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Nevada

June 15, 2005

Senate Bill 402: An Act Relating to the Protection of Children

Author:
Human Resources and Education

Summary:
This bill will require all social workers to be trained in their duty to protect your constitutional and statutory rights during an investigation. Furthermore, this bill will require social workers to inform you of the allegations against you during an investigation. Up until this point, social workers in Nevada often will not tell what the individual is accused of and simply demand entry into the home. They also are not currently trained in your Fourth Amendment rights.

Status:

3/29/2005Introduced and referred to Committee on Human Resources and Education.
4/22/2005From committee: Amend, and do pass as amended.
4/26/2005Engrossed, re-read, and passed as amended
4/27/2005In Assembly. Referred to Committee on Health and Human Services.
06/06/2005Passed

HSLDA's Position:
This bill should be supported.

Action Requested:

  1. Please call as many members of the Assembly Health and Human Services committee as possible and give them this message:

    "Please vote in favor of SB 402. This bill will give needed constitutional protections to Nevada citizens during child welfare investigations. If Nevada wants to continue to get federal funds for their child welfare agencies, they must pass this law in order to implement the federal law."

    Members of the Assembly Health and Human Services Committee are as follows:

    Sheila Leslie - Chair775-684-8845
    Kathy McClain - Vice Chair75-684-8835
    Susan Gerhardt775-684-8855
    William Horne 775-684-8847
    Ellen Koivisto 775-684-8597
    Bonnie Parnell 775-684-8825
    Peggy Pierce775-684-8599
    Sharron Angle 775-684-8848
    Joe Hardy775-684-8857
    Garn Mabey775-684-8827
    Valerie Weber775-684-8833

  2. Please forward this e-mail to every homeschooling family you know who is not a member of HSLDA and urge them to contact members of the Committee and their own state representative.

Background:

On June 25, 2003, President George W. Bush signed into law the Keeping Children andFamilies Safe Act of 2003 (S. 342). HSLDA was able to attach two amendments that will protect families during the child investigative process. The bill requires child protective services workers to be trained in their duty to protect the statutory and constitutional rights of those they are investigating, and requires child protective services personnel to advise individuals subject to a child abuse and neglect investigation of the complaint or allegation made against them.

This is the most significant reform on social worker investigations in the last decade.

It is important to implement this legislation at the state level for the following reasons:

  1. Protection for Homeschool Families. HSLDA deals with cases on a daily basis where a social worker is investigating a homeschool family because of false allegations. These tips, often supplied by those holding a grudge against home education, are often investigated aggressively. Social workers frequently demand to conduct physical inspections of homeschool children or to interview very young children outside the presence of their parents.

    Oftentimes social workers refuse to state the allegation they are investigating, and usually conduct the investigation in a manner that violates the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

    If these HSLDA provisions are enacted into Nevada law, they will provide crucial protection for innocent homeschool families and minimize the trauma of an investigation.

  2. Federally Mandated. These reforms were passed at the federal level. The Department of Heath and Human Services has stated that the most efficient and effective implementation is if the provisions are codified at the state level.

  3. Congress' Intent. If this bill is enacted into Nevada law, it will guarantee that Congressional intent is implemented properly and completely in order to not jeopardize the state's child welfare funding.

  4. Social Worker Liability. If social workers are trained in the 4th Amendment and parental rights of families, they will be on notice of their duty to follow 4th Amendment due process, making themselves personally liable should they violate these rights. If this law is passed it will keep social workers properly chained by the Constitution.

 Other Resources

Bill Text   (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Bill History