In order to protect children in Massachusetts against child sexual abuse, there shall be established a Task Force on Child Protection with a specific focus on child sexual abuse prevention.
This Task Force shall be co-chaired by one State Representative appointed by the Speaker of the House and one State Senator appointed by the Senate President, and shall include but not be limited to the Commissioner of DPH or his/her designee, the Commissioner of DEEC or his/her designee, the Commissioner of DCF or his/her designee, the Executive Director of the MA office for Victim Assistance or his/her designee, the Executive Director of the Children’s Trust Fund or his/her designee, the Executive Director of the MA District Attorneys Association or his/her designee, representatives from each of the following child and youth serving provider and advocacy organizations: the Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the MA Children’s Alliance, MA Citizens for Children, the Children’s League of MA, and representatives from law enforcement, religious organizations and others as necessary to fulfill the purpose of the Task Force.
The Task Force will review current child sexual abuse prevention initiatives, existing mandates and guidelines for community based child and youth serving organizations regarding sexual abuse prevention and response systems, and examine barriers which inhibit individual adults from taking action when they are concerned about a particular child or group of children, for the purpose of making specific recommendations for enhancing prevention efforts and improving institutional, community and individual responses to children who are at risk.
The Task force shall submit its recommendations to the Senate President and the Speaker of the House and the Chairs of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities on or before November 15, 2013. Said recommendations shall include but not be limited to minimum child sexual abuse prevention standards to be met by community based child and youth serving organizations in Massachusetts, and strategies for educating adults and communities about child sexual abuse and how and when to take appropriate intervention steps.
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