CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT + 1990, 1995, 2009
The League of Women Voters of Texas supports the development and implementation of adequate legislation, policies, services, and programs to protect children from abuse and neglect. Measures the League supports include, but are not limited to the following:
- adequate funding from governmental and private sources to provide appropriately trained staff and uniform statewide availability and accessibility of effective services and programs
- provision by the responsible state and local agencies for varied and sufficient services to ensure the protection of children
- development and implementation of programs to prevent child abuse and neglect
- mandatory, uniform, and ongoing training in recognizing and reporting physical and behavioral indicators of child abuse and neglect for persons responsible for the safety and welfare of children, such as law enforcement officers, judges and probation officers, educators, child-care givers, and medical personnel
- availability and enforcement of measures, including protective orders, for the removal of the abuser from home when appropriate
- stringent correctional measures for persons who abuse or neglect children, including mandatory specialized treatment and counseling as well as appropriate enhancements for repeated offenses.
Delegates at the 1989 state Convention adopted a novel plan regarding this issue. After LWV- Houston Area completed a local study of child abuse and neglect and adopted its local position, the LWV-TX board narrowed the scope of the position statement so that it was appropriate for a statewide concurrence process. The narrowed position statement and a publication (Focus) adapted and edited by the LWV-TX board from LWV-Houston's Facts & Issues was subsequently made available to participating members statewide. After careful evaluation of resulting concurrence data, the LWV-TX board adopted the state League position in June 1990.
During the Periodic Program Review process in 1993-95, wording changes that enhance format consistency and reflect changed circumstances were suggested by the PPR Committee and received final approval at the 1995 Convention. A substantive addition to the position was also approved: support for stringent correctional measures for persons who abuse or neglect children, including mandatory specialized treatment and counseling, as well as enhancement for repeated offenses. The re-worded position is set forth above.
In Statewide Conference, March 2009, delegates voted to drop our position's limitation to abuse "in their families and homes" so that we could support bills that would reform the Texas Youth Commission.