Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

02/12/2018 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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01:32:38 PM Start
01:33:06 PM Presentation: Alaska Children's Justice Act Task Force
02:56:56 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: Alaska Children's Justice Act Task TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                       February 12, 2018                                                                                        
                           1:32 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator John Coghill, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                            
Senator Pete Kelly                                                                                                              
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION: ALASKA CHILDREN'S JUSTICE ACT TASK FORCE                                                                          
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
JOHANNA SEBOLD, CJATF Member and Assistant Attorney General                                                                     
Civil Division                                                                                                                  
Child Protection Section                                                                                                        
Department of Law                                                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Participated in the Alaska Children's                                                                     
Justice Act Task Force presentation.                                                                                            
JARED W. PARRISH, PhD, CJATF member and Senior Epidemiologist                                                                   
Maternal Child Health Epidemiology Unit                                                                                         
Division of Public Health                                                                                                       
Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS)                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Participated in the Alaska Children's                                                                     
Justice Act Task Force presentation.                                                                                            
KIM GUAY, CJATF Member and Social Services Program Administrator                                                                
Office of Children's Services                                                                                                   
Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS)                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Participated   in  the  Alaska   Children's                                                            
Justice Act Task Force presentation.                                                                                            
NICHELLE BEGICH MAULK, CJATF member                                                                                             
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Participated   in  the  Alaska   Children's                                                            
Justice Act Task Force presentation.                                                                                            
PAM KARALUNAS, CJATF member and Chapter Coordinator                                                                             
Child Advocacy Centers                                                                                                          
Alaska Children's Trust                                                                                                         
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Participated   in  the  Alaska   Children's                                                            
Justice Act Task Force presentation.                                                                                            
MIKE HOPPER, PhD, taskforce member and psychologist                                                                             
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Participated   in  the  Alaska   Children's                                                            
Justice Act Task Force presentation.                                                                                            
DR B. J. COOPS, MD, task force member and Pediatric Intensivist                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Participated   in  the  Alaska   Children's                                                            
Justice Act Task Force presentation.                                                                                            
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:32:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   JOHN  COGHILL   called  the   Senate  Judiciary   Standing                                                            
Committee meeting  to order  at 1:32 p.m.  Present at the  call to                                                              
order  were Senators  Wielechowski, Costello,  and Chair  Coghill.                                                              
Senator Kelly arrived shortly.                                                                                                  
^Presentation: Alaska Children's Justice Act Task Force                                                                         
     PRESENTATION: ALASKA CHILDREN'S JUSTICE ACT TASK FORCE                                                                 
1:33:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  announced the business  before the  committee would                                                              
be to hear from the Alaska Children's Justice Act Task Force.                                                                   
1:33:45 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHANNA  SEBOLD,  Assistant  Attorney   General,  Civil  Division,                                                              
Child Protection  Section, Department  of Law, introduced  herself                                                              
and  stated  that  she  was appearing  on  behalf  of  the  Alaska                                                              
Children's Justice Act Task Force.                                                                                              
1:34:05 PM                                                                                                                    
JARED  W.  PARRISH, PhD,  Senior  Epidemiologist,  Maternal  Child                                                              
Health Epidemiology  Unit, Division  of Public Health,  Department                                                              
of  Health   and  Social   Services  (DHSS),  Anchorage,   Alaska,                                                              
introduced himself  and stated that he was appearing  on behalf of                                                              
the Alaska Children's Justice Act Task Force.                                                                                   
CHAIR COGHILL asked  the affiliated audience members  to introduce                                                              
themselves  and the  disciplines  they represent.  [The names  are                                                              
listed on slide 4 of the PowerPoint.]                                                                                           
MS.  SEBOLD stated  that  the purpose  in  requesting the  meeting                                                              
today  is to  provide  information that  may  help legislators  as                                                              
they make decisions this session.                                                                                               
CHAIR  COGHILL  commented  on  the broad  expertise  of  the  task                                                              
force, the  legislature's focus on  child wellbeing, the  range of                                                              
bills  taskforce  members  will   follow  this  session,  and  the                                                              
importance of context.                                                                                                          
MS. SEBOLD  stated that the Alaska  CJATF mission is  to "Identify                                                              
areas where  improvement is  needed in  the statewide  response to                                                              
child  maltreatment,   particularly   child  sexual  abuse,   make                                                              
recommendations and take action to improve the system."                                                                         
1:38:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KELLY joined the committee.                                                                                             
DR. PARRISH advised  that he would use some  terms interchangeably                                                              
when he talked about  child abuse and neglect in  Alaska. The term                                                              
child abuse  is often reflective  of child maltreatment,  which is                                                              
an  all-encompassing  term  that includes  child  physical  abuse,                                                              
sexual abuse,  mental injury,  and neglect.  He acknowledged  that                                                              
child abuse has become an all-encompassing term as well.                                                                        
He agreed  with Senator Coghill  that context matters.  It matters                                                              
with data  too. He said  that as a  data producer he  is sensitive                                                              
to perceptions,  how people make observations, and  how statistics                                                              
are utilized to  summarize observations to inform,  contradict, or                                                              
reframe  our  perceptions,  because   they're  based  on  personal                                                              
understanding  and knowledge. Numbers  need to  be put  in context                                                              
and  evaluated  as  to  whether   they  make  sense  or  not.  "We                                                              
generally  value  our  own  understanding   and  then  we  try  to                                                              
reference  that data  within  it." He  displayed  two cartoons  to                                                              
illustrate the  point. Any way you  look at a picture  or data may                                                              
be  correct but  reframing it  from another  perspective may  help                                                              
you understand  the context  of the issue  a little better.  It is                                                              
also important  to utilize multiple  data points when you  look at                                                              
child abuse,  neglect, or maltreatment  because the issue  is very                                                              
difficult to measure.                                                                                                           
He presented  three estimates  of disease burden  and what  may be                                                              
describing  the issue. These  are the  unique children  the Office                                                              
of  Children's   Services  (OCS)  receives  that   were  reported,                                                              
screened in,  or substantiated from  2008-2015. He noted  that the                                                              
prevalence  of children reported,  and children  screened  in have                                                              
significantly  trended upward  while the  number of  substantiated                                                              
cases remained  relatively flat.  He said  you could start  making                                                              
hypotheses based on  this little bit of data,  but clearly someone                                                              
noticed something  and called the  Office of Children's  Services.                                                              
He noted  the html  at the bottom  of the  slide and advised  that                                                              
the  data  are publicly  accessible  and  could  be queried  in  a                                                              
variety of different ways.                                                                                                      
CHAIR  COGHILL noted  recent  discussions  on mandatory  reporting                                                              
and asked  if the data  shows that a  broad law makes  people more                                                              
cautious and leads to more reporting.                                                                                           
DR. PARRISH  said the national research  on the utility  of having                                                              
a  broad  versus narrow  law  is  mixed.  What  is known  is  that                                                              
reports underestimate what people self-report.                                                                                  
CHAIR  COGHILL  asked  if  OCS has  policy  for  substantiating  a                                                              
DR. PARRASH deferred the question to Kim Guay.                                                                                  
1:43:50 PM                                                                                                                    
KIM   GUAY,    CJATF   Member   and   Social    Services   Program                                                              
Administrator,  Office  of  Children's   Services,  Department  of                                                              
Health and  Social Services  (DHSS), Anchorage, Alaska,  confirmed                                                              
that the  department has policy  regarding what is  substantiated.                                                              
If  the report  is about  risk  of harm,  it's  harm that  occurs.                                                              
Workers  use  a   tool  to  get  to  a  decision   of  whether  to                                                              
substantiate  or   not.  The  department   modified  how   it  was                                                              
substantiating  about three  years  ago, which  could explain  why                                                              
that measure is stagnant.                                                                                                       
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  her  interpretation  of reports  that                                                              
are up 30 percent,  screen ins that are up almost  50 percent, and                                                              
substantiated that are flat to slightly down over the timeframe.                                                                
MS. GUAY attributed  it to the policy change three  years ago that                                                              
gave staff more  direction and concrete definitions.  They defined                                                              
both risk  of harm  and harm and  are trying  to be more  concrete                                                              
when looking at making a substantiated finding. W                                                                               
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if  she is  seeing that the  reporting                                                              
process  is being  abused, that  it's too  stringent, and/or  that                                                              
OCS is understaffed.                                                                                                            
MS. GUAY said  she believes there is  a lot more going  on than is                                                              
being  reported.  Typically,  the Office  of  Children's  Services                                                              
screens in 51 percent  of the calls that come in  and the national                                                              
average   is  55   percent.  When   an   investigator  goes   out,                                                              
maltreatment  and   safety  are  also  considerations.   Both  are                                                              
important but if  there is a safety issue, the  child is generally                                                              
removed from the  parents' care. That has increased  the number of                                                              
children in care.                                                                                                               
DR. PARRISH turned  to the issue of Adverse  Childhood Experiences                                                              
(ACE) and  described a  collaborative study in  the late  1990s by                                                              
Kaiser  Permanente  and  the  Centers   for  Disease  Control  and                                                              
Prevention (CDC).  A homogeneous  group of educated  older-middle-                                                              
aged people  who belonged to  a large HMO  were asked a  series of                                                              
questions  about  experiences  of  abuse,  neglect  and  household                                                              
disfunction  before age 18.  A surprising  finding was  that about                                                              
two-thirds of that  population reported experiencing  at least one                                                              
of  the stressors  that would  create a  negative environment  for                                                              
health and development.                                                                                                         
The researchers  then looked at  health outcomes. They  found that                                                              
the  greater the  accumulation of  adverse childhood  experiences,                                                              
the more  likely an individual was  to have a variety  of negative                                                              
health consequences.  That includes things like drug  use, cancer,                                                              
early  death,  alcoholism,  smoking, stroke,  and  depression.  He                                                              
said  it's becoming  more  knowledge based  that  what happens  in                                                              
childhood is potentially  the etiology for what happens  to you in                                                              
CHAIR COGHILL asked him to review the chart on slide 9.                                                                         
DR. PARRISH  explained that  the X axis  represents the  number of                                                              
adverse experiences  the individual  reported. Only 33  percent of                                                              
the  participants  reported  experiencing   no  adverse  childhood                                                              
1:49:56 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
1:50:27 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL reconvened the meeting.                                                                                           
SENATOR KELLY leaned back and asked an inaudible question.                                                                      
DR.  PARRISH explained  that the  adults who  participated in  the                                                              
survey interpreted  the questions based on their  recall childhood                                                              
of  experiences. The  questions  have remained  constant and  have                                                              
been asked  in Alaska through  the behavioral risk  factor survey.                                                              
This is separate  from the OCS  data that is measuring  the number                                                              
of   children  that   are   being   reported,  screened   in,   or                                                              
He directed  attention to the URL  on slide 11 that  provides data                                                              
on the incidence  and types of adverse childhood  experiences that                                                              
surveyed  adults recall.  The bar  chart shows  that 33.8  percent                                                              
reported  substance  abuse  in   the  home,  31  percent  reported                                                              
emotional  abuse, 31.7  percent  reported the  loss  of a  parent,                                                              
21.9 percent  reported mental  illness in  the home, 19.1  percent                                                              
reported physical  abuse, 18.7  witnessed domestic violence,  14.8                                                              
percent  reported  sexual  abuse,  and 11.5  percent  reported  an                                                              
incarcerated  family member. Importantly,  individuals  who report                                                              
four or  move ACEs are  49 percent more  likely to  be unemployed,                                                              
274 percent  more likely  to be  unable to  work, 92 percent  more                                                              
likely  to earn  less  than  $20,000 annually,  and  significantly                                                              
more likely to report poor physical and mental health.                                                                          
1:54:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked about  cause  and effect.  "Does  the                                                              
income  lead  to the  adverse  childhood  experience or  does  the                                                              
adverse childhood experience lead to these things?"                                                                             
DR.  PARRISH said  it's difficult  to untangle  the etiology  when                                                              
the outcome and  exposure are measured at the same  time, but it's                                                              
probably a mixture.                                                                                                             
CHAIR COGHILL  commented  that increasing  the income level  isn't                                                              
likely to  have much effect  if the person  reported four  or more                                                              
adverse childhood experiences.                                                                                                  
DR. PARRISH agreed  and added that there are a lot  of things that                                                              
are  indicators  of  a relationship.  A  strong  relationship  the                                                              
literature  has  validated  is that  unmarried  mothers  are  more                                                              
likely  to  have  kids  who are  involved  in  the  child  welfare                                                              
system. It's  an indicator of  stress and identifies  a population                                                              
that needs support.                                                                                                             
SENATOR  COSTELLO asked  1) if  any  studies show  a link  between                                                              
adverse childhood  experiences and  performance in school,  and 2)                                                              
if  the   epidemiology  unit   provides  recommendations   to  the                                                              
education community about trauma informed care.                                                                                 
DR.  PARRISH  deferred  the  question  to  the  education  expert,                                                              
Nichelle Begich Maulk.                                                                                                          
1:58:08 PM                                                                                                                    
NICHELLE BEGICH  MAULK, Children's Justice Act Task  Force Member,                                                              
stated that  she is the principal  of three schools and  just last                                                              
week  the  Anchorage   School  District  met  to   discuss  trauma                                                              
informed care and  how to get the information out  to the schools,                                                              
teachers, and staff.  The non-traditional schools  were brought to                                                              
the table first.  Youth mental-health-first-aid training  has also                                                              
been  introduced  throughout the  district  to give  teachers  and                                                              
staff another tool to use.                                                                                                      
SENATOR  COSTELLO  asked if  she  would  share which  schools  she                                                              
works with, and  if it   possible for more state  agencies to have                                                              
a presence in the schools.                                                                                                      
MS. BEGICH-MACH  advised that she  is the principal  at McLaughlin                                                              
Youth Center, New  Path High School in the  Anchorage Correctional                                                              
Facility and  a satellite at  Highland Mountain, Vale  High School                                                              
and a  satellite at Covenant House,  and the night  school program                                                              
called Aspire. She  said she is a proponent of  using resources in                                                              
combination because teaching is about more than academics.                                                                      
2:01:32 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  PARRISH added  that ample  research  indicates that  children                                                              
who  experience   multiple  adverse  childhood   experiences  have                                                              
poorer educational achievement.                                                                                                 
He  turned   the  discussion  to   the  concept  of   life  course                                                              
perspective,   which   is   a    multidisciplinary   approach   to                                                              
understanding that  early development and childhood  can determine                                                              
the overall health trajectory.                                                                                                  
He  explained  that  at  birth there  are  things  that  lift  and                                                              
support  a  person   in  developing  a  healthy   lifestyle.  This                                                              
includes   things   like  parent   education,   emotional   health                                                              
literacy,   age  appropriate   discipline,   and  involvement   in                                                              
preschool. At  the same time, there  are deficits that  reduce the                                                              
overall health  trajectory. This could  be things like  being born                                                              
into  poverty,  lack of  health  care  services, and  exposure  to                                                              
toxic  stress.  Because  kids  are   born  into  different  health                                                              
trajectories based  on the family situation at  birth, safety nets                                                              
developed  early  on to  bolster  families  and lift  the  overall                                                              
health trajectory  is very important.  Research continues  to show                                                              
that early  intervention has  a larger  potential effect.  He drew                                                              
an  analogy to  an airplane  that  is off  one degree  on a  short                                                              
flight versus  one degree  over a  long distance. Having  multiple                                                              
touches through  the child's  life course  can potentially  reduce                                                              
the  overall mistarget  of the  trajectory. From  a public  health                                                              
perspective,  it's important  to  measure the  lifetime burden  of                                                              
exposure  to adverse  events  that occur  at  different stages  of                                                              
development  as opposed  to  only asking  adults  how they  recall                                                              
their childhood. This provides another context.                                                                                 
DR.  PARRISH  discussed  leveraging  the power  of  the  federally                                                              
funded  Alaska   Pregnancy  Risk   Assessment  Monitoring   System                                                              
(Alaska PRAMS). This  survey samples about one in  six live births                                                              
asking mothers  about their  pre-birth, birth,  and shortly  after                                                              
birth  experiences  related to  health  care, substance  use,  and                                                              
exposure to different  trauma. It is administered  bimodally three                                                              
to  six  months  after  the  live   birth.  Mothers  that  respond                                                              
implicitly  consent  to  have their  information  integrated  with                                                              
other information  the department has gathered on  them. The 2009-                                                              
2011 respondents  from  the Alaska  PRAMS survey  are linked  to a                                                              
variety of  different data sources  within the health  department,                                                              
including  child welfare.  The goal  is  to follow  this group  to                                                              
develop aggregated  information and patterns to inform  and target                                                              
prevention  efforts  to utilize  the  limited resources  the  most                                                              
effectively. He explained that the department also has a three-                                                                 
year  follow  up  study  called   Alaska  Childhood  Understanding                                                              
Behaviors  Survey  (Alaska  CUBS)  that  can  be  integrated  with                                                              
Alaska PRAMS.  Oregon has a  two-year follow-up survey  which will                                                              
allow for comparability.                                                                                                        
2:07:37 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  PARRISH reviewed  the  Alaska  Longitudinal  Child Abuse  and                                                              
Neglect  Linkage project  (ALCANLink)  that  followed a  2009-2011                                                              
birth cohort over  their life. It shows that before  age eight, 32                                                              
percent  will  have   at  least  one  report  to   the  Office  of                                                              
Children's  Services (OCS),  27  percent will  have  at least  one                                                              
report   screened   in,  and   10   percent  will   experience   a                                                              
substantiated  report to  OCS. Considered  in context,  he said  a                                                              
lot  more   kids  potentially  need   services  than   the  annual                                                              
prevalence estimate  leads us to believe. The graphic  on slide 15                                                              
indicates  a lot  of reports  to OCS  during kids'  first year  of                                                              
life.  He  acknowledged  that  the  sharp  upward  trajectory  may                                                              
reflect  exposure  to  more  mandated   reporters  at  that  time.                                                              
Another  bump at  about age  six  may again  indicate exposure  to                                                              
mandated  reporters.  He  reiterated that  these  numbers  provide                                                              
another perspective, and they're higher than anticipated.                                                                       
2:09:24 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  PARRISH  turned   to  slide  17  titled  ALCANLink   -  crude                                                              
proportion  by  birth cohort.  He  explained  that he  looked  the                                                              
2008-2015  Alaska PRAMS  cohort  to see  what  proportion of  kids                                                              
were  reported to  child welfare  before  age two.  The data  over                                                              
time showed that  kids born in Alaska have a  fairly constant risk                                                              
of having contact  with the child welfare system.  This data could                                                              
be  used to  start developing  hypotheses  on things  we could  be                                                              
doing to support families a little more, he said.                                                                               
He  explained that  he  put the  three  data  sources together  to                                                              
discuss  maltreatment  burden  in   context.  One  is  the  annual                                                              
prevalence  estimate  reported  to child  welfare  among  children                                                              
ages 0-17  during the years 2012-2015.  In an average  year, about                                                              
10 percent  of the child population  is reported to the  Office of                                                              
Children's  Services in  Alaska.  The second  data  source is  the                                                              
cumulative incidence  or lifetime burden measure.  Over their life                                                              
course  before age  eight, 32 percent  of kids  will have  contact                                                              
with  child welfare.  The  adult  prevalence data  reflects  adult                                                              
recollections  of experiences  before  age 18.  It  shows that  34                                                              
percent  reported having  experienced  physical  or sexual  abuse,                                                              
physical neglect,  or emotional neglect.  He noted that  the adult                                                              
prevalence number  should match the cumulative incidence  a little                                                              
DR.  PARRISH  explained  that he's  focusing  on  reports  because                                                              
public  health is  interested in  identifying  sentinel events  it                                                              
can intervene  on. Research continues  to show that  children that                                                              
experience a  report to OCS look  much more like kids  that have a                                                              
substantiated  report to  OCS than  kids that  don't experience  a                                                              
report over their lifetime.                                                                                                     
CHAIR  COGHILL  expressed  interest  in learning  more  about  the                                                              
experiences of abuse  and neglect that adults recall  during their                                                              
DR.  PARRISH  said the  next  slide  breaks out  the  maltreatment                                                              
burden by type - neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse.                                                                     
SENATOR COSTELLO  asked if he had  the information broken  down by                                                              
region  or if  he could  comment  on whether  the maltreatment  is                                                              
occurring in certain regions.                                                                                                   
DR.  PARRISH  said  there are  disparities  between  northern  and                                                              
southwest regions when compared to Anchorage.                                                                                   
SENATOR  COSTELLO  asked  if  he  had  any  interaction  with  the                                                              
Violent  Crimes  Compensation  Board. Their  recent  report  shows                                                              
that  children in  rural areas  experience a  higher incidence  of                                                              
violence than children living in more populated areas.                                                                          
DR. PARRISH said  he's aware of the board and he's  trying to look                                                              
at regional analyses  a little more, but the challenge  is a heavy                                                              
2:16:45 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  PARRISH turned  to  the data  on household  dysfunction  that                                                              
measures  things that  are  similar to  those  measured on  PRAMS.                                                              
Mothers  are  asked   if  12  months  prior  to   the  birth  they                                                              
experienced  stressors like  homelessness,  a husband/partner  who                                                              
went to  jail, being in  a fight, loss of  a job even  though they                                                              
wanted to  keep working,  husband/partner  lost their job,  argued                                                              
with husband/partner  more  than usual, close  family member  very                                                              
sick or  hospitalized, separated/divorced,  moved to  new address,                                                              
husband/partner  said  they  didn't  want  the  pregnancy,  unpaid                                                              
bills,  someone   close  had  problems  with   drinking/drugs,  or                                                              
someone close died.                                                                                                             
He  explained that  he looked  at household  dysfunction before  a                                                              
child is  born and the relationship  with child welfare.  The data                                                              
shows that the  risk of contact with child welfare  increases with                                                              
the number  of stressors reported.  They found that 21  percent of                                                              
mothers  reported experiencing  four or  more of  these events  12                                                              
months prior  to the  birth, and  one of every  two kids  that are                                                              
born to  these moms  will have  a report  to child welfare  before                                                              
age  eight.  Clearly,  prevention  is  something  to  think  about                                                              
before a child is born, he said.                                                                                                
2:19:02 PM                                                                                                                    
DR. PARRISH said  this is a complex  issue and there are  a lot of                                                              
factors that  could put a family  in need of extra  support. There                                                              
are  protective factors  and protective  factor killers.  Children                                                              
born to  mothers who  reported completing  less  than 12 years  of                                                              
education  are  3.5  times  as likely  to  be  reported  to  child                                                              
welfare before  age eight,  so education  is a protective  factor.                                                              
Intimate  partner  violence  is  a protective  factor  killer.  If                                                              
intimate partner  violence is  reported among  the low  risk group                                                              
of mothers  with more than  12 years of  education, the risk  of a                                                              
report to  OCS is  3.9 times  as high.  Education is an  extremely                                                              
important  factor but the  Family Educational  Rights and  Privacy                                                              
Act  (FERPA)  is  a  data  barrier  to  sharing  information.  The                                                              
ability to combine  the data could help inform  decisions a little                                                              
CHAIR COGHILL  said most of  us know that  education will  be part                                                              
of the solution, but the question is how.                                                                                       
DR. PARRISH  agreed that  the devil  is in  the details.  He added                                                              
that  the  Division   of  Public  Health  is  trying   to  develop                                                              
resources and data sources to inform decisions.                                                                                 
2:23:49 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  SEBOLD   reported  that  the   annual  cost  to   Alaska  for                                                              
substantiated  reports   of  child  abuse  is  $82   million.  She                                                              
clarified that  the task force didn't  have the answer  but wanted                                                              
to provide  information that the  legislature could  consider when                                                              
allocating money.  She said  this is bleak  in the sense  that any                                                              
child who suffers  from maltreatment is one too  many, but healing                                                              
is  possible, and  brains can  be retrained.  There are  a lot  of                                                              
people  in the  community  to help  build  resilience and  protect                                                              
children. She  noted that the CJATF  has put together  a mandatory                                                              
reporter  program that  is  available on  the  OCS, Department  of                                                              
Health  and  Social Services  website.  The  task force  has  also                                                              
drafted  laws to  protect  children  from starvation  and  serious                                                              
physical abuse,  protection of child interviews at  child advocacy                                                              
centers,  added  coaches  to  the  list  of  mandatory  reporters,                                                              
developed  multidisciplinary  team  guidelines for  responding  to                                                              
child abuse  cases in  Alaska, and held  rural trainings  on child                                                              
sexual  abuse.  In  2016  CJATF   was  invited  to  join  the  BIA                                                              
providers conference  and they  spent a lot  of time  listening to                                                              
the  ways communities  are  solving  child abuse  problems.  These                                                              
were tribal  leaders who were able  to identify problems  and find                                                              
solutions.  She   observed  that  community  members   may  be  an                                                              
untapped  resource; it  doesn't cost  anything to  call for  their                                                              
CHAIR  COGHILL  said it's  a  community  leadership issue  to  get                                                              
people to  speak up and  provide a safe  place to go  once someone                                                              
does speak up. He  added that he was surprised and  pleased at the                                                              
AFN  Convention last  year  when  young people  got  up and  spoke                                                              
boldly to their elders.                                                                                                         
MS. SEBOLD  agreed  that it takes  boldness and  bravery to  share                                                              
stories like  that. She continued  to describe CJATF's  responsive                                                              
approach to child  maltreatment. She listed child  abuse training,                                                              
scholarships   for   the  Child   Maltreatment   Conference,   and                                                              
providing information to the legislature.                                                                                       
CHAIR COGHILL invited  Ms. Karalunas to talk about  Child Advocacy                                                              
Centers (CACs).                                                                                                                 
2:29:57 PM                                                                                                                    
PAM KARALUNAS,  task force member  and Chapter Coordinator,  Child                                                              
Advocacy  Centers, Alaska  Children's Trust,  reported that  there                                                              
are  12 CACs  in the  state and  6 are  accredited. She  explained                                                              
that  these centers  are primarily  for victims  of sexual  abuse;                                                              
about one-third  of the children  seen are  age six and  under and                                                              
about one-third  are young boys.  She displayed the roster  of the                                                              
total children  seen at each CAC  since it opened. She  noted that                                                              
the CAC  in Anchorage is  the oldest and  it's seen a lot  of kids                                                              
[14,902].  She clarified  that not  all had been  abused but  they                                                              
were  reported  because there  was  some  concern.  The CAC  is  a                                                              
neutral environment  where everyone involved in  the investigation                                                              
is trained to do a forensic interview.                                                                                          
CHAIR COGHILL asked  if there is evidence that  going through this                                                              
process is beneficial for the child.                                                                                            
MS. KARALUNAS  said  she wasn't  aware of any  Alaska research  on                                                              
outcomes  from child  advocacy  centers,  but nationwide  findings                                                              
indicate that  a child,  family, and  caregiver that goes  through                                                              
the CAC is far  more likely to follow up with  services and engage                                                              
the child  in mental health and  caregivers are more likely  to be                                                              
supportive.  Substantial   research  continues  to   show  that  a                                                              
supportive  caregiver is the  most important  factor in  the long-                                                              
term outcome  for a child.  She opined  that one reason  there may                                                              
be more  violent crime compensation  requests from rural  areas is                                                              
because advocates in  rural areas see fewer children  and may have                                                              
more time to help families complete the complex form.                                                                           
DR.  PARRISH added  that the  Division  of Public  Health now  has                                                              
data  sharing agreements  with CACs  to get  identifiable data  to                                                              
integrate into  the system, which  will help in answering  some of                                                              
those questions.  He expressed  hope that by  this time  next year                                                              
he would be speaking to outcomes.                                                                                               
CHAIR  COGHILL  said  the  legislature   needs  to  know  if  it's                                                              
anecdotal that someone who is abused will become an abuser.                                                                     
2:34:49 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE HOPPER,  PhD, taskforce  member and psychologist,  Fairbanks,                                                              
Alaska, said  the cycle of  abuse is real,  but it's not  fair for                                                              
that message  to keep going  out to the  world about all  kids who                                                              
have been  abused. He said  an area of  his specialty is  boys who                                                              
are  abused, and  he always  warns  parents not  to tell  teachers                                                              
about  the abuse  because they  almost always  view the  boy as  a                                                              
danger.  There isn't  a lot of  research but  his experience  over                                                              
the last  30 years  is that if  an abused child  gets help,  he is                                                              
not more  at risk of becoming  an abuser as  an adult than  he was                                                              
as a child. The  more you can intervene to support  these families                                                              
and  kids the  better  chance there  is  of changing  that  cycle.                                                              
"Resiliency is  an interesting  thing and we  have a lot  to learn                                                              
from kids who survived abuse"                                                                                                   
CHAIR COGHILL wondered how to follow up in a healthy way.                                                                       
DR. HOPPER  replied the CACs are  a rich resource center  and have                                                              
made  a  huge difference  to  the  families  that get  there.  The                                                              
unfortunate reality is that many don't get there.                                                                               
2:37:41 PM                                                                                                                    
DR B. J. COOPS,  MD, task force member and  pediatric intensivist,                                                              
said she's  been a child  abuse expert for  30 years and  the CACs                                                              
offer full service  by well-trained experts. The  result of having                                                              
these  centers is  that more  people are  willing to  call OCS  if                                                              
they  have  a question  about  a  child.  She  said it's  not  her                                                              
experience  there is  over  reporting, but  without  the CACs  she                                                              
believes there would be fewer reports and less services to kids.                                                                
2:39:36 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  SEBOLD listed  the CJATF  advocacy  and partnership  efforts.                                                              
These  include strengthen  families, the  Citizen's Review  Panel,                                                              
the  Alaska  Mental  Health  Board,   the  Children's  Trust,  the                                                              
Resiliency    Initiative,   Covenant    House,   and    prevention                                                              
She  urged legislators  to realize  that child  abuse affects  all                                                              
Alaskans and requested they make decisions using a trauma-                                                                      
informed lens. She  agreed with Dr. Hopper that,  "It's not what's                                                              
wrong with  you, it's what  happened to you."  That lens is  a lot                                                              
less  critical and  more problem-solving.  Strengthening  children                                                              
and families should be a system wide approach.                                                                                  
CHAIR COGHILL  remarked that  we are  a stigma-driven  society and                                                              
children are especially susceptible.                                                                                            
MS. SEBOLD  continued to list the  things the legislature  can do.                                                              
This includes  supporting local  community-based initiatives  like                                                              
Strengthening  Families, ROCK MatSu,  MAPP (Mobilizing  for Action                                                              
through  Planning  and  Partnerships),   Pathway's  to  Hope,  and                                                              
Family Wellness Warriors Initiative.                                                                                            
CHAIR COGHILL asked where people go to offer their help.                                                                        
MS. SEBOLD suggested referring them to the CJA.                                                                                 
DR. PARRISH  added that the Alaska  Children's Trust is  trying to                                                              
be  the  centralized  place by  employing  the  collective  impact                                                              
model. That's  how the  Resiliency Initiative  has risen  and it's                                                              
supporting  community efforts  like  ROCK MatSu  that is  engaging                                                              
public and private partners.                                                                                                    
MS.  SEBOLD said  other things  that can  be done  are to  support                                                              
services  that will  reduce future  costs  for special  education,                                                              
health care,  mental health and  substance abuse  treatment, child                                                              
protection,  homeless services  and  shelters,  legal system,  and                                                              
corrections. These programs will save money in the long run.                                                                    
She said Alaska data suggests the following:                                                                                    
   • Many Alaskan adults bear the burden of a lifetime                                                                          
     accumulation of family violence and dysfunction                                                                            
   • Alaskan children start accumulating these adverse events                                                                   
     early in life                                                                                                              
   • Multiple factors contribute to maltreatment                                                                                
   • Systems must be in place at multiple points along                                                                          
     developmental trajectories to respond efficiently and                                                                      
     effectively to maltreatment                                                                                                
   • Our economy and our society bears the costs                                                                                
MS. SEBOLD  concluded saying that  to reduce this burden  there is                                                              
need for prevention,  treatment, and early, effective,  and timely                                                              
2:45:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  commented that prevention  is part of  the solution                                                              
and that passing a law isn't always the solution.                                                                               
He  asked  what  sort  of  recommendations  the  task  force  will                                                              
MS. SEBOLD  said she  didn't have  a definitive  answer but  would                                                              
share information as it's available.                                                                                            
DR. COOPS  said one  of the reasons  she's here  is to  learn what                                                              
legislators  think the  task force  can  help with.  "What do  you                                                              
CHAIR COGHILL  stated support for  an organic process  that starts                                                              
with a  community conversation  about prevention  and providing  a                                                              
safe  place for  people  who do  speak  up. Bringing  elders  into                                                              
schools  also supports  the hope  of a better  community.  The law                                                              
can't fix abuse  when it's quiet. He asked the task  force to look                                                              
at where laws are barriers to community facilitation.                                                                           
2:50:36 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if the task force  had any significant                                                              
changes  to   recommend  that  are   research  driven.   He  cited                                                              
mandatory  pre-K as  an  example  if research  shows  it will  cut                                                              
child abuse. "Let's think big on this, it's a big problem."                                                                     
CHAIR  COGHILL  agreed.  When the  committee  worked  on  criminal                                                              
justice  reform  they were  told  that  working with  the  at-risk                                                              
population could  help with criminal justice needs.  The idea that                                                              
33  percent  of  Alaska's youth  experience  maltreatment  is  not                                                              
acceptable. He reiterated  the suggestion that task  force members                                                              
highlight barriers  and bring forward  policy ideas that  might be                                                              
DR. PARRISH  said an  appropriate reaction  turns into  prevention                                                              
for a  subsequent generation.  All the  different advocacy  groups                                                              
need to  act as  think tanks that  look at  the barriers  that are                                                              
standing  in the  way  of effectively  taking  care  of kids.  The                                                              
partnerships  that  have formed  over  the past  year  led to  the                                                              
meeting this morning  with the Children's Trust. He  noted that an                                                              
unintended positive  consequence of  budget issues is  that people                                                              
work together.                                                                                                                  
MS.  SEBOLD noted  that the  task force  agreed to  support HCR  2                                                              
that recognizes  adverse childhood experiences  and evidence-based                                                              
programs  and research  as  well  as SB  71  and the  ability  for                                                              
children in foster care to have sibling contact.                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL   commented   on  the  budget   process  and   that                                                              
legislators was looking for success-driven models.                                                                              
He thanked  the presenters and wished  them well in  their efforts                                                              
going forward.                                                                                                                  
2:56:56 PM                                                                                                                    
There  being no  further business  to come  before the  committee,                                                              
Chair Coghill  adjourned the  Senate Judiciary Standing  Committee                                                              
meeting at 2:56 p.m.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CJATF Presentation 2-12-18.pptx SJUD 2/12/2018 1:30:00 PM