The Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities, a committee established by the Protect Our Kids Act, will hold its first public hearing on February 24.
The Protect Our Kids Act, passed in late 2012 on the heels of the molestation scandal involving former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, established a two-year commission consisting of six members appointed by President Obama and six by congressional leaders.
The commission will evaluate current prevention efforts and is expected to issue a comprehensive strategy to prevent and lessen child abuse and neglect fatalities.It will also develop, per the act’s language, guidelines “for the type of information that should be tracked to improve interventions to prevent fatalities from child abuse and neglect.”
The commission’s work will be paid for by a reallocation of $2 million from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) contingency funds.
Presidential appointees to the commission include:
- Dr. David Sanders, executive vice president of system improvement at Casey Family Programs and a former child welfare chief in Los Angeles and Minneapolis.
- Theresa Covington, director of Michigan Public Health Institute’s National Center for the Review and Prevention of Child Deaths
- Patricia Martin, presiding judge of the child protection division, Circuit Court of Cook County (Chicago)
- Michael R. Petit, founder of the Every Child Matters Education Fund.
- Jennifer Rodriguez, executive director of Youth Law Center (YLC) and a former foster youth.
- Dr. David Rubin, associate professor of pediatrics, the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
The six congressionally-appointed members:
- Wade Horn, consultant for Deloitte and former commissioner of the Administration for Children and Families under former President George W. Bush.
- Former U.S. Rep. and current FTI consultant Bud Cramer (D-Ala.)
- Amy Ayoub, Nevada public speaking and presentation skills coach
- Marilyn Zimmerman, director of the National Native Children’s Trauma Center at the University of Montana
- Susan Dreyfus, CEO of the Alliance for Children and Families and former leader of child welfare in Wisconsin and Washington
- Cassie Statuto Bevan, lecturer at the Graduate School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania.
Obama has the power to extend the tenure of the commission by one year. The Commission is mandated to make its final report available on the Department of Health and Human Services web site.
Christie Renick is the Southern California Coordinator for Fostering Media Connections.