Governor Steve Bullock today signed a bill to create the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Commission and thanked child protection specialists during the Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect Conference.
“As a father and as governor, I will always fight for Montana’s vulnerable children,” said Governor Bullock. “Our work this session doesn’t end today. We will continue to find and implement commonsense solutions that save lives and provide a brighter future for children across the state.”
House Bill 303, sponsored by Rep. Kathy Kelker, establishes the multi-disciplinary Child Abuse and Neglect Review Commission tasked with reviewing trends of abuse and neglect. The Commission will examine patterns of child fatalities and near fatalities, educate the public, service providers and policymakers about child abuse and neglect, and provide a written report to the Governor, the Legislature, and the Supreme Court to inform discussion of policies and practices that may reduce fatalities.
The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services will oversee the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Commission. The Governor and Attorney General will appoint members to the commission that represent law enforcement, the judiciary, foster parents, health care providers, and others.
At the Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect Conference in Helena, Governor Bullock honored individuals who work in Montana’s child protection system and have a positive impact on kids in foster care.
“On behalf of every Montana child, I want to thank you all for the work you do every single day,” Governor Bullock said at the conference. “You do some of the most difficult – and most important – work imaginable. Too often, you are the last, best hope for vulnerable children. Montana’s children and families are counting on you.”
Two weeks ago, Governor Bullock signed four bipartisan bills to increases services and protections for Montana’s kids in the foster care system.
Governor Bullock signed an executive order in 2015 to create the Protect Montana Kids Commission. After undergoing an unprecedented review of Montana’s child protection system, Governor Bullock and the Commission provided evidence-based recommendations to the Montana Legislature to improve case management, provide statewide consistency, and give further support to Montana families and children.