SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE

 

 

February 28, 2005                                                                                                   Hearing Room D

3:00 P.M.                                                                                                                     Tapes  35 - 37

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Vicki Walker, Chair

Sen. Charles Starr, Vice-Chair

Sen. Ryan Deckert

Sen. Jeff Kruse

Sen. Bill Morrisette

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Marjorie Taylor, Committee Administrator

Dawn Tuso, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:        

Child Abuse Reporting – Informational Meeting

SB 749 – Public Hearing

SB 755 – Public Hearing

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 35, A

005

Chair Walker

Calls meeting to order at 3:00 p.m.

015

Chair Walker

Opens informational meeting on child abuse reporting.

CHILD ABUSE REPORTING – INFORMATIONAL MEETING

016

Jim Green

Oregon School Boards Association. Submits Oregon School Boards selected sample policy (EXHIBIT A). Suggests that this policy be adopted by all schools.

031

Chair Walker

Asks if there is a way to inquire among all of the districts as to whether or not they have a policy in place.

033

Green

Replies that the districts could be surveyed. Thinks that all of the districts have some sort of policy in place.

045

Green

Refers to (EXHIBIT A, Page 1). Says that bracketed information is optional language for school districts to use. Talks about administrative regulations.

072

Sen. Kruse

Asks if it would be appropriate for the school to receive a report from the Department of Human Services (DHS) stating whether or not the alleged allegations of a person were founded or unfounded.

081

Chair Walker

States that it is addressed in SB 749.

083

Sen. Kruse

Understands but would like Green’s opinion.

084

Green

Responds.

100

Ron Naso

Superintendent, North Clackamas School District. Submits child abuse reporting protocol for North Clackamas School District (EXHIBIT B). Mentions SB 749 and SB 755.  Says that some of the language in SB 749 and SB 755 is confusing. Discusses current abuse reporting.

142

Chair Walker

Asks for clarification on the mandatory reporting process. Asks if there are policies and what the policies are.

145

Naso

Replies yes and explains the policy.

146

Chair Walker

Asks if the law says that a person must contact DHS or law enforcement. Confirms that their policy says to report to DHS.

147

Naso

Replies yes.

165

Sally Leet

Principal, Oak Grove Elementary School. States that the mandatory reporter is the first person who has received information about possible abuse.

185

Chair Walker

Asks for further clarification of who the mandatory reporter is.

188

Sally Leet

Replies that the person that a child discloses information to first is the primary reporter.

196

Naso

Reports a feeling that if abuse is reported to the principal, that the principal will decide whether or not to make a report. Explains that they try to make it clear to the employees that that cannot happen.

203

Sally Leet

States that it is not the school’s job to judge the report. Explains that when a child discloses information, the school makes sure there is some validity to the disclosure but always does follow-up.

212

Naso

Clarifies that the 31 cases discussed earlier have not been cases of students or parents reporting teachers being abusive.

214

Sally Leet

Clarifies that the reports are primarily incidents that have happened in the community.

220

Sen. Morrisette

Asks who has the personal interaction with the student in situations where a person feels that a student may have been abused. 

233

Sally Leet

Replies that if a teacher notices something that could be reportable, the teacher might send a note, someone else will talk with the child, and that person will report the case.

249

Sen. Morrisette

Asks if it is part of their procedure.

253

Sally Leet

Replies yes.

255

Sen. Kruse

Asks if they could potentially be reporting cases regarding students that do not belong to their school. Asks how those situations are handled.

263

Sally Leet

Replies rarely. Gives example of the scenario described.

272

Sen. Kruse

Asks if they get feedback from DHS after a report has been made.

274

Sally Leet

Replies no.

282

Deputy Jeff Green

Deputy, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. Offers background information regarding experience in the field. Talks about his role in child abuse reporting.

375

Chair Walker

Mentions SB 372. Asks if there is a gap in mandatory reporting training.

406

Deputy Green

Replies that there is a gap in some aspects. States that DHS has a mandatory reporting video tape training resource.

TAPE 36, A

012

Chair Walker

Asks if he has ever reported someone for failure to report an abuse allegation. Asks if those cases have ever been prosecuted.

015

Deputy Green

Replies yes to both parts of the question.

019

Chair Walker

Asks if there is threat of suspension of a license for failure to report.

020

Deputy Green

Replies no.

023

Chair Walker

Asks if it is discretionary on the part of the police department.

025

Deputy Green

Replies yes.

026

Sally Leet

Talks about consistency in reporting abuse and the issue of school districts doing the actual investigations.

035

Chair Walker

Replies that she would like to hear Leet’s comments when the public hearing on SB 749 is opened.

040

Green

States that the number of abuse reports involving school employees is minimal.

047

Chair Walker

Asks if he feels that there are gaps in the law in the way that the policies are administered currently.

050

Green

Replies no.

065

Kathryn Nove

Director, Employee Relations, Salem-Keizer School District. Submits written testimony and abuse reporting policies and procedures (EXHIBIT C). Confirms that the district has adopted the policy as discussed by Jim Green and that the administrative rules have been adopted as well.

074

Chair Walker

Asks when the policies were adopted.

076

Nove

Replies that they have been in place for many years.

077

Chair Walker

Asks about date at the bottom of the page (EXHIBIT C, Page 2).

079

Nove

Replies that the date reflects the most current updates made.

080

Nove

Discusses policies in place. Talks about yearly mandatory training for all staff. States that the duty to report is the responsibility of the individual employee and that the administrators are available to help. Talks about school resource officers. Talks about reporting process.

156

Chair Walker

Asks if the schools do the investigation via the school resource officers.

163

Nove

Responds that the school resource officers do the investigation. Stresses that they are Salem police officers. Talks about training tool used for procedures and protocols for mandatory reporting.

197

Chair Walker

Asks if the training occurs every year.

200

Nove

Replies that the training is done every fall and that employees hired after the training receive the training as well.

228

Chair Walker

Asks what the school district is going to do differently now.

235

Nove

Replies that a committee will be meeting to discuss training ideas for parents and community members.

248

Chair Walker

Asks if it would be similar to the training that staff receives.

250

Nove

Replies yes but that it would probably be expanded to include types of abuse instances that could be encountered in the community.

262

Chair Walker

Asks if the students receive any training about abuse.

269

Nove

Replies that she is not prepared to provide information regarding student training. Offers to submit the information to the committee at a later date.

281

Chair Walker

Replies that she would like the information. Mentions some resources available to students.

295

Nove

Apologizes for not having the information today. Assures that training is happening but is not able to provide specific examples at this time.

300

Chair Walker

Asks Sally Leet about training available to students.

307

Sally Leet

Replies that, at North Clackamas High School, they have counselors that have received training and that they provide child abuse prevention programs. Explains in detail. Mentions kids on the block program aimed at younger children.

334

Chair Walker

Asks how often the training happens with the students.

336

Sally Leet

Replies that it usually happens before the holidays each year.

345

Chair Walker

Asks how long the training has been happening.

347

Sally Leet

Replies that the trainings have been happening since the district has had counselors available to provide the trainings.  

358

Chair Walker

States that it is a good example of why counselors are needed in the schools.

365

Una Swanson

Program Manager, Child Protective Services (CPS), DHS. Submits child welfare case worker flow chart for CPS assessment and pamphlet on what can be done about child abuse (EXHIBIT D). Talks about the job of child welfare screeners at DHS and the process they go through. Talks about what types of reports they respond to immediately.

TAPE 35, B

005

Swanson

Refers to question asked earlier regarding whether or not DHS reports back to the mandatory reporter after investigating the report. Discusses actions taken by DHS when abuse has been reported.

028

Chair Walker

Discusses alleged failings of DHS that have been reported. Mentions article where Una Swanson was quoted saying that she would like to work to educate mandatory reporters about their responsibility. Asks Swanson to speak to that.

039

Swanson

Responds by discussing mandatory reporting trainings done by DHS.  

061

Chair Walker

Asks if DHS would be interested in training the legislative assembly.

063

Swanson

Replies yes.

070

Chair Walker

Asks about the independent review being done on the child welfare system to look at what types of information should be included in case records. Says it is important in the issues being discussed today. Asks how a reporter knows that DHS has followed through with an investigation.

082

Swanson

Replies that the work done by the child protective services is guided by statute and by the Oregon administrative rules. States that one of the rules requires that the child protective services assessment worker report back to the person who made the report if they are able to find them.

102

Chair Walker

Asks if DHS asks the caller his or her name when the person makes a report.  

107

Swanson

Repeats question for clarification and replies yes.

122

Nove

Reports on trainings available to students at the schools.

161

Chair Walker

Closes informational meeting and opens a public hearing on SB 749 (EXHIBIT E).

SB 749 – PUBLIC HEARING

172

Julie McFarlane

Supervising Attorney, Juvenile Rights Project. Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT F). Testifies in opposition to SB 749 in its current form. Suggests amendment as listed in written testimony (EXHIBIT F, Page 4).

263

Chair Walker

States that it is a good suggestion. Thanks McFarlane for bringing it to the committee’s attention.

263

McFarlane

States that she did not receive a call back from the Department of Human Services (DHS) in the instance of reporting abuse.

273

Sen. Kruse

Asks how the percentage of the number of cases unreported is produced.

275

McFarlane

Explains in detail.

290

Sen. Kruse

Comments on the number.

307

Una Swanson

Program Manager, Child Protective Services, DHS. Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT G). Testifies in opposition to SB 749 in its current form. Discusses concerns with SB 749 in its current form.

375

Deputy Jeff Green

Deputy, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. Testifies in opposition to SB 749 in its current form. Describes training required to provide investigations and explains how the lack of training could harm the criminal investigation process.

TAPE 36, B

005

Chair Walker

Thinks that his comment is appropriate for an internal investigation. Believes that there should be an internal investigation to make sure that there is follow through. Asks if Deputy Green would be satisfied if the change was made.

014

Deputy Green

Replies that he would be pleased with the definition she described. Explains differences in detail.

022

Sen. Kruse

Feels that they are dealing with two different things now. Asks if there is a different protocol that districts use to deal with personnel matters.

026

Ron Naso

Superintendent, North Clackamas School District. Replies yes if it involves an employee and explains the process in detail.

052

Sen. Kruse

Says he would like to see examples of the district’s protocols.

059

Naso

Asks for clarification on section two, number four, on  line 17 of SB 749.

068

Chair Walker

Clarifies.  

072

Naso

Supports the comment made in SB 749 where it designates district employees and other persons but says that the phrase “other persons” needs to be better defined.

082

Sally Leet

Principal, Oak Grove Elementary School. Testifies on SB 749. Mentions the 31 reports discussed earlier.

088

Chair Walker

Asks if the resources available have helped their district be more proactive.

090

Sally Leet

Replies yes.

097

Naso

Comments that it only takes one incident to make everyone look at their policies.

109

Deputy Green

States that the term “investigation” may not be a good fit for SB 749.

116

Chair Walker

Asks if he would agree with the amendment that McFarlane recommended.

122

Naso

Replies yes.

125

Sen. Kruse

Asks if we are going to have a work session on SB 749 today.

126

Chair Walker

Replies no.

128

Sen. Kruse

Asks question regarding language in SB 749.

140

Chair Walker

Responds to question. Envisions that trainings be available through the schools.

152

Sen. Kruse

Comments on SB 749 and trainings. Says that there needs to be a balance and that proper training would help achieve that balance.

175

Chair Walker

Closes public hearing on SB 749 and opens public hearing on SB 755.

SB 755 – PUBLIC HEARING

178

Marjorie Taylor

Committee Administrator. Gives overview of SB 755 (EXHIBIT H).  Introduces submitted -1 amendment to SB 755 (EXHIBIT I).

193

Chair Walker

Explains reason for -1 amendment.

205

Ron Naso

Superintendent, North Clackamas School District. Testifies in opposition to SB 755 in its current form. Discusses concerns with SB 755.

248

Andrea Meyer

Legislative Director, American Civil Liberties Union - Oregon. Testifies on SB 755.

316

Chair Walker

Explains current problem and reason for SB 755.

350

Meyer

States that the schools must comply with the law.

366

Chair Walker

Asks for a copy of a case law and the citation referenced.

371

Meyer

Replies that it would make a change. Explains changes. Continues to discuss concerns with the language of SB 755.

423

Chair Walker

Reports that the -1 amendment addresses the issue.

TAPE 37, A

001

Sen. Kruse

Asks, if a person is convicted of a felony, is the disclosure of the trial and findings available through the judicial system.

006

Chair Walker

Replies not necessarily and explains situation that occurred.

022

Sen. Kruse

Asks if it is focused on post conviction.

024

Chair Walker

Replies yes. Believes that anyone should be able to look at the files.

031

Meyer

Agrees.

The following prepared testimony is submitted for the record without public testimony:

 

William Brandt

Submits written testimony on SB 755 (EXHIBIT J).

035

Chair Walker

Reports that there will  not be a work session on SB 749 or SB 755. Closes the public hearing on SB 755 and adjourns the meeting at 5:04 p.m.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. Child abuse reporting, sample policy, Jim Green, 3 pp
  2. Child abuse reporting, protocol, Ron Naso, 2 pp
  3. Child abuse reporting, policies and procedures, Kathryn Nove, 21 pp
  4. Child abuse reporting, flow chart and brochure, Una Swanson, 57 pp
  5. SB 749, staff, 4 pp
  6. SB 749, written testimony, Julie McFarlane, 4 pp
  7. SB 749, written testimony, Una Swanson, 2 pp
  8. SB 755, staff, 3 pp
  9. SB 755, proposed -1 amendment, staff, 2 pp
  10. SB 755, written testimony, William Brandt, 2 pp