House supports child abuse/neglect review commission

HELENA, Mont. - Montana Representatives have endorsed a bill that would create a commission to review child deaths and near deaths due to abuse and neglect and make recommendations for changes in child welfare policies and practices to prevent further injury and death.

Creating the 17-member child abuse and neglect review commission was the top recommendation of a commission appointed by Gov. Steve Bullock to review the Division of Child and Family Services.

Democratic Rep. Kathy Kelker of Billings said the measure would allow the review commission to gather information from state caseworkers along with doctors, law enforcement and community service groups to get a clearer picture of causes and possible interventions.

The House passed the bill 98-2 on second reading on Tuesday. A final vote was expected Wednesday.

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