Corbett signs 3 child-protection bills

Posted: April 09, 2014

HARRISBURG - Gov. Corbett signed into law Monday three child-protection bills, part of the ongoing effort to transform the way the state handles child-abuse cases following the Jerry Sandusky case.

The legislation, which emerged from a task force created after the indictment of the former assistant football coach at Pennsylvania State University, will create a statewide database to track reporting of child abuse and provide dedicated funding for Child Advocacy Centers.

"The bills I am signing into law today are another step forward in the fight to end child abuse," Corbett said. "Today, Pennsylvania says 'no more' to child abuse."

Under the laws, the state will:

Create a statewide database that allows electronic reporting, to facilitate mandatory reporting of child abuse.

Terminate the DARE Fund, supported by the sale of DARE license plates, and direct any further balance of that account to the state Commission on Crime and Delinquency to award grants to Children's Advocacy Centers during the next fiscal year.

Establish the Child Advocacy Center Advisory Committee to approve and distribute grants to child advocacy centers and multidisciplinary investigative teams.

"Child abuse is considered the silent crime. No more," said Beverly Mackereth, secretary of the Department of Public Welfare. She called the bills "absolutely necessary" and said they had taken far too long to become law.

The signings bring to 11 the number of bills passed addressing child abuse since the task force's report was released in late 2012.

Corbett said he was awaiting final passage of a mandatory reporting bill that would expand the range of those required to report cases of suspected child abuse.


aworden@phillynews.com

717-783-2584 @inkyamy

www.inquirer.com/phillydawg

www.inquirer.com/commonwealthconfidential

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