program * Philadelphia Children’s Alliance * SEIU Local 668 * Support Center for Child Advocates * The Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse * Women Organized Against Rape * York County Children's Advocacy Center * York County Cribs for Kids Program The Center for Children's Justice (www.C4CJ.org) © Permission required to reprint any part of this presentation 5
Seeds planted well before 2011…….. In December 1996, 16-month old Berks County toddler Maxwell Fisher was raped, murdered and discarded for trash. Prior to his death, he was known to two different children and youth agencies. His death sparked outrage and a number of legislative actions, including a multi-year Joint State Government Commission (JSGC) Task Force & Advisory Committee on Services to Children and Youth. And just as outrage was swirling about Maxwell, 4-year-old Ashley Decker was becoming known to the children and youth agencies in Blair and Westmoreland Counties. Ashley died in March 1997 from head injuries. Prior to her death, she came into contact with two separate children and youth agencies and twice, including a report made by her pediatrician, she was determined not to be a victim of child abuse. The Center for Children's Justice (www.C4CJ.org) © Permission required to reprint any part of this presentation 6
1998 – Act 127 and Act 128 Required sharing of information, notification to law enforcement when a child had serious physical injuries (“extensive and severe bruising, burns, broken bones, lacerations, internal bleeding, shaken baby syndrome, etc). Created the Investigative Team convened by the district attorney under a protocol jointly developed by the county agency and the district attorney. Expunction of records required no later than 120 days after one year expired from the time a children and youth agency terminated services provided or arranged by the agency. Waived the $10 fee for background checks if the applicant was a prospective Big Brother/Sister. Court Appointed Special Advocates defined and recognized in statute. The Center for Children's Justice (www.C4CJ.org) © Permission required to reprint any part of this presentation 7
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