Gov. Stitt signs bill into law empowering DHS to promptly conduct interviews into possible child abuse, neglect

Oklahoma Politics
Doctor's office

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill into law Thursday, empowering county Department of Human Services agencies to promptly investigate reports of child abuse or neglect.

Stitt signed Senate Bill 987.

The new law states any DHS county office that receives a report about child abuse or neglect “shall promptly respond to the report by initiating an investigation of the report or an assessment of the family in accordance with priority guidelines established by the Department.”

DHS can also prioritize reports of alleged child abuse or neglect based on the severity and immediacy of the alleged harm to the child.

The law states that investigations or assessments of alleged child abuse is to include a visit to the child’s home, unless there is reason to believe that visiting the home would create an extreme safety risk to either the child or DHS worker.

A visit to the home is to include an interview and examination of the child. The interview can be conducted at any reasonable time at any place, including, but not limited to the child’s school, according to the new law.

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