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Sexual Abuse and Assault Awareness
February 26, 2015
Melissa Rock, child welfare policy director, wrote testimony is support of HB383/SB489 -Education – Sexual Abuse and Assault Awareness and Prevention Program – Development and Implementation. This bill will mandate that schools create an implement age-appropriate sexual assault and sexual abuse education programs in public and non-public schools. Advocates for Children and Youth supports these bills, as education is an essential way to help lower the number of children and youth who are victims of sexual abuse and sexual assault. To read testimony, click here.

UPDATE: HB383 received a favorable with amendments report in the Ways and Means Committee.

Failure to Report Child Abuse Reports
March 3, 2015

Melissa Rock, child welfare policy director, wrote testimony in support of SB525/HB1146, which requires a report be made to the professional licensing board if a health practitioner, police officer, educator, or human services worker fails to report child abuse or neglect that they become aware of through their professional duties. SB525/HB1146 demonstrates the importance that mandatory reporters comply with their obligation to report suspected child abuse and neglect, and will help ensure that children are well protected from child abuse and neglect. To read testimony, click here.

UPDATE: SB525 received a favorable report report in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

Failure to Report Child Abuse Penalties
March 3, 2015
Melissa Rock, child welfare policy director, wrote testimony in support of SB571/HB856- Child Abuse and Neglect – Failure to Report- Penalties and Training. This bill creates penalties for willful failure to report child abuse by mandatory reports and creates training on recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect for those professionals with an obligation to protect children and youth. To read testimony, click here.

UPDATE: SB 571 received an unfavorable report from the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and Delegate McComas has withdrawn HB856.

Loan Assistance Repayment Program for Orphans and Foster Care Recipients
March 5, 2015
Melissa Rock, child welfare policy director, wrote testimony in support of HB788/SB669: Maryland Loan Assistance Repayment Program for Orphans and Foster Care Recipients. HB788 creates a loan repayment program for youth who were in foster care for 5 or more years and for orphans. If a person, who meets that eligibility criterion, is employed by the state full-time and received an undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree in Maryland, this program will subsidize 10 percent of that person’s student debt for that year. We support HB788/SB669 because it will help alleviate some of the financial strain for former foster youth and orphans who are able to overcome enumerable barriers and access post-secondary education.  To read testimony, click here.

 UPDATE: SB669 received a favorable with amendments reports by the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee.