Rep. McEntee and Sen. Lombardi bill that requires court-appointed special advocate volunteers for abused kids to pass background checks heads to Governor Raimondo for signature
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee (D-Dist. 33, South Kingstown, Narragansett) and Sen. Frank S. Lombardi’s (D-Dist. 26, Cranston) legislation (2017-H 5733A / 2017-S 0614A) that would require all court-appointed special advocate (CASA) volunteers to pass a Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) clearance, as well as a national criminal background check before qualifying for appointment by the court is heading to Governor Raimondo’s desk for her signature after passing both the House of Representatives and the Senate tonight.
“Abused and neglected children before the family court have already suffered so much, so we must ensure that the people the court assigns to protect these children are morally upstanding and have the child’s best intentions at heart. This legislation adds a further layer of protection for abused children who have already experienced so much hardship within their short lives,” said Representative McEntee.
“The victimized children who appear before the family court deserve to know that their court-appointed advocates always have their best interests at heart and that is why background checks are necessary, to ensure the well-being of these children who have already been through so much heartache,” said Senator Lombardi.
The criminal record check shall be conducted at no charge to the prospective CASA volunteer. If the background check is cleared, the family court will maintain a record that the background check was cleared, but, DCYF must promptly destroy the fingerprint record of the CASA volunteer. Once cleared by DCYF, the CASA applicant must participate in a program of training offered by the CASA office.
For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903