A joint House-Senate committee that will look at how agencies at all levels in the state handle cases of child abuse and neglect has held its first hearing. The body has decided to split into several subcommittees that will each study a set of issues related to such cases.
Its chairman, Senator Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia), says that means looking more at the court system, law enforcement, the foster system and more.
“It is a very large universe of things to pull together to see if all parts are working together.”
He says the work will be much like that of an oversight committee, to make sure that state resources and money are being used properly and with the best possible results, “To make sure that kids are, in fact, being protected with the programs that are put in place to do just that.”
The topics the Committee discussed dividing between subcommittees were the handling of abuse and neglect reports, the staffing, handling and policies of children’s services, the technology used by related agencies, the foster care system and the removal of a child from a home.