CSSB 82(HES): "An Act relating to child protection, including forensic interviews and transportation of children; and providing for an effective date."

00 CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 82(HES) 01 "An Act relating to child protection, including forensic interviews and transportation of 02 children; and providing for an effective date." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section 05 to read: 06 LEGISLATIVE INTENT. (a) The legislature recognizes the serious need for 07 adequate assessment of children who are victims of sexual abuse and serious physical abuse. 08 (b) Child advocacy centers are desirable for promoting a timely, coordinated, and 09 multi-disciplinary approach for the investigation, treatment, and prosecution of child abuse 10 cases that enhance the safety of children residing in the state, minimize trauma experienced by 11 children and families, and hold more offenders accountable. 12 (c) The cost of failing to thoroughly assess and treat abused children is too high. It is 13 the purpose of this Act to help ensure that, whenever possible, children who are reasonably 14 suspected to have been subjected to sexual abuse or to serious physical abuse receive a

01 skilled, complete, and therapeutic medical assessment and videotaped forensic interview at a 02 child advocacy center. 03 * Sec. 2. AS 47.17.064 is amended by adding new subsections to read: 04 (c) In addition to the authority provided in (a) of this section, the department 05 may, without the permission of the parents, guardian, or custodian, conduct or 06 authorize a person to conduct a forensic interview of a child who the department has 07 reasonable cause to suspect has suffered sexual abuse or physical harm as a result of 08 child abuse or neglect if the department has documented the grounds for establishing 09 reasonable cause. The forensic interview authorized by this subsection may be 10 conducted only by the department or by a peace officer or professional staff of a child 11 advocacy center authorized by the department. The department shall notify the 12 parents, guardian, or custodian of a child as soon as possible after taking action under 13 this subsection with regard to the child. 14 (d) The department may transport or authorize a third party to transport a child 15 for photographs or a medical or radiological examination under (a) of this section or a 16 forensic interview under (c) of this section. Transportation of a child under this 17 section does not constitute the child's being taken into emergency custody of the state 18 under AS 47.10.142. 19 (e) In this section, 20 (1) "child advocacy center" means a facility with a child-focused, 21 community partnership committed to a multidisciplinary team approach that includes 22 representatives from law enforcement, child protection, criminal prosecution, victim 23 advocacy, and the medical and mental health fields, who collaborate and assist in 24 investigations of allegations of sexual or other abuse, and neglect, of children; 25 (2) "forensic interview" means a structured interview that employs 26 objective and age-appropriate questioning techniques to elicit accurate and reliable 27 facts that may be used in court proceedings; 28 (3) "peace officer" has the meaning given in AS 11.81.900. 29 * Sec. 3. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 30 read: 31 REVISOR'S INSTRUCTION. The revisor of statutes is instructed to change the

01 heading of AS 14.17.064 from "Photographs and x-rays" to "Photographs and other 02 authorized procedures." 03 * Sec. 4. This Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).