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General Laws

Section 203. The board shall meet at least four times annually. On or before March fifteenth of every year the board shall file a report with the governor and the house and senate committees on ways and means detailing the recipients and amounts of grants awarded by the board in the preceding calendar year.

The board shall have, but shall not be limited to, the following powers and duties:

(1) to contract with public or private non-profit organizations, agencies, schools, or qualified individuals, or to issue grants to cities, towns, or their political subdivisions, for the purpose of establishing community-based educational and service programs designed to reduce the occurrence of child abuse and neglect; provided, however, that (a) each contract or grant entered into by the board shall contain an evaluation provision; (b) contracts or grants may be awarded to existing programs as well as demonstration projects; and (c) the continuation of contracts or grants shall be based upon goal attainment;

(2) to facilitate the exchange of information between groups concerned with families and children and with child maltreatment;

(3) to consult with and to state departments, agencies, commissions and boards to help determine the probable effectiveness, fiscal soundness, and need for proposed educational and service programs for the prevention of child abuse and neglect; such agencies shall provide information requested by the Board to carry out its duties, particularly its duty to maximize all federal funds available for reimbursement to the Children’s Trust Fund for prevention activities;

(4) to authorize the expenditure of all funds deposited into the Children’s Trust Fund;

(5) to maintain files, records and reports which shall be retained and made available in accordance with law;

(6) to implement and continually develop the priority areas and recommendations identified in the Massachusetts Blueprint for a Comprehensive Approach to Strengthening Families and Preventing Child Abuse, jointly put forth by the special commission on violence against children and the executive office of health and human services;

(7) to promote academic research on the efficacy and cost effectiveness of child abuse prevention initiatives;

(8) to issue state of the family annual reports, on the trends and developments affecting the incidence of child maltreatment;

(9) to establish, by a majority vote of its membership, procedures, guidelines, rules and regulations; provided, however, that these policies take into consideration such factors as need, geographic distribution, capacity to coordinate with existing services, and such other factors as the board deems relevant. Such guidelines shall provide, including without limitation, that no state, executive, legislative or judicial agency funded in whole or in part by the commonwealth shall be eligible to receive any such grants. The awarding of any grant shall be by a majority vote of the membership.

(10) to serve as an advocate, subject to appropriation, and provide an articulate focus for the needs of children and disseminate information to the public regarding children’s services and to work in collaboration with the office of the child advocate, the department of early education and care, the department of public health, the department of children and families, the department of elementary and secondary education and any other state agency which serves the needs of children, to promote the development of programs and services for all children, emphasizing programs for children with special needs.

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