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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 17, 2013 02:39 PM
From: Representative Bernie O'Neill
To: All House members
Subject: Task Force on Child Protection With Respect to Custody
 
I am introducing legislation to fulfill the recommendations made by the Task Force on Child Protection with respect to custody.

The Task Force on Child Protection was established by the House of Representatives through House Resolution 522. The House charged the Task Force on Child Protection with the responsibility of reviewing the law regarding the reporting of child abuse and making recommendations with respect to amending existing law in order to help keep children safe.

One of the recommendations made by the task force concerned child custody. The Task Force on Child Protection cited the need for a court in a custody matter to have information regarding the child with respect to whether the child had been identified as a victim of child abuse and whether the person seeking custody had been identified as a perpetrator of child abuse.

Accordingly, my legislation fulfills the recommendations of the Task Force on Child Protection by:
  1. Requiring that the court consider whether there is an indicated or founded report of child abuse by a party or a member of the party’s household when determining the best interests of the child. Currently, there are 16 factors for the court to weigh when determining the best interests of the child. This would be an additional factor.
  2. Requiring that the court be provided with information from the Department of Public Welfare regarding the type of services made available to the family under the Child Protective Services Law.
  3. Requiring that the court be provided with information from the Department of Public Welfare regarding whether the child has been identified as a victim of abuse and whether a parent has been identified as the perpetrator of that abuse, under the Child Protective Services Law.

If you would like to co-sponsor this legislation, please contact Connie McClure in my Harrisburg office at 705-7170 or by e-mailing cmcclure@pahousegop.com.

Thank you for your consideration of this legislation.



Introduced as HB414