SB 341 Modifies provisions of law relating to the protection of children and other vulnerable persons
Sponsor: Riddle
LR Number: 1561H.04T Fiscal Notes
Committee: Seniors, Families and Children
Last Action: 7/8/2015 - Signed by Governor Journal Page: S1757
Title: HCS SCS SB 341 Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2015
House Handler: Franklin

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Current Bill Summary


HCS/SCS/SB 341 - This act addresses several areas relating to the protection of vulnerable persons, including: (1) independent performance reviews by the Office of the Child Advocate; (2) notice of the toll-free child abuse and neglect hotline number; (3) notice of non-immunized children in day care, pre-schools, and nursery schools; (4) juveniles with problem sexual behavior; (5) safe sleep recommendations; (6) the Children's Services Fund; and (7) prohibiting contact with victims of sexual assault through protective orders.

OFFICE OF THE CHILD ADVOCATE (Section 37.719)

This act grants the Office of the Child Advocate the authority to conduct an independent review of any entity within a county that has experienced 3 or more review requests within a calendar year. These entities can include the Children's Division, the Juvenile Office, or guardian ad litem. The Office may make any necessary inquiries and review any relevant information and records necessary to conduct the review and may make recommendations for changes in the entity's policies and procedures based upon the results of the review. The Office shall submit any findings and recommendations to the Children's Division and the Office of State Courts Administrator.

This provision is identical to provisions in HCS/HB 734 (2015) and HCS/HB 1074 (2015) and is substantially similar to provisions in SCS/HCS/HB 734 (2015) and HB 1074 (2015).

NOTICE OF THE TOLL-FREE CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT HOTLINE NUMBER (Section 160.975)

This act requires all public and charter schools to post, in a clearly visible location in a public area of the school, a sign in English and Spanish containing the toll-free child abuse and neglect hotline number established by the Children's Division. This number shall also be posted in all student restrooms. The Children's Division shall develop an acronym to help children remember the hotline number.

NOTICE OF NON-IMMUNIZATION (Section 210.003)

This act requires all public, private, and parochial day care centers, preschools, and nursery schools to notify parents or guardians, upon request, of whether there are children currently enrolled in or attending the facility for whom an immunization exemption has been filed.

This provision is identical to provisions in SCS/HCS/HB 976 (2015), HCS/HB 976 (2015), and HCS/SS/SCS/SB 354 (2015) and substantially similar to SB 533 (2015) and provisions in HCS/SB 533 (2015).

JUVENILES WITH PROBLEM SEXUAL BEHAVIOR (Section 210.148)

This act provides that when the Children's Division receives a report concerning a juvenile with problem sexual behavior, the division shall immediately communicate the report to the appropriate local office, which will then use a family assessment and services approach to respond to the report. For the purposes of family assessments performed under this act, the alleged abuse does not have to be committed by a person responsible for the care, custody, and control of the child.

Nothing in this act prevents the local office from commencing an investigation if, during the family assessment and services approach, the local office determines that an investigation is warranted. Such an investigation may include requesting assistance from the appropriate law enforcement agency. A juvenile with problem sexual behavior is defined as any person, under fourteen years of age, who has allegedly committed sexual abuse against another child.

This provision is identical to provisions in SS/SCS/HB 556 (2015), SCS/HB 556 (2015), SCS/HCS/HB 734 (2015), and SCS/HCS/HB 976 (2015) and is substantially similar to HB 713 (2015) and provisions in HCS/HB 976 (2015).

SAFE SLEEP RECOMMENDATIONS (Sections 210.221 and 210.223)

This act grants the Department of Health and Senior Services the power to approve training concerning the safe sleep recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics. All licensed child care facilities that provide care for children under one year of age shall implement and maintain a written safe sleep policy in accordance with those recommendations and all employees and volunteers shall complete the approved training every 3 years. When, in the opinion of the infant's licensed health care provider, the infant requires alternative sleep positions or special sleeping arrangements that differ from those set forth by the most recent sleep recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the infant's health care provider shall provide written and signed instructions detailing the alternative sleep positions or special sleeping arrangements and the facility shall follow these instructions.

These provisions are identical to SCS/SB 427 (2015) and provisions in HCS/SB 533 (2015) and are substantially similar to HB 707 (2015), SB 427 (2015), and provisions in SCS/HCS/HB 976 (2015).

CHILDREN'S SERVICES FUND (Section 210.861)

Under current law, an individual who has been elected treasurer by the board of directors of a community Children's Services Fund shall, prior to taking office, furnish a surety bond that meets specified requirements. This act adds the option of furnishing comparable insurance coverage for theft, misappropriation, mismanagement, or other acts that otherwise meet the specified requirements for a surety bond under these

provisions. The state legislature shall not mandate the board to expend funds without a majority vote of the county or city not within a county, excluding St. Louis County.

This act also prohibits any county or city not within a county, excluding St. Louis County, where voters have approved the levy of a tax under these provisions from adding services in addition to those currently permitted by the provisions of the bill at the time the levy is approved by voters unless the voters approve the additional services.

These provisions are substantially similar to HB 1045 (2015), HCS/HB 976 (2015), and SCS/HCS/HB 976 (2015).

PROTECTION ORDERS PROHIBITING CONTACT WITH VICTIMS OF SEXUAL OFFENSES (Sections 455.010, 455.020, 455.032, 455.040, 455.045, 455.050, 455.080, 455.085, 455.503, 455.505, 455.513, 455.520, 455.523, and 455.538)

Current law allows a person, including a child, who has been subject to domestic violence by a family or household member or any person who has been the victim of stalking to be granted an order of protection. This act also allows the courts to grant protective orders to victims of sexual assault.

Under the current definitions section that applies to provisions relating to orders of protection, sexual assault is defined as causing or attempting to cause another to engage involuntarily in any sexual act by force, threat of force, or duress. This act adds causing or attempting to cause another person to engage involuntarily in a sexual act without that person's consent to the definition.

Current law defines stalking as when a person purposely and repeatedly engages in an unwanted course of conduct that reasonably causes alarm to another person. Course of conduct is defined as a pattern of conduct composed of repeated acts over a period of time, however short, that serves no legitimate purpose. Repeated is defined as two or more incidents evidencing a continuity of purpose.

Under this act, stalking is defined as when a person purposely engages in an unwanted course of conduct that causes alarm to another person or a person who resides together in the same household with the person seeking the protective order. Also, the reference to repeated acts in the definition of course of conduct is replaced with two or more acts.

In addition, a definition for what repeated means with regard to the stalking definition is repealed.

These provisions are identical to SCS/SB 321 (2015) and SS/SCS/HB 556 (2015) and substantially similar to SCS/HB 556 (2015).

SARAH HASKINS