Representative Kennedy Kent Announces New Protections For Ohio's Children
Gov. John Kasich Signs Bill Mandating Peace Officers Across Ohio To Report Child Abuse and Neglect

COLUMBUS—State Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Central Ohio) issued the following statement regarding signing of her first bill as a freshman legislator into law yesterday, December 19, 2018, by Gov. John Kasich:

“I am excited to have had Governor Kasich sign the bill that I, and others, have put so much into getting passed for the protection of our children. My motivation for introducing this bill was, in part, because of my own experience advocating on behalf of a Columbus family with five very young children between the ages of 8 months and 8 years of age. Police were frequently called to the children's home in response to domestic violence incidents. However, although officers probably had reasonable cause to suspect the children may be suffering or facing a threat of suffering abuse and/or neglect, they were not mandated to contact child protective services.

Making peace officers mandated reporters when they see or suspect abuse and neglect will enable officers to report these early warning signals to social service agencies, so the agencies can act before too much harm is inflicted. Every child has a right to a safe childhood and a life free from violence. Identifying and responding to these cases early and getting provisions in place is extremely important to the overall health and future of the child. Child abuse and neglect can affect a child’s DNA, thus affecting generations to come.”

The bill becomes law becomes effective 90 days from the date of the governor’s signing.

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