Congressman Steve Watkins (KS-02) filed a bipartisan amendment to H.R. 2480, the Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, in the House Education and Labor Committee, to ensure families are not separated solely due to their economic circumstance. The amendment was unanimously adopted. Congressman Steve Watkins issued the following statement:
"I applaud my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the House Education and Labor Committee for unanimously adopting my amendment to the Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. This amendment ensures state child protective service systems have the tools in place to know how to assess situations without considering poverty as a determining factor for removing children from families. This legislation goes a long ways in keeping families together and keeping children out of imminent harm."
Amendment text below:
Page 22, beginning line 21, amend paragraph (9) to read as follows:
"(9) Improving the general child protective system by developing, improving, and implementing safety assessment tools, providing that such tools, protocols, and systems shall not authorize the separation of any child from the legal parent or guardian of such child solely on the basis of poverty, or with-out a judicial order, except in the case of imminent harm.''.