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Erins Law and Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Laws

Child Sexual Abuse Prevention: Erin's Law

12/2/2014

Little girl holding flowersAt least 19 states and the territory of Guam have enacted legislation, known in many states as “Erin’s Laws,” requiring states to either study or develop age-appropriate child sexual abuse identification and prevention curricula for pre-k through fifth, eighth or 12th grades to help children, teachers and parents recognize and identify child sexual abuse.

The legislation also generally provides for some type of referral, counseling or safe way for children to report incidences of child sexual abuse and requires training for school personnel. Many states have also required task forces to further study the issue and provide statewide recommendations.

Erin's Law Legislation
2014
2014 California
Assembly Bill 2016
Chapter 809

Requires the state board, based upon recommendations by the superintendent of Public Instruction, to consider including age-appropriate content for kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, in sexual abuse and sexual assault awareness and prevention in the next revision of the health content standards. Requires the state board, based upon recommendations by the commission, to consider including information in sexual abuse and sexual assault awareness and prevention in the Health Framework for California Public Schools when next revised. Authorizes school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to provide age-appropriate instruction, pursuant to the content standards adopted by the state board, for kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, as applicable, in sexual abuse and sexual assault awareness and prevention. Provides a procedure for excusing a pupil from that instruction.

2014 Connecticut
Senate Bill 203
Public Act 14—196

Requires the Department of Children and Families, together with the Department of Education and Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc., or a similar organization, to identify or develop a statewide sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention program for use by regional and local school boards. Educates children in the state about the dangers of sexual assault and abuse; establishes uniform policies and procedures to assist children in the state who may be victims of sexual abuse and assault.

2014 Louisiana
House Bill 733
Act 525
Requires age and grade appropriate classroom instruction relative to child abuse and assault awareness and prevention in elementary and secondary schools, and how students may safely and confidentially report abuse or assault.
2014 New Hampshire
Senate Bill 349
Chapter 143

Establishes a commission to study sexual abuse prevention education in elementary and secondary schools.

2014 New Mexico
House Bill 92
Chapter 9
Requires all licensed school employees to be trained in detecting and reporting child sexual abuse and assault and in assisting in awareness and prevention; requires health education instruction to include age-appropriated sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention training.
2014 Rhode Island
House Bill 7292

(Companion Senate Bill 2058)

Establishes a comprehensive school program to provide an age-appropriate course of instruction in the prevention of child abduction, child sexual exploitation and child sexual abuse.

2014 South Carolina
House Bill 4061
Act 293

Requires that the State Board of Education select or develop instructional units in comprehensive health education for use by school districts, so as to require the board to also select or develop instructional units in sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention, with separate units appropriate for each age level from four-year old kindergarten through twelfth grade.

2014 Tennessee
Senate Bill 2421
Chapter 706

Requires the departments of education and children's services, and the state board of education, to work together on the enhancement or adaptation of curriculum materials to assist instructional personnel in providing instruction through a multi-disciplinary approach on the detection, intervention, prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse, including such abuse that may occur in the home. The curriculum materials shall be geared toward a sequential program of instruction at progressional levels for kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12). Strategies for utilizing the curriculum shall be included in the comprehensive plan.

2014 Utah
House Bill 286
Enrolled

Adopts certain recommendations of Illinois's Erin's Law Task Force; requires a school district or charter school to provide training and instruction on the State Board of Education, in partnership with certain entities, to approve instructional materials for child sexual abuse prevention and awareness training and instruction; requires a school district or charter school to use the instructional materials approved by the State Board of Education to provide child sexual abuse prevention and awareness training and instruction to: elementary school personnel; and the parents or guardians of elementary school students; elementary students.  Provides that a school district or charter school may provide child sexual abuse prevention and awareness instruction to elementary school students subject to certain requirements ; and requires the State Board of Education to adopt model materials for the training and instruction on child sexual abuse prevention and awareness report to the Education Interim Committee.

2013
2013 Arkansas
House Bill 1988
Act 1298

Creates the Arkansas Task Force for the prevention through education of child sexual abuse; and to study “Erin’s Law.”

2013 Illnois
House Bill 6193
Public Act—97-1147
Provides that continuing professional development activities may include participating in or presenting at in-service training programs on sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention. Provides that the Comprehensive Health Education Program shall include age-appropriate sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention education in grades pre-kindergarten through 12 (instead of sexual assault awareness in secondary schools).
2013 Michigan
Senate Bills 1112-1114
ERIN’S LAW
Allows schools to implement a program to educate and provide resources for students, staff and parents about the warning signs of sexual abuse as well as available resources and counseling for children affected. Creates a one-time task force to develop recommendations on how schools can best handle this education.
2013 Mississippi
Senate Bill 2133
Enrolled
Creates the Erin's Law Study Committee to explore creating and implementing a curriculum for the prevention of sexual abuse of children for students from kindergarten through fifth grade.
2013 Nevada
Senate Bill 258
Chapter 260


REPORT : Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children 2014 Report
 

Creates the Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children within the Division of Child and Family Services of the Department of Health and Human Services. Authorizes the task force to recommend a policy that includes educating certain persons who are associated with children about the sexual abuse of children, and providing support services to children in this state who may be affected by sexual abuse. Requires the task torce to provide to the governor and the Legislature recommendations, in the form of a report, to reduce the sexual abuse of children in this state. Sets a deadline for the submission of the report. Requires the task force to seek information from certain agencies, organizations and persons in compiling the required recommendations. Requires the task force to recommend goals for policy to prevent the sexual abuse of children in this State.

2012
2012 California
SCR 73
Adopted, Chaptered
Declares that the Legislature encourages school districts to include age-appropriate instruction related to child sexual abuse in their curriculum in order to help students understand the difference between appropriate and inappropriate conduct in situations where child sexual abuse could occur and to provide students with resources on how to handle these potentially dangerous situations.
2012 Indiana Senate Bill 267
Enacted, Chaptered
Relates to education concerning child abuse. Requires the department of education, in collaboration with organizations that have expertise in child sexual abuse, to identify or develop model education materials, response policies, and reporting procedures on child sexual abuse.
2012 Maine L.D. 1705, Chapter 162
Signed by Governor May 2012
Establishes the Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children, which is directed to research issues regarding child sexual abuse in Maine and to adopt policies to address those issues. The policies may include age-appropriate curricula for schoolchildren from prekindergarten to grade five and methods to increase teacher, student and parent awareness of the issues regarding child sexual abuse. The task force is also directed to submit a report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over health and human services matters, and the joint standing committee is authorized to submit legislation to the First Regular Session of the 126th Legislature based on that report.
2011
2011 Conn. Acts, HB 5431, P.A. 11-93
 
Sec. 3: Requires the commissioner of the Department of Children and Families to develop an educational training program and refresher training program for accurate and prompt identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect that shall be provided to all new school employees. The Department of Children and Families, in consultation with the Department of Education, shall develop a model mandated reporting policy for use by local and regional boards of education. The policy shall state applicable state law regarding mandated reporting and any relevant information that may help school districts perform mandated reporting.
Sec. 4: Stipulates that all school employees shall be required to complete an educational training program for accurate and prompt identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect and take a refresher training course at least once every three years.
 
2011 Guam Public Law 31-97


First Report of the

Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children within the Child Protective Act—

June 2012


 
Creates a task force on prevention of sexual abuse of children. The task force is to include representatives from the courts, the departments of public health and social services, mental health and substance abuse, education, and law enforcement, the attorney general’s office and others. The task force is to gather information about child sexual abuse throughout Guam, make recommendations and create goals for local policy to prevent child sexual abuse, and submit a report on its recommendations to the legislature. The recommendations may include proposals for specific statutory changes and methods to foster cooperation among government of Guam agencies, community-based organizations, and other public and private organizations. The task force may recommend policies such as providing an age-appropriate curriculum for students in prekindergarten through fifth grade, offering training for school personnel on child sexual abuse, providing educational information for parents or guardians on the warning signs of child abuse and providing any needed assistance or referral, counseling and resources to students affected by sexual abuse and educational and emotional support to child victims of abuse to allow them to be successful in school.
2011 Illinois
Public Act 96-1524


Erin’s Law Task Force

Executive Summary—May 2012
Creates a task force on the prevention of child sexual abuse within the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). The task force was named the Erin’s Law Task Force and had 19 members. Members were required to be qualified by education or experience in the fields of prevention of child abuse and neglect.
P.A. 96-1524 required the Task Force to make recommendations for reducing child sexual abuse in Illinois based on the following activities:
1. Gather information concerning child sexual abuse throughout the State.
2. Receive reports and testimony from individuals, state and local agencies, community-based organizations, and other public and private organizations.
3. Create goals for state policy that would prevent child sexual abuse.
4. Submit a final report with its recommendations to the Office of the Governor and the General Assembly by Jan. 1, 2012.
The Erin’s Law Task Force was granted a six-month extension to complete the final report from the governor’s office. The report was due by June 1, 2012, and was timely submitted.
The statute provided as follows:
To adopt and implement a policy addressing sexual abuse of children that may include age-appropriate curriculum from students in pre-k through fifth grade, training of school personnel on child sexual abuse; education information to parents or guardians provided in the school handbook on the warning signs of a child being abused, along with any needed assistance, referral, or resource information; available counseling and resources for students affected by sexual abuse; and emotional and educational support for a child of abuse to continue to be successful in school.
2011 Missouri Senate Bill 54
Enacted
ERIN’S LAW


Report from the Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children—2012

SCS/SB 54 – Creates the "Amy Hestir Student Protection Act." (Section 160.085)
SECTIONS 160.2100 & 160.2110: Creates the Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children. This act shall be known and may be cited as "Erin's Law."
Task force members must be individuals who are actively involved in the prevention of child abuse and neglect and child welfare. The president pro tem of the Senate, the minority leader of the Senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives, and the minority leader of the House of Representatives may each appoint one member of the General Assembly to the task force. The following additional members will be on the task force: the director of the Department of Social Services, or his or her designee; the commissioner of Education, or his or her designee; the director of the Department of Health and Senior Services, or his or her designee; the director of the Office of Prosecution Services, or his or her designee; a representative representing law enforcement, appointed by the governor; three active teachers employed in Missouri, appointed by the governor; a representative of an organization involved in forensic investigation relating to child abuse, appointed by the governor; a school superintendent, appointed by the governor; a representative of the State Domestic Violence Coalition, appointed by the governor; a representative from the juvenile and family court, appointed by the governor; a representative from the Missouri Network of Child Advocacy Centers, appointed by the governor; and an at-large member appointed by the governor.
The task force must make recommendations for reducing child sexual abuse. The task force must submit a final report with its recommendations to the governor, General Assembly, and State Board of Education by Jan. 1, 2013. The task force will end on Jan. 1, 2013. The task force may also adopt a policy addressing sexual abuse of children, including a curriculum.
2009
2009 Tex. Gen. Laws, HB 1041, Chap. 1115
JENNA’S LAW
 
Creates “Jenna’s Law.” Requires each school district to adopt and implement a policy addressing sexual abuse of children and that the policy be included in the district improvement plan under Section 11.252 (District-Level Planning and Decision-Making) and in any informational handbook provided to students and parents.
Requires that a policy required by this section address methods for increasing teacher, student and parent awareness of issues regarding sexual abuse of children, including knowledge of (1) likely warning signs indicating that a child may be a victim of sexual abuse, using resources developed by the Texas Education Agency; (2) actions that a child who is a victim of sexual abuse should take to obtain assistance and intervention; and (3) available counseling options for students affected by sexual abuse.
Sets forth the composition and requirements of a task force established under this section to establish a strategy for reducing child abuse and neglect and improving child welfare.
Requires the task force to establish a strategy for reducing child abuse and neglect and for improving child welfare in the state. Requires the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the House of Representatives to appoint the members of the task force by Oct. 1, 2009. Requires the task force, by Nov. 1, 2010, to submit the strategic plan to the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the House of Representatives. Provides that the task force is abolished on Sept. 1, 2011.
2009 Vt. Acts, SB 13, Act 1


Educating Kids and Adults to Help Prevent Child Sexual Abuse in Vermont


 
Sec. 2–15: Requires the appropriate legislative committees to develop a comprehensive statewide approach to preventing child sexual abuse. Includes a sexual abuse prevention component in all school health curricula and directs the commissioner of Education to convene a working group to prepare technical assistance materials that support instruction on the sexual abuse prevention component and to provide training on this topic. Requires school boards to ensure that all school employees receive orientation on preventing, identifying and reporting child abuse and that parents and caregivers receive information and education about child sexual abuse. Requires that licensed child care facilities ensure that all employees receive orientation on preventing, identifying and reporting child abuse. Directs appropriate administrative agencies to conduct outreach efforts to raise the awareness of families and communities about child sexual abuse. Formally establishes the Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Sexual Abuse and its mission.
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