ANCAC celebrates passage of HB31, HB79 last week

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A diverse group of children playing together outside.

Special to the
Opelika Observer

The Alabama Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers (ANCAC) announced that their two legislative initiatives passed overwhelmingly on the closing days of the 2019 regular legislative session.
HB31 and HB79 by Representatives Reynolds, Robertson and Stringer, and Senator Givhan both achieved final passage on the final two days of the session and were subsequently signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey.
HB31 defines “forensic interview” and provides that statements made during a forensic interview by a child be admitted as evidence in dependency court proceedings. This will minimize the trauma for children who previously would have had to testify in these proceedings.
HB79 expands and updates the requirements for full membership in the Alabama Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers, assuring that children and families receiving services through one of the 35 Children’s Advocacy Centers in Alabama are receiving high quality services.
The ANCAC members coordinate the multidisciplinary response to child abuse in communities throughout Alabama working in close partnership with law enforcement, Department of Human Resources, prosecutors, medical, mental health and victim advocates. This model, started by former Congressman Bud Cramer in 1985, in Alabama, has been replicated in more than 950 communities throughout the United States and in more than 30 countries throughout the world.

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