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28th Legislature(2013-2014)

Bill Text 28th Legislature

00 Enrolled SB 171                                                                                                         
01 Relating to multidisciplinary child protection teams; and relating to investigation of child                            
02 abuse or neglect.                                                                                                       
03                           _______________                                                                               
04    * Section 1. AS 47.14.300(a) is repealed and reenacted to read:                                                    
05            (a)  The department, a state or municipal agency with expertise in child abuse                               
06       or neglect, or a tribe recognized by the United States Secretary of the Interior to exist                         
07       as an Indian tribe under 25 U.S.C. 479a (Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act                               
08       of 1994) with expertise in child abuse or neglect, in partnership with the department,                            
09       may facilitate the initial establishment of a multidisciplinary child protection team.                            
10       The purpose of a team is to assist in the evaluation and investigation of reports of child                        
11       abuse or neglect, as defined in AS 47.17.290, made under AS 47.17 or initiated by the                             
12       department or a law enforcement agency and to provide consultation and coordination                               
13       for agencies involved in child-in-need-of-aid cases under AS 47.10. The                                           
14       multidisciplinary child protection teams shall                                                                    
01                 (1)  ensure that investigations involving child abuse or neglect are                                    
02       coordinated and conducted by trained investigators;                                                               
03                 (2)  take and recommend steps to avoid duplicative interviews of                                        
04       children;                                                                                                         
05                 (3)  assist in the reduction of trauma to a child and family involved in                                
06       an investigation of child abuse or neglect; and                                                                   
07                 (4)  review records, provide consultation, and make recommendations                                     
08       to the department pertaining to a child-in-need-of-aid case under AS 47.10 referred to                            
09       the team by a team member.                                                                                        
10    * Sec. 2. AS 47.14.300(b) is repealed and reenacted to read:                                                       
11            (b)  A team shall be made up of                                                                              
12                 (1)  an employee of the child protection office in the department who                                   
13       has expertise in child abuse and neglect;                                                                         
14                 (2)  a peace officer, as defined in AS 11.81.900;                                                       
15                 (3)  one or more staff members of a local child advocacy center, if a                                   
16       center is located in the relevant area;                                                                           
17                 (4)  a medical care provider licensed under AS 08 who has received                                      
18       training in child abuse assessment;                                                                               
19                 (5)  a counselor, social worker, psychologist, or physician who                                         
20       specializes in mental health care, is licensed under AS 08, and has knowledge of child                            
21       abuse dynamics;                                                                                                   
22                 (6)  a prosecutor of child abuse cases or a designee of a prosecutor of                                 
23       child abuse cases;                                                                                                
24                 (7)  a victim advocate with knowledge of child abuse dynamics;                                          
25                 (8)  other persons with expertise in child abuse and neglect invited to                                 
26       serve as needed by consensus of the team as follows:                                                              
27                      (A)  child development specialists;                                                                
28                      (B)  educators;                                                                                    
29                      (C)  victim counselors as defined in AS 18.66.250;                                                 
30                      (D)  experts in the assessment and treatment of substance abuse;                                   
31                      (E)  an attorney who specializes in child protection in the                                        
01            attorney general's office;                                                                                   
02                      (F)  a representative of an Indian tribe, as defined in 25 U.S.C.                                  
03            1903(8) (Indian Child Welfare Act), as designated by the tribe;                                              
04                      (G)  guardians ad litem; and                                                                       
05                      (H)  a representative of the division in the department with                                       
06            jurisdiction over juvenile justice.                                                                          
07    * Sec. 3. AS 47.14.300(c) is repealed and reenacted to read:                                                       
08            (c)  A team may meet, review records, and conduct business in the absence of                                 
09       one or more members of the team. When a case is referred to the team, the department                              
10       shall make available to the team records pertaining to the case prepared by or in the                             
11       possession of the department, including appropriate confidential records under                                    
12       AS 47.10.093(b). A member of the team may use or disclose records made available                                  
13       by the department under this subsection only as necessary for the performance of the                              
14       member's duties. The team may make recommendations to the department on                                           
15       appropriate planning for the case.                                                                                
16    * Sec. 4. AS 47.14.300(e) is amended to read:                                                                      
17            (e)  A team shall meet at least monthly and may meet more often as                                       
18       needed. Meetings of a team are closed to the public and are not subject to the                                
19       provisions of AS 44.62.310 - 44.62.319 (Open Meetings Act).                                                       
20    * Sec. 5. AS 47.17.010 is amended to read:                                                                         
21            Sec. 47.17.010. Purpose. To [IN ORDER TO] protect children whose health                                  
22       and well-being may be adversely affected through the infliction, by other than                                    
23       accidental means, of harm through physical injury or neglect, mental injury, sexual                               
24       abuse, sexual exploitation, or maltreatment, the legislature requires the reporting of                            
25       these cases by practitioners of the healing arts and others to the department. It is not                          
26       the intent of the legislature that persons required to report suspected child abuse or                            
27       neglect under this chapter investigate the suspected child abuse or neglect before they                           
28       make the required report to the department. Reports must be made when there is a                                  
29       reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or neglect in order to make state investigative                           
30       and social services available in a wider range of cases at an earlier point in time, to                           
31       make sure that investigations regarding child abuse and neglect are conducted by                                  
01       trained investigators, and to avoid subjecting a child to duplicative [MULTIPLE]                              
02       interviews about the abuse or neglect. It is the intent of the legislature that, as a result                      
03       of these reports, protective services will be made available in an effort to                                      
04                 (1)  prevent further harm to the child;                                                                 
05                 (2)  safeguard and enhance the general well-being of children in this                                   
06       state; and                                                                                                        
07                 (3)  preserve family life unless that effort is likely to result in physical                            
08       or emotional damage to the child.                                                                                 
09    * Sec. 6. AS 47.17.033(c) is amended to read:                                                                      
10            (c)  An investigation by the department or another investigating agency of                               
11       child abuse or neglect reported under this chapter shall be conducted by a person                                 
12       trained to conduct a child abuse and neglect investigation and without subjecting a                               
13       child to duplicative interviews [MORE THAN ONE INTERVIEW] about the abuse                                     
14       or neglect except when new information is obtained that requires further information                              
15       from the child.                                                                                                   
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