Pennsylvania Department of Auditor General

04/15/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/15/2019 16:40

Auditor General DePasquale Urges PA House to Pass Bill to Give Child Caseworkers Access to Critical Information

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HARRISBURG (April 15, 2019) - Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today thanked the House Children and Youth Committee for approving a bill that would give child services caseworkers access to a child's complete medical, substance treatment and school records, based on a recommendation he had made.

'Giving caseworkers access to key records in the course of an investigation can help them to better understand exactly what challenges an at-risk child is up against and take appropriate action,' DePasquale said. 'I urge the House to approve this measure and send it to the Senate.'

House Bill 835, sponsored by Rep. Joseph Petrarca, would limit the scope of the records access only to the child involved in an investigation and not to other children or adults in the home. The records would still be subject to the same confidentiality requirements as other materials compiled in an investigation.

The bill is based on one of the recommendations DePasquale made in his 2017 'State of the Child'special report, which detailed the strengths and challenges of Pennsylvania's child-welfare system. A follow-up report, the 43-page 'State of the Child Action Plan,'was released in May 2018.

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