FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Brandon Neuman
Neuman introduces first of statewide child abuse law reforms in Pa.
HARRISBURG, May 30 – A series of disturbing cases in which children under the investigation of the local children and youth services agency were returned to unsafe conditions has prompted state Rep. Brandon Neuman to introduce legislation to better protect at-risk children statewide.
"The stories in the news are heartbreaking; no child should have to live like that," Neuman said. "Children should be protected by whatever means necessary, and obviously too many of them are slipping through cracks in the current investigative system. We have to take immediate action to protect them."
His legislation would allow a county children and youth services agency (CYS) to conduct unannounced inspections of a child’s living situation for a period of time of up to two years.
"Being appointed to the Washington County Children and Youth Task Force has made me aware of the need for additional legislation to help CYS better protect our children," Neuman said.
Currently, county CYS agencies are required to investigate all alleged cases of abuse or neglect and determine whether or not to accept the child for services. According to the child's risk assessment, an appropriate course of action is undertaken until the agency is reasonably assured the child is no longer in danger of abuse or neglect.
"But once the case worker closes out the case, the parent or guardian can easily go back to the abusive behavior," Neuman said. "I think spot checks are warranted and even critical to keeping children from being placed back into unsafe, neglected and abusive situations like we are reading about in the news now."
Neuman's legislation is the first of several bills he plans to introduce to reform child abuse laws in Pennsylvania.