Rep. Buck-Taylor applauds mandated child abuse reporting billMay 17, 2013
HARTFORD – As a strong supporter of child related issues and as a lawyer serving counsel to family-related issues for over 20 years, State Representative Cecilia Buck-Taylor, R-New Milford, was pleased to see Senate Bill 821 pass through the State House of Representatives unanimously on Thursday. The bill, which is scheduled to take effect on Oct. 1, passed the State Senate on May 8 and is expected to be signed into law by the governor.
Representative Buck-Taylor, a member of the Judiciary Committee, supported the bill from the beginning, saying it strengthens child abuse and neglect laws. The bill will prohibits employers from barring mandated whistleblowers – physicians, medical examiners, dentists, psychologists, social workers and certain school employees – from reporting incidents of child abuse. The bill also reinforces employee efforts when making a good faith report regarding child abuse. The attorney general may sue an employer who violates the law, and a court may impose a penalty of up to $ 2,500 on a violator and order other equitable relief it deems appropriate.
“I’ve been child counsel in abuse and neglect cases in Probate Courts, Juvenile Courts, Family Courts and Criminal Courts for many years.” Representative Buck-Taylor said. “This bill makes possible more preventative measures against neglect and child abuse of all forms and will help those caring for our children.”
During the committee hearing process DCF Commissioner, Joette Katz, announced her support for the bill saying it would allow for better enforcement of abuse and neglect laws. “There is a concern that some employers may screen or interfere with employees who are mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect when discharging their legal responsibilities to report,” Katz said. “This bill strengthens existing statutes in a manner that would allow greater enforcement of violations.”
State Representative Buck-Taylor applauds all those who worked on this bill and made its passage possible, including her fellow members on the Judiciary committee and encourages everyone to continue this work to protect our children from all forms of abuse.