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HEAL

HEAL’S MISSION STATEMENT

HEAL is an egalitarian network of activists self-empowered to plan events, create change, and make the world a better place for all life.  Our goals include the liberation of humans, nonhuman animals, and the earth!  We work in cooperation with like-minded organizations that put compassion in action!

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HEAL'S GUIDE TO REFORMING STATE LAWS REGARDING CHILDREN'S RIGHTS & CHILD WELFARE

Events

Information Standards

INTRODUCTION  (Updated on June 6th, 2013)

In December, 2011, HEAL spoke with Senator Tom Harkin's office regarding Senate Bill 1667 and our suggestions to improve that legislation.  Senate Bill 1667 is identical to House Bill 3126.  And, you will find our recommendations and concerns regarding those bills at www.heal-online.org/hr3126s1667positionstatement.pdf.  The individual we spoke with in Senator Tom Harkin's office advised that most of our suggestions would need to be brought to the States and State Laws would need to be amended if proper oversight of the behavior modification industry was to become a reality.

Due to the inability and/or unlikelihood of effective oversight being provided at the Federal level, HEAL has decided to create this page.  Here, we will present suggestions for local action, local change, and examples for instituting change at the State level and in every State in the Union.  For action alerts and events, click hyperlinks in this sentence.

GENERAL PLAN

Our general plan is subject to updates and change, but, for now, is as follows:

1.  Individual Education Plans--Action: Write Department of Education in each State demanding that IEPs be used sparingly and/or that such plans always include a local option for parents to consider if a child is given an IEP. 
 
This particular action may require the following research:
 
  • *Fiscal Responsibility Argument:  Compare costs of in-house/in-district individual/special needs support to costs of shipping child out-of-state and/or enrolling them in private programs.

 

  • *Meeting Needs Argument:  Acquire list(s) of programs contracting with schools under IEPs in each State and show how those programs (or many of those programs) fail to meet the needs of the children being enrolled under an IEP.  Arguments should include information on the harm caused to children who are separated from their homes, families, and communities for extended periods of time.

 

  • *Federal Requirements Argument:  The 2009/2010 legislation introduced by Senators Murray and Franken specifically stated that schools/school districts that failed to provide local and in-house services to meet the needs of all enrolled students would lose federal funding.  Locate federal laws related to this and expose the fact that States are failing to meet federally required standards.

 

2.  Mental Health System--Action: Write Department of Health and Human Services in each State (and/or Mental Health, Behavioral Health, Children and Families divisions) demanding that children not be separated from communities and families for mental health treatment and that any mental health treatment must be provided by licensed and regulated providers that fall under HIPAA (Federal) oversight provisions.

 

3. Children's Rights/Child Welfare Laws--Action:  Lobby State Governors and Legislators via internet, letter writing, telephone campaigns, and in-person lobbying, if possible, to advocate for the adoption of the following New Jersey statute: 

 

Emotional Abuse
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 9:6-8.21


Abused child or abused or neglected child means a child under age 18 years who is in an institution, and:

  • Has been placed there inappropriately for a continued period of time with the knowledge that the placement has resulted or may continue to result in harm to the child's mental or physical well-being

  • Who has been willfully isolated from ordinary social contact under circumstances that indicate emotional or social deprivation

 PARTICIPATE NOW!

Special Recognition to Activists in Washington State, North Carolina, and Ohio for Participating in Our Ongoing State Action Alert!

PARTICIPATE NOW!

4.  Citizens' Initiatives and Legislator Sponsored Legislation:  Encourage legislators to update the laws in each State to include added protections for children such as no child being institutionalized without court order and requiring children to be given local/in-state options if/when institutionalization is deemed necessary.  Also, require Guardian Ad Litems to be outside and unaffiliated with any residential programs from which they may receive kickbacks/compensation.

 

  • *HEAL HQ introduced a Citizens' Initiative, Initiative 999, in 2008 in Washington State.  Unfortunately, we failed to get enough signatures in time to get it on the ballot.  However, the suggested changes to existing law may be used as a template for suggesting changes in Washington and around the country.  The recommended changes to existing law may be introduced by registered voters via Citizens' Initiative where permitted or presented to State Legislators/State Governors for their consideration and action.  For a printable copy of Initiative 999, please click here.

  • *HEAL received a great template for action to change Massachusetts' laws from one of our volunteers.  If you are in Massachusetts, or even if not, you may find the template of great use.  You can download it here.

  •  

PARTICIPATE IN CHANGING LAWS IN YOUR STATE NOW!  CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE AND GET STARTED!

 

5.  Corruption:  Research kickbacks and apparent or evident corruption in Social Services, Foster Care, and other systems and pressure Governors and State Legislators to crack down on mismanagement and corruption within agencies that put children and families in harm's way.

 

 

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