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Jolene’s Law Task Force Update


May 18, 2015

Most of the April 21st Task Force meeting was dedicated to improving child maltreatment education and training at the collegiate level.

Dr. Michael Lawler, dean and professor at the USD School of Health Sciences, Dr. Jack Warner, executive director and CEO of state Board of Regents and Dr. Jill Thorngren, dean of SDSU education and human resources were on point during the meeting.  It was recommended to initiate a state wide conference on child maltreatment and to organize a pilot program undergraduate curriculum. Essentially higher education is looking at taking a “three pronged approach” at the system level starting with making sure all education programs that address child maltreatment use the same language. From there, they will focus on what the curriculum would look like, developing that curriculum based on guidelines of accreditation, and establish competency guidelines.  Universities will evaluate the gaps which may result in adding or enhancing programming and then set a plan in motion on how universities train professionals already in the field.

Now that the Task Force is under the state’s executive branch, the Legislative Research Council (LRC) will continue to assist Task Force legislators, but will no longer be in charge of disseminating public information. Under this new model, the Department of Health website has dedicated a page that is specific to Jolene’s Law Task Force where the agendas, minutes and audio recordings of the public meetings are available.

CACSD will also continue to help keep people informed.

Without good base data it will be difficult to make the case for the Task Force’s final recommendations.  The Task Force has charged a separate committee to recommend a means to establish a baseline from the multiple child abuse data sources currently used.  The Statistics/Benchmarks committee includes: Sen. Alan Solano as chair, and Wendy Kloeppner, TateWin Means, Virgena Wieseler, Nancy Free, and Casey Murschel.

The next meeting of the Task Force will be held on June 1 in Pierre. Members will likely review follow-up  on Goal #1 – improving education and training, and then move into discussion on Goal #2 – improving medical health, mental health and spiritual care responses and Goal # 3 – improving criminal justice and child protection responses to violence.  Statistics and benchmarks will also likely be on the agenda.  Committees were formed to address these goals.

  • Improving Medical Health, Mental Health and Spiritual Care Responses committee members include: Sen. Deb Soholt, chair; and Dr. Nancy Free, Christine Bisek, Angela Lisburg, and Tatewin Means.
  • Improving Criminal Justice and Child Protection Responses to Violence committee members include: Cam Corey, Wendy Kloeppner, Hollie Strand, Virgena Wieseler, Angela Lisburg, and Casey Murschel.

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