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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A TASK FORCE TO PROTECT MASSACHUSETTS CHILDREN AGAINST CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:

         There shall be established a task force on child sexual abuse prevention, hereinafter referred to as the task force.  The task force shall be co-chaired by the child advocate and the executive director of the Children’s Trust Fund and shall include: the chairs of the joint committee on children, families and persons with disabilities; the house minority leader, or a designee; the senate minority leader, or a designee; the commissioner of public health, or a designee; the commissioner of early education and care, or a designee; the commissioner of children and families, or a designee; the executive director of the Massachusetts office of victim assistance, or a designee; the executive director of the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, or a designee; and representatives from each of the following child and youth service providers and advocacy organizations, who shall be appointed by the governor: the Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs, Inc., the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the Massachusetts Children's Alliance, Inc., Massachusetts Citizens for Children, Inc., the Children's League of Massachusetts, Inc., The Mass Mentoring Partnership, Inc., the Girl Scouts, the MA Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs, Massachusetts Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, the Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership, Inc. and the Massachusetts Adolescent Sexual Offender Coalition, Inc.  The governor may appoint additional representatives from agencies serving children, law enforcement, religious organizations and others as necessary to fulfill the purpose of the task force.
         The task force shall develop guidelines and tools for the development of sexual abuse prevention and intervention plans by organizations serving children and youths.  The task force shall recommend policies and procedures for implementation and oversight of the guidelines as well as strategies for incentivizing such organizations to develop and implement sexual abuse prevention and intervention plans.  The task force shall also develop a 5-year plan for using community education and other strategies to increase public awareness about child sexual abuse, including how to recognize signs, minimize risk and act on suspicions or disclosures of such abuse.
         The task force shall submit its recommendations to the governor, the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate and the chairs of the joint committee on children, families and persons with disabilities on or before December 31, 2015.

Approved, January 2, 2015.