This week, our president, Will Estrada, is in Atlanta attending the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) national convention. Will is presenting our newest model legislation: a bill that state legislatures can introduce to ensure that CPS investigators respect a parent’s constitutional rights when they are investigating child abuse or neglect.
You see, far too often, CPS investigators neglect to follow constitutional due process protections during an investigation. As a result, far too often, those rights of innocent families are violated during the investigation.
We are grateful for social workers who respect parental rights and constitutional protections, and who help protect children from abuse. But in the many cases of those who don’t, we believe this model bill will help protect innocent families and children.
Our bill, tentatively titled “Child Protection Investigations Reform Act,” will ensure that CPS investigators tell families the allegations against them, that they have a right to an attorney, that the Fourth Amendment protects their right to be secure in their home, and additional information that is critical to protecting innocent families.
CPS investigators are government officials. They wield immense power, including the most terrifying power: the ability to remove a child from a home. Because of this, the U.S. Constitution applies to CPS investigators just as it does to any other government servant. They must protect the due process rights of parents. And that is what this model legislation is designed to accomplish.
We are grateful to Louisiana State Representative Beryl Amedee who is our legislative sponsor for this critical bill. She is helping to shepherd this bill through the ALEC process.
You can read the draft of the model bill here. Will and Representative Amedee are still working on several key amendments prior to the bill being introduced for a vote later this week at the ALEC conference, so we anticipate there will be some changes to the draft of the model bill. Then, there are several other steps before it becomes an official ALEC model policy and is circulated to state legislators across the nation. We will keep you updated!
Our ability to champion model legislation is solely because of the support we receive from people like you. If our “Child Protection Investigations Reform Act” is approved and becomes official model ALEC policy, it will join our other model bills, including our Fundamental Parental Rights bill, our Central Registry Reform bill, and our Confidential Reporting Act.