Missouri task force on the prevention of infant abuse and neglect created, members, report. — 1. There is hereby created within the department of social services the “Missouri Task Force on the Prevention of Infant Abuse and Neglect” to study and make recommendations to the governor and general assembly concerning the prevention of infant abuse and neglect in Missouri. The task force shall consist of the following nine members:
(1) Two members of the senate from different political parties, appointed by the president pro tempore of the senate;
(2) Two members of the house of representatives from different political parties, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives;
(3) The director of the department of social services, or his or her designee;
(4) The director of the department of health and senior services, or his or her designee;
(5) A SAFE CARE provider as described in section 334.950;
(6) A representative of a child advocacy organization specializing in prevention of child abuse and neglect; and
(7) A representative of a licensed Missouri hospital or licensed Missouri birthing center.
Members of the task force, other than the legislative members and the directors of state departments, shall be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate by September 15, 2016.
2. A majority vote of a quorum of the task force is required for any action.
3. The task force shall elect a chair and vice-chair at its first meeting, which shall be convened by the director of the department of social services, or his or her designee, no later than October 1, 2016. Meetings may be held by telephone or video conference at the discretion of the chair.
4. Members shall serve on the task force without compensation but may, subject to appropriations, be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties as members of the task force.
5. On or before December 31, 2016, the task force shall submit a report on its findings and recommendations to the governor and general assembly.
6. The task shall develop recommendations to reduce infant abuse and neglect, including but not limited to:
(1) Sharing information between the children’s division and hospitals and birthing centers for the purpose of identifying newborn infants who may be at risk of abuse and neglect; and
(2) Training division employees and medical providers to recognize the signs of infant child abuse and neglect.
The recommendations may include proposals for specific statutory and regulatory changes and methods to foster cooperation between state and local governmental bodies, medical providers, and child welfare agencies.
7. The task force shall expire on January 1, 2017, or upon submission of a report as provided for under subsection 5 of this section.
(L. 2016 H.B. 1877)