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AB-1929 Child abuse and neglect reporting.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 03/11/2020 09:00 PM
AB1929:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 11, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1929


Introduced by Assembly Member Blanca Rubio

January 15, 2020


An act to add Section 11166.02 to the Penal Code, and to add Section 10612.5 to the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to child abuse.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1929, as amended, Blanca Rubio. Child abuse and neglect reporting.
The existing Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act requires a mandated reporter, as defined, to make a report to a specified agency whenever the mandated reporter, in the mandated reporter’s professional capacity or within the scope of that reporter’s employment, has knowledge of or observes a child whom the mandated reporter knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect. Existing law further requires the mandated reporter to make an initial report by telephone to the agency immediately or as soon as is practicably possible, and to prepare and send, fax, or electronically transmit a written followup report within 36 hours of receiving the information concerning the incident.
Existing law, only until January 1, 2021, authorizes certain county welfare agencies to develop a pilot program for internet-based reporting of child abuse and neglect, as specified, to receive reports by specified mandated reporters. Existing law, only until January 1, 2021, also requires the State Department of Social Services to consult with the County Welfare Directors Association of California and the county welfare agencies of the individual counties to determine which counties may be involved in the pilot program and to oversee and administer the pilot program. Existing law requires a county that chooses to participate in the pilot program to hire an evaluator to monitor implementation of the program, to develop outcome measures that determine the effectiveness of the pilot program of the county, as specified, and to report to specified committees of the Legislature on or before January 1, 2020, on the effectiveness of the pilot program. Existing law authorizes the department to conclude a county pilot program prior to January 1, 2021, if the evaluation and monitoring indicate that implementation of the program compromises the safety of children.
This bill would enact provisions similar to the pilot program that would be operative indefinitely and would permit the program system developed to receive reports from any mandated reporter. The bill would require a county that participates in the program to report to specified committees of the Legislature on or before January 1, 2025, on the effectiveness of the program. The bill would require the department to develop outcome measures in order to determine whether a system established by a county welfare agency is effective in increasing efficiency in reporting allegations of child abuse and neglect. The bill would require a county that establishes and develops a system for internet-based reporting of child abuse and neglect to report on these outcome measures to the department within one year of establishing the system and annually thereafter. The bill would require the department to submit a report to the Legislature detailing the outcome measures reported by counties within 6 months of receiving the reports from the counties and annually thereafter.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 11166.02 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

11166.02.
 (a) A county welfare agency, as determined pursuant to Section 10612.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, may develop a program agency may establish and develop a system for internet-based reporting of child abuse and neglect. The program system may receive reports by any mandated reporter of suspected child abuse or neglect neglect, as defined in Section 11165.7, and shall meet all of the following conditions: do all of the following:

(1)The suspected child abuse or neglect authorized to be reported indicates that the child is not subject to an immediate risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation and that the child is not in imminent danger of severe harm or death.

(1) Restrict the reports of suspected child abuse or neglect to reports indicating that the child is not subject to an immediate risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation and that the child is not in imminent danger of severe harm or death.
(2) The agency provides an internet form that includes Include standardized safety assessment qualifying questions in order to obtain necessary information required to assess the need for child welfare services and a response. The State Department of Social Services shall provide guidance through written directives to counties participating in the program to incorporate qualifying questions in the online report that would indicate the need to redirect the mandated reporter to perform a telephone report. response, and, if appropriate, redirect the mandated reporter to perform a telephone report.
(3) The Require a mandated reporter is required to complete all required fields, including the identity and contact information of the mandated reporter, in order to submit the report.
(4) The agency provides an internet-based reporting system that has Have appropriate security protocols to preserve the confidentiality of the reports and any documents or photographs submitted through the system.

(5)The system can only be used by any mandated reporter.

(b) This section does not change current statutory or regulatory requirements regarding timely review, assessment, and response to reports of possible abuse or neglect.
(c) (1) In a county where the program system is active, a mandated reporter may use the internet-based reporting tool system in lieu of the required initial telephone report required by subdivision (a) of Section 11166. A mandated reporter submitting an internet-based report in accordance with this subdivision shall, as soon as practically possible, cooperate with the agency on any requests for additional information if needed to investigate the report, subject to applicable confidentiality requirements. as determined by the county welfare agency.
(2) In a county where the program is active, a system is in use, a mandated reporter who submits the initial report through the internet-based reporting tool system in lieu of the required initial telephone report is not required to submit the written followup report required pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 11166.

(d)For purposes of this section, a “mandated reporter” has the same meaning as set forth in Section 11165.7.

(d) The department, in collaboration with stakeholders, including, but not limited to, the County Welfare Directors Association of California, shall develop outcome measures in order to determine whether a system established by a county welfare agency pursuant to this section is effective in increasing efficiency in reporting allegations of child abuse and neglect. These outcome measures may include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(1) The number of reports provided by telephone and any increase or decrease in the usage of telephone reports made to the county’s 24-hour hotline for reporting child abuse and neglect.
(2) The rate at which the internet-based reporting system is used by mandated reporters and any increase or decrease in usage over time.
(3) The number of reports provided through the internet-based reporting system.
(4) An increase or decrease in the overall number of emergency or nonemergency reports.
(5) An increase or decrease in wait times for the county’s 24-hour hotline resulting from the implementation of this section.
(e) (1) A county that establishes and develops a system for internet-based reporting of child abuse and neglect pursuant to this section shall report on the outcome measures described in subdivision (d) to the State Department of Social Services within one year of establishing the system and annually thereafter.
(2) The State Department of Social Services shall submit a report to the Legislature, in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code, detailing the outcome measures reported by counties pursuant to paragraph (1) within six months of receiving the reports from the counties and, notwithstanding Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, annually thereafter.

SEC. 2.Section 10612.5 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
10612.5.

(a)The department shall consult with the County Welfare Directors Association of California and any interested county welfare agencies to determine which counties may be involved in the program established pursuant to Section 11166.02 of the Penal Code. The program may operate in up to 10 counties.

(b)The department shall oversee and administer the program through the issuance of written directives that shall have the same force and effect as regulations. The directives shall be exempt from the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).

(c)A county that participates in the program shall hire an evaluator to monitor the implementation of the program in accordance with directives issued by the department pursuant to subdivision (b).

(d)(1)In addition to any requirements set forth by the department pursuant to this section, a county that participates in the program shall, in collaboration with the County Welfare Directors Association of California and the department, develop outcome measures to determine the effectiveness of the program of the county during the duration of the program, which may include the following:

(A)The number of reports provided by telephone and any increase or decrease in the usage of telephone reports.

(B)The number of reports provided through the internet-based reporting system and any increase or decrease in usage of the system.

(C)Any increase or decrease in the number of emergency or nonemergency telephone reports.

(D)Any increase or decrease in the overall number of emergency or nonemergency reports.

(2)A county that participates in the program shall, on or before January 1, 2025, provide information to the Assembly and Senate Committees on Human Services pertaining to the effectiveness of the program based on the outcome measures developed pursuant to this subdivision.

(e)The department may conclude the program on a county-by-county basis if the evaluation and monitoring indicate the program is compromising the safety of children.