To: Kamala Harris, Mike Dewine
Avery's Law: Children's Rights/Child Protection Reform
Procedural Inclusion / Protocol Reform / Children’s Wishes Amendment
Part A: Periodic Medical Assessments. (P.M.A.) Post-Reunification.
P.M.A. consists of: Forensic interviews, radiology assessments & medical examinations.
Current protocols in use include Assessments, Commitment/Preparation, and Integration.
(These protocols are currently utilized by child welfare on the intake of a child into family services to determine abuse. If used post-reunification, these same protocols may change the course of a child's right to live a safe and abuse-free life. It would be unimaginable that this protocol inclusion, as minor of an action it is, could not pass as law.)
With P.M.A., once reunification has been achieved. The periodic monitoring will begin for an undetermined length of time. No less than double the time a child was in service with no less than two exams within the first-year post-reunification.
All reunified children would undergo random medical assessments to screen for ongoing violations when a parent has had historical indicators of abuse with any findings reported to local enforcements.
Part B: Immediate Medical Response Act (I.M.R.A.)
(When a child is removed from their homes and placed under the custody of Child Protection Services, evaluations take place to begin or deny the reunification process. If reunification is the goal, the child who resides in a foster care situation has visitations to parties attempting to regain custody. The response act could make a difference in the decisions made by the court. Therefore, advancing the protection of children.)
During the reunification, process visitations are available to abusive parents. This act could prevent ongoing maltreatment when there are signs of suspicious, reoccurring injuries, and or mental declines in a child—byways of authorizing foster parents to have said child evaluated if there are any indicators of abuse.
(During these evaluations, the person(s) that the allegation is against cannot gain access to these screenings.)
Under this new ACT, foster parents would be seen as mandated reporters and would have the right to I.M.R.A. screenings without permission from any case party.
This screening would be non-negotiable by any case party. If these parties negotiated such testing, it could taint the results. These examinations would be utilized much like any rape case where the collection of evidence is imperative for people's welfare while identifying the persons who violated them. Therefore, this testing would play a vital role in a child's safety when integrated with investigations of a party already suspected of abuse.
Part C: A Right to Self-Protection
Under Children's Wishes established in 1974, it stated any child with the ability of reasoning may be interviewed by a magistrate to determine their wishes.
Most states have an age limit for a child to self-speak. When a child is not of age, that child becomes interviewed by a Child Protection worker or associate. That worker then relays their client's wishes but in their opinions. A child’s wishes can become tainted by bias intent at this point.
The Rights to Self-Protection would allow the fostering parent(s) to act as a mandated reporter. These parties could then move to speak on the child’s behalf as an equal or to request a formal interview by the courts.
If a motion for a child to self-speak becomes denied, the placement should be the secondary voice of the child with the highest position for consideration for the child's wishes since they are the acting parents.
In all cases, when reunification is the goal to place an abused child back to their predatory parent, that child should be interviewed directly by the Magistrate. If rejected, the child’s caregiver should then be acknowledged as a mandated child advocate and privately interview with the Magistrate. If both interviews become rejected by the Magistrate, recorded adjacent interviews would be available for review.
Why is this important?
Part A: The importance of these assessments is to aid:
*Non-verbal children who cannot indicate their maltreatment.
*Children who are unaware of their abuse.
*Children who are fearful of their abusers. *Children who are unable to communicate.
*Children who fell victim to bias behaviors of social services that were unsupported.
Part B: The importance of this screening:
A) It's a significant measure of protection of a victim that may mitigate further and ongoing abuse.
B) It would aid children that are non-verbal, fearful, and or mentally unable to protect themselves.
C) It would provide safety to children by way of forensic evidence from proper medical examinations & is directly reported to a Juvenile Court and Local Authorities if there are findings.
D) It ministers foster parents the right to adopt safety standards for the child within their care by providing that individual with the power of customary advocacy.
Part C: The importance of this action:
Its importance not only would uphold the current Children's Wishes, but it would accelerate the 1974 ACT into this millennium with the use of our technologies and advancements. The improvement would also lend children a voice in their safety. Much like the progress of DNA lends the court.