Child abuse and neglect services and funding, task force on children’s justice to make recommendations and award grant moneys. — 1. The task force on children’s justice established by the children’s division within the department of social services to recommend improvements in the area of child abuse and neglect services and provide funding for such recommendations shall provide an independent review of policies and procedures of state and local child protective services agencies, and where appropriate, specific cases, and shall evaluate the extent to which the agencies are effectively discharging their child protection responsibilities.
2. Consistent with the task force’s function of reviewing applications for federal grant moneys available to the state under the Children’s Justice Act which are designed to assist eligible states in implementing programs for the handling, investigation, and prosecution of child abuse cases, the task force shall consider the awarding of grant moneys which address the issues that arise from the independent review conducted by the task force pursuant to subsection 1 of this section. As authorized by the Children’s Justice Act, grant moneys shall be awarded for the following categories:
(1) Improvements to the investigative, administrative, and judicial handling of cases of child abuse and neglect;
(2) Experimental, model, and demonstration programs for testing innovative approaches and techniques to improve the prompt and successful resolution of court proceedings or enhance the effectiveness and judicial administration action in child abuse and neglect cases; and
(3) Reform of state laws, rules, protocols, and procedures to provide comprehensive protection for children from abuse and neglect.
3. The members of the task force shall not disclose to any person or government official any identifying information concerning a specific child protection case with respect to which the task force is providing information and shall not make public other information unless authorized by federal or state law.
4. The task force shall be provided:
(1) Access to information on cases that the task force desires or is requested to review if such information is necessary for the task force to carry out its functions pursuant to this section; and
(2) Upon request, assistance from the department of social services for the performance of the task force’s duties.
(L. 2004 H.B. 1453)