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1/31/2008 3:31:39 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Hawaii--Calls Needed to Stop Home Visits of Innocent Families!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 31, 2008

Hawaii--Calls Needed to Stop Home Visits of Innocent Families!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Senate Bill 3056 was recently introduced to spend up to $1 million on
a pilot project to conduct home visits of innocent families. This bill
requires "well child" follow-up visits in cases where families have
been investigated for abuse or neglect but no evidence was found of
any abuse or neglect.

As an organization, HSLDA has always been opposed to the abuse or
neglect of children. However, S.B. 3056 would create an additional
intrusion into the private homes and lives of innocent families who
have already been investigated and determined not to have abused or
neglected their children.

The stated purpose of this pilot project is to see if these follow-up
visits will decrease the possibility of additional reports of abuse or
neglect involving the same children and families. However, only
families who have had an investigation by Child Protective Services
and the report has been determined to be false will be included in
this pilot project.

Senate Bill 3056 will be heard in the Human Services and Public
Housing Committee on February 5, so please call now.

ACTION REQUESTED:

Please contact the Committee members listed below and respectfully
give them this message in your own words:

"Please oppose Senate Bill 3056. It is a waste of taxpayer dollars to
conduct follow-up visits of families who have already been
investigated and have not abused or neglected their children.

Current regulations already require Child Protective Services to
follow up if there is any evidence a child may be threatened or harmed
in the future. Instead of following up on innocent families, a law
should be passed to penalize individuals who make false and malicious
reports of child abuse against innocent families."

Do not identify yourself as a homeschooler; instead you can identify
yourself as a concerned citizen and taxpayer.

Human Services and Public Housing Committee Members

Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland, Chairman
Phone: 808-586-6130
Email: senchunoakland@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Senator Les Ihara, Jr., Vice Chair
Phone: 808-586-6250
Email: senihara@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Senator Gary L. Hooser
Phone: 808-586-6030
Email: senhooser@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Senator Norman Sakamoto
Phone: 808-586-8585
Email: sensakamoto@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Senator Fred Hemmings
Phone: 808-587-8388
Email: senhemmings@Capitol.hawaii.gov

BACKGROUND:

Nearly half of all reports made to social services are found to be
intentionally false or unsubstantiated. Senate Bill 3056 would require
caseworkers to conduct follow-up visits in situations where a family
has already been investigated for a report of abuse or neglect and the
report has been found to be either false or unsubstantiated. This
means that families who have been found to be innocent will be subject
to a second, follow-up investigation!

Under current regulations, the Department of Human Services, Child
Protective Services, investigates allegations of abuse or neglect of
children. The Department must make a clear decision whether abuse,
neglect or exploitation did or will occur within 60 days of the date
of the report. See Hawaii Administrative Rules sec. 17-920.1-16.

When the Department does not confirm (or unsubstantiates a report of)
abuse, neglect, or exploitation, the Department must make a clear
decision of whether the child may be threatened or harmed in the
future due to problems in the family.

If the Department finds the child may be threatened they must 1) refer
the family to an outside agency for needed counseling or therapy; 2)
help the parents voluntarily agree to accept protective case
management services from the Department or other agency; or 3)
petition the family court in order that protective case management
service may be given by the department or other agency.

According to current regulations already in place, only when the
Department finds no evidence of an unsafe home or family problems can
protective services be terminated. S.B. 3056 is a waste of money when
follow-up services are already required if there is any evidence of
future harm in investigations that have determined there was no abuse
or neglect.

Families in Hawaii would be much better served if this pilot project
was either defeated or amended to focus on follow-up investigations of
those reports where abuse or neglect was confirmed.

We need your help! If you are not yet a member of HSLDA and would like
to help us fight for greater homeschool freedom and parental rights in
Hawaii please visit http://www.hslda.org/join/apply.asp .

Thank you for your part in fighting for freedom in Hawaii.

Sincerely,

Thomas Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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