Child Advocates Thank Lawmakers

2013 Legislation Passed in Response to Child Safety

HB1 – Crime, failure to report a missing child
HB301 – Alabama Mandatory Reporting Strengthened
HB396 – Family Law – Alabama Uniform Collaborative Law Act, protects children involved in Family Law matters, preserves the responsibility and obligation of a person to report abuse neglect or other maltreatment of a child.
HB267 – Alabama Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers Health Insurance Option to join LGHIP
HB166 - $626,470 Alabama Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers Funding through DCANP
HB396 – SB143 - $744,832 – Alabama Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers Funding from the General Fund through the Department of Human Resources
SB258 – Crime to leave a child unattended in a daycare vehicle
SB307 – Foster Children & Adoption, prevents children from waiting longer to be adopted
HB57 – Women’s Health and Safety Act imposes strict operating standards on abortion clinics
SB 383 – HB 91 – HB105 – Improved school safety measures in light of Newtown, CT, and Dale County tragedies

-Handout, Southeast Alabama Child Advocacy Center

Dothan, AL - Leaders with the Southeast Alabama Child Advocacy Center are saying a big thank you to local law makers.

“We want to support and encourage you in the way you support and encourage us,” said CAC Education Specialist/Therapist, Grace Vaughn.

Nearly ten new laws aimed at protecting children were passed during this year’s legislative session.

Some focused on safety at school: like allowing leaders to use education funds for school resource officers, requiring lock down drills, and making it a crime to trespass on a school bus.

Another act of legislation now requires any school official or physical therapist to report child abuse or neglect.

“It strengthens an old law. Many people think it’s someone else's job to report abuse. You're still responsible. It's your job as an educator to report it. You can't tell your supervisor and that keep you from being responsible,” said CAC Director, Sherryl Walker.

According to House Bill 1, better known as Caylee’s Law, it’s a parent’s responsibility to alert police if they can’t find their child.

It sounds simple enough. Most parents wouldn’t think twice about reporting their child missing from home or even a playground. But leaders say these laws are needed to provide another line of defense in protecting children.

“We live in a society and world where common sense not always applied properly,” said Alabama Representative Dexter Grimsley.

Alabama Representative Paul Less said, “Once you get to the court system there are all kinds of ways people will try to prevent you from taking them to court and convicting them. Unfortunately we have to stay a step ahead of them.”

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