Senator Tim Kennedy and Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes are pursuing major changes to reform Child Protective Services in Erie County and across the state. Their CPS reform legislation comes in response to recent child fatalities that have deeply affected the entire Western New York community.
Their proposed reforms include:
- Ensuring Child Protective Services workers are properly trained for their demanding and challenging work.
- New accountability by strengthening involvement of mandated reporters in CPS investigations.
- Reforming excessive corporal punishment statutes. Ensuring stronger, deeper investigations when violent, extreme and senseless corporal punishment is reported.
- Reforming protocols for the interviewing of children in suspected abuse cases to ensure stronger, more accurate and more thorough investigations.
- Strengthening the statewide child abuse hotline to track repeat reports of abuse.
- Improving investigations and ensuring accountability by requiring photographic evidence be gathered during caseworker visits.
To sign the petition in support of CPS reform, visit this link. Adding your name to this effort will be critical to helping the lawmakers get this new legislation passed this year.
With this reform legislation, Kennedy and Peoples-Stokes envision a CPS system that is more responsive, accountable, transparent and effective. These reforms were largely prompted by the tragic deaths of two Buffalo children, five-year-old Eain Brooks and 10-year-old Abdifatah Mohamud, which shed light on serious gaps and inadequacies within the system of Child Protective Services locally and statewide.