Working to transform the child welfare system.

HB 1717: Relating to services for victims of sexual assault

HB 1717 changes the language of the funding for the (federal) grant program that provides services to victims of sexual assault to include funding for children’s advocacy centers (child-focused facilities that coordinates a multidisciplinary process for the investigation, prosecution, and treatment of sexual and other types of child abuse). The grant application for children’s advocacy centers must include at a minimum, the geographic area from which the victims to be served are expected to come from; and assurance that the organization is in good standing with the state chapter of children’s advocacy centers.

Where a nationally accredited children’s advocacy center exists, if the victim of a sexual assault is under the age of 13, a child advocacy multidisciplinary team representative can be assigned to ensure coordination of the victim’s medical, legal, and therapeutic response services.

Lastly, child protective services must work collaboratively with law enforcement, prosecutors, medical professionals, and other professionals to improve responses to and services for sexual assault victims.