HARRISBURG—Legislation sponsored by Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) to better protect victims of child abuse has unanimously passed the House.
“Right now, law enforcement agencies are prohibited by the Criminal History Record Information Act from sharing investigative or criminal record history information with our county children and youth agencies who are responsible for investigating child abuse,” Stephens said. “Not only does this subject children to unnecessary, duplicative interviews forcing them to relive trauma multiple times, but it also prevents the collaboration that is essential to protecting children in Pennsylvania.”
House Bill 954
amends the Criminal History Record Information Act (CHRIA) to allow a law enforcement agency to share information related to an allegation or instance of child abuse with a Children and Youth Services (CYS) agency, Multidisciplinary Team or child fatality or other review team authorized under the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) to investigate the allegation or instance of abuse.
In addition, the bill allows Children's Advocacy Centers (CACs) to access investigative information to support the Children and Youth Service agencies throughout the investigation of an allegation or instance of abuse.
Currently, criminal justice agencies are prohibited by CHRIA from sharing investigative or criminal record history information with any department, agency or individual unless the department, agency or individual requesting the information is a criminal justice agency.
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Representative Todd Stephens
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster