Child abuse bill awaiting governor's signature

Child Abuse Bill to Bevin's desk

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS) -- The lights are dimmed around noon at Our Angels Christian Child Care Center for nap time.

"I know as a mother, you want to make sure whoever you left your child in the care of, they're taken care of and that they're safe," Deve Collins Frias, the owner and founder of the child development center, said.

Collins Frias has worked in the child care sector for 20 years, founding Our Angels Christian Child Care Center 12 years ago.

"I always try to make sure that the parents feel comfortable knowing who's working with their kids," she said.

According to Collins Frias, all her employees go through two separate background checks to ensure everyone working with the children are properly vetted. A new bill in Kentucky spearheaded by Kosair Charities and receiving bipartisan support in Frankfort could help parents, schools and youth camps learn whether someone has a history of child abuse or neglect.

"We offer no apologies to say to those folks we don't want you in a public school," Terry Brooks, the Executive Director of Kentucky Youth Advocates, said. "We don't want you in a summer camp. And we don't want you babysitting."

Under this law, employers can ask applicants to give them a clean record sheet, which applicants would have to request from the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

"As a grandpa, what I know is the five of my grandchildren who are in public schools now are going to be protected," Brooks said.

"I think it's a good thing because it'll help us to see, to wean out the people that we know to have that or the potential of maybe committing it again," Collins Frias said.

While schools have run criminal background checks on employees in the past, the new law would help fill in a gap that some with a history of abuse have slipped through.

"That's different than substantiated abuse and neglect, so you literally could have had an abuse and neglect substantiation and not been on that criminal background check," Brooks said.

"It's to know that the kids are safe each and every day," Collins Frias said.

The bill has been enrolled and sent to the governor's desk.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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