Brewer signs bill on school abuse reports, immunizations - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Brewer signs bill overhauling school abuse reports, foster kids' immunizations

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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill that overhauls a state law requiring schools to report all child abuse or injuries. She also signed a bill allowing Arizonans to become foster parents even if their own children haven't been immunized.

School reporting

The new law says schools don't have to report incidents involving playground injuries and elementary school students if the child's legal guardian is informed of the incident and the school maintains a written record. The measure also allows a school to expunge some reports from a student's permanent file.

The bill was designed to limit unnecessary reporting to law enforcement or Child Protective Services.

Brewer signed Senate Bill 1291 late Thursday and advised school officials to always err on the side of caution when considering whether or not to report an injury.

The bill received unanimous support in the GOP-led Legislature.

Foster families

The immunizations law signed Thursday does not affect the state's requirement for immunizations for foster children.
 
Brewer said in a letter to Senate President Andy Biggs that she hoped Senate Bill 1108 will help Arizona find more homes for foster children.
 
But Brewer says she directed the state Department of Economic Security to develop a policy restricting the placement of young children and infants in homes where foster parents have not immunized their own children.
 
She says the state must ensure foster children remain healthy and safe.
 
Democratic lawmakers in the GOP-led Legislature had opposed the bill, saying it will put foster children at risk.

More info on SB1291: fire districts; board meetings; attendance (NOW: duty to report abuse; exception)

More info on SB1108: foster home licensure; immunizations

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press modified.


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