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A proposed Arkansas law would push cases of child abuse to DHS

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Little Rock, Arkansas – A new statute expressly addresses civil child maltreatment cases and the Child Abuse Hotline in Arkansas.

The Department of Human Services would handle those cases and the hotline in place of the Arkansas Department of Public Safety and Arkansas State Police (DHS).

The proposal, according to state senator Kim Hammer, is intended to stop DHS from processing cases improperly.

“Part of the dropping the ball, I think, is because it’s gotta go from one to the other and the transition is not as seamless or smooth,” Hammer said. “Hopefully, what it’s gonna do is increase the ability to respond quicker.”

Hammer claimed that this would not affect the personnel of anyone now handling these issues; rather, those affected would suddenly fall under DHS.

Hammer stated that additional positions will be added to this area in the future to assist with case management.

A house committee will hear the bill for the first time after it has been referred there.

It was introduced with an emergency clause saying that it would take effect right away if it were to become law.

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