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Critical Child Welfare Legislation Advances - Urge Legislators to Pass Priority Bills

June 6, 2024

We're happy to report the Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities has enhanced and advanced critical priority bills. See below for the key bills we are tracking and the details.

An Act Enhancing Child Welfare Protections (Child Welfare Omnibus)

S.124 / H.165 - New Draft: S.2804 (Sen. Oliveira; Rep. Finn)

Some of the crucial elements of this bill include:

  • Metrics concerning rates of racial disproportionality and disparity at various decision points throughout the life of a case for inclusion in DCF's annual report.
  • An examination of disproportionality data as part of the Office of the Child Advocate's duties
  • Transition Age Youth outcomes data for annual reports, including the number of transition age youth aging out with: (1) stable and permanent housing; (2) employment (full or part-time) or military enlistment; (3) health insurance; and (4) if sought, post-secondary education such as college, job training or certificate program within six (6) months.
  • Minimizing Trauma bills' directives on timely notifications to keep children's and youth's attorneys apprised of key events/information.
  • Electronic backpack to support education continuity for children in foster care.

TAKE ACTION: Please inform your legislators of how important this bill is, not only for the services our members provide, but to the most vulnerable children and families in the Commonwealth.

Additional priority bills we are thrilled the Committee approved:

  • Bill of Rights for Children in Foster Care S.68 / H.164 - New Draft: S.2803 (Sen. Comerford; Rep. Finn) 
  • Protecting Benefits Owed to Children in Foster Care S.65 / H.157; New Draft: H.4704 (Sen. Comerford; Rep. Farley-Bouvier)

Let your legislators know how much we appreciate their support to pass these bills. The Committee previously advanced the following priority bills:

  • An Act to Establish a Massachusetts Children’s Cabinet S.79 / H.189 (Sen. DiDomenico; Rep. Khan & Rep. Cabral) 
  • Resolve Providing for an Investigation and Study by a Special Commission Relative to Children and Adolescents with Intensive Behavioral Health Needs S.88 / H.193 (Sen. Gomez; Rep. Kushmerek)

With your help, our representatives and senators can advance all of these bills. With the 2023-2024 Legislative Session coming to an end, please reach out to your legislators as soon as possible to advocate for these and any additional priority bills.

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