Davis aims to prioritize child protection

State Rep. Tina Davis joined several of her Democratic colleagues at a news conference to call on Gov. Tom Wolf to make child protection and safety a policy priority in the coming year

By Tom Waring

The Times

Davis

State Rep. Tina Davis joined several of her Democratic colleagues last week at a news conference to call on Gov. Tom Wolf to make child protection and safety a policy priority in the coming year.

The lawmakers were joined by professor Marci Hamilton, CEO of Child USA, a nonprofit think tank at the University of Pennsylvania; Peggy Hoffman, director of the PA StopAbuse Campaign; parent/child advocate Danielle Pollack; and child advocate Jill Deitrick.

Davis spoke about her proposed legislation, H.B. 956, which would help make sure courts in the state use procedures that put the child first during child custody cases in which there are allegations of domestic violence or child sexual abuse.

“When considering an award of custody, ensuring the health and safety of the child must be the court’s first priority,” Davis said. “At no time is this more important than when allegations of domestic violence or child sexual abuse arise. The court must take these claims very seriously to protect an abused parent or child. Courts should look to current, scientific research in these instances to inform their decisions, and should consult with professionals who are qualified to work with children and handle abuse cases.” ••