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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: October 14, 2022 12:45 PM
From: Representative Pamela A. DeLissio
To: All House members
Subject: Creating a Permanent Office of Child Advocate
In 2019, Governor Wolf created the Office of Advocacy and Reform (OAR) through an executive order to provide better protections and services for vulnerable Pennsylvanians. A critical component of the OAR is the Child Advocate who works with communities and state agencies on behalf of our state’s children to identify and eliminate policies and procedures that exacerbate trauma, as well as guiding service providers on utilizing trauma-informed practices to reduce and prevent childhood trauma. Simply put, the Child Advocate serves a critical role in our government – ensuring that the children of Pennsylvania have a voice when it comes to the policies that can have lasting effects on their lives.
Since the OAR was created through an executive order, a subsequent administration could dissolve the OAR and the Child Advocate. For this reason, I am proposing legislation that will create a permanent Office of Child Advocate within the Department of Health. While one would hope that a gubernatorial successor would recognize the undeniable need for trauma-informed policy, we should not risk having the voice of our youngest citizens, our children, be silenced.
As lawmakers, our constituents trust us to enact policies that will better their lives and the lives of their children and grandchildren; this is a responsibility that I know we all take to heart. Codifying the Office of Child Advocate to ensure that the children of Pennsylvania always have a voice and someone looking out for their best interests will undoubtedly provide an opportunity to reduce trauma and heal, leading to the betterment of lives for both current and future Pennsylvanians. I encourage and appreciate your support of this legislation.

Introduced as HB2913