CSHB 348(STA): "An Act establishing the interagency work group on agency accountability and child interview methods."
00CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 348(STA) 01 "An Act establishing the interagency work group on agency accountability and 02 child interview methods." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. AS 47.17 is amended by adding a new section to read: 05 Sec. 47.17.100. INTERAGENCY WORK GROUP AND MEMORANDUM OF 06 AGREEMENT ON AGENCY ACCOUNTABILITY AND CHILD INTERVIEW 07 METHODS. (a) The interagency work group to increase agency accountability for and 08 to improve methods of interviewing minors who are alleged to have been abused or 09 neglected is established in the department. The work group consists of four 10 representatives, whose job description includes participation in the work group, from the 11 following departments: 12 (1) one person from the department; 13 (2) one person from the Department of Public Safety; 14 (3) one person from the Department of Education; and
01 (4) one person from the Department of Law. 02 (b) The interagency work group shall prepare a memorandum of agreement that 03 will guide all participating agencies in their involvement with interviews of minors who 04 are alleged to have been abused or neglected. At a minimum, the memorandum of 05 agreement must 06 (1) identify the best and most effective methods to establish 07 accountability for those who interview minors who are alleged or suspected to have been 08 abused or neglected; 09 (2) identify the best and most effective methods for 10 (A) videotaping; 11 (B) audiotaping; 12 (C) team interviews; 13 (D) note taking; 14 (E) documentation; and 15 (F) enforcing file content standards; 16 (3) provide for interagency cooperation in 17 (A) initial and continuing training or education for interviewers, 18 including education regarding new and updated methods of interviewing minors 19 and regarding new equipment useful for interviewing minors; 20 (B) establishing respect for family members during the interview 21 process; 22 (C) maintaining family unity during the interview process unless 23 the nature of the investigation clearly indicates otherwise; and 24 (D) sensitivity to public response and public input; 25 (4) focus on increasing agency and interviewer accountability and 26 minimizing negative effects on families; and 27 (5) review the statutory definition of "abuse or neglect" to determine if 28 the definition leads to uniform and fair results. 29 (c) The interagency work group shall meet at the times the members of the work 30 group consider necessary. At a minimum, the memorandum of agreement must be 31 reviewed and updated in the year following each gubernatorial election year as
01 determined under AS 15.35.010, and must be completed in those years before the 02 beginning of the next regular session of the legislature the following year. Each revised 03 and updated memorandum of agreement shall be made available to the legislature and 04 the public for review. The work group shall notify the legislature that the memorandum 05 of agreement is available for review. 06 * Sec. 2. The initial memorandum of agreement required to be prepared under AS 47.17.100, 07 added by sec. 1 of this Act, shall be completed by January 1, 1997. Unless an earlier revision 08 and update to the memorandum of agreement is determined to be necessary by the interagency 09 work group created in sec. 1 of this Act, the first revision and update shall be conducted in 1999 10 and completed before the beginning of the regular legislative session in 2000.