Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Chapter 6 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following two sections:-
Section 202. There is hereby established a child abuse prevention board, hereinafter and in section two hundred and three referred to as the board, which shall be composed of twenty-five members, including the following: the secretary of human services or his designee; the secretary of manpower affairs or his designee, the director of the office for children or his designee, the commissioner of social services or his designee, the commissioner of mental health or his designee, the commissioner of youth services or his designee, the commissioner of education or his designee, the commissioner of public health or his designee, the commissioner of public welfare or his designee, and twelve persons from the private sector, to be appointed by the governor, and consisting of at least one parent, one pediatrician, one child psychiatrist, one early childhood education specialist, one mental health specialist in child abuse, one district attorney, one teacher, one judge, one member of the Massachusetts bar, one criminal justice professional, one social worker from a private child welfare agency and one representative of a private charitable foundation. These individuals shall be appointed based upon their knowledge of and interest in child abuse prevention. In making appointments the governor shall seek to provide diverse geographical representation, and shall assure that each of the commonwealth's six human service regions, established by the executive office of human services, is represented by one of his appointments.
Each appointed member of the board shall serve for a term of three years, provided that of the initial appointees three shall serve for a term of three years, three shall serve for two years, and two shall serve for one year. A vacancy in an unexpired term shall be filled in the same manner as an original appointment. Any member shall be eligible for reappointment.
The governor shall designate a chairman from among one of the appointed members of the board. The board may elect other officers and committees as it deems appropriate.
The board shall employ an executive director, assistant executive director, secretary, and any other staff the board deems necessary in order to carry out the duties and responsibilities assigned to the board. Expenditures for salaries and for other administrative functions shall be approved by the board; provided, however, that such expenditures are within the limitations prescribed by section fifty of chapter ten.
The executive director of the board shall have at least two years of direct service experience in child welfare or child clinical work, and two years of experience in human service administration or policy making. The executive director shall have a master's degree in a related field.
The applicants for the position of executive director shall be screened by a subcommittee of the board, to be comprised of the chairman, the director of the office for children, and one appointed member. The subcommittee's recommendation for executive director shall be approved by the entire board by majority vote; provided, however, that the executive director shall not be confirmed without the approval of the governor. The executive director shall be accountable to the board at large.
Any member of the board, or its executive director, may be removed by the governor for willful misconduct or neglect of duty, for inability to perform the powers and duties of the board, or for improprieties under law.
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;
(4) to take appropriate measures to notify parties of the provisions and intent of legislation regarding the child abuse prevention board and the Child Abuse Prevention 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 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, with the exception of the local councils of the office for children. The awarding of any grant shall be by a majority vote of the membership.
SECTION 2. Chapter 10 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:-
Section 50. There shall be established upon the books of the commonwealth a separate fund to be known as the Child Abuse Prevention Fund, which shall be subject to appropriation and shall consist of revenues received from (1) state appropriations; (2) gifts, grants, and donations from public or private sources; (3) interest earned from the Child abuse prevention fund reserve account; (4) federal reimbursements, grants-in-aid, or other receipts on account of prevention activities; and (5) any other monies credited or transferred to the Child Abuse Prevention Fund from any other fund or source pursuant to law.
The state treasurer shall receive, deposit, and invest all monies transmitted to him under the provisions of this section in such manner that will insure the highest interest rate available consistent with safety of the fund.
The fund shall be administered by the state treasurer, subject to appropriation, in the following manner: up to ten per cent of funds deposited annually shall be allocated for the administration of the child abuse prevention board, established in section two hundred and two of chapter six, with the extent of the allocation to be determined by the board, and up to seventy per cent of the remaining annual deposits shall be allocated to the board for disbursement to preventive programs and initiatives. The remaining funds shall be used by the state treasurer for investment purposes in accordance with the provisions of this section. The earnings realized from these funds shall be allocated annually to the board.
The books and records of the fund shall be subject to an annual audit by the state auditor.