TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A measure that would require a Kansas agency to release information regarding child abuse deaths will now go to the state Senate.
The state House unanimously approved the bill Thursday, The Kansas City Star reported. It would require the Kansas Department for Children and Families to share information after a child dies of abuse or neglect, including a summary of previous reports to the agency and any department-recommended services provided.
The bill also would require the department’s secretary to release the age and sex of the child, the date of death and a summary of the facts surrounding the death.
Department Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel worked with lawmakers to draft the bill after taking over the agency in December. She has vowed to be more transparent.
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The House vote comes after several high-profile child deaths in recent years. Some lawmakers and child advocates have said the state needs to share more information about these cases to protect other children and improve the system.
“It’s always been my belief that transparency allows a system the opportunity to improve,” said child advocate Lori Ross. “As long as people are covering up something that went wrong, it doesn’t allow anything to get better.”
Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com