The state Supreme Court has heard arguments on two cases that could result in pending child abuse investigations being thrown out, and the removal of names from the state’s child abuse and neglect registry.
Two women filed lawsuits saying child welfare workers didn’t notify them within 90 days of initial abuse and neglect reports made against them, of the conclusions of investigations into those reports. State law allows 30 days for such allegations to be investigated and 90 days for the accused to be motified of the case worker’s finding.
Representative Bill Lant has filed a bill that would give those workers 30 business days to complete investigations. He says that would be a good starting point, the details of which could evolve during the legislative session.
“It adds nearly 30 percent to the total amount of time they have when you think about the four weekend days that month of time … in most cases it’s going to let them complete that job.”
Lant has filed the annual report on the findings of the Joint Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. Of the findings in that report, he says he wants to focus this year on improving training and support for child welfare investigators. He thinks that will help them reduce caseloads and thereby diminish the number of cases that go beyond the statutory timelines.