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Child Welfare, Marijuana Bills Advance

Lawmakers unanimously approved three measures aimed at statewide child-welfare reform this week, according to the Palm Beach Post.

The bills passed Tuesday by the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee are intended to improve what Senate President Don Gaetz called a “porous” child-welfare system, reports the Miami Herald (paywall alert).

One bill, (SPB 7074), requires the Department of Children and Families to make every effort to keep siblings together when they are removed from abusive homes.

Under another bill, (SPB 7072), 80 percent of newly hired child protective investigators and their supervisors would be required to hold college degrees in social work. 

A third bill, (SPB 7076), provides at-home services to medically complex children to the greatest extent possible.

A Senate panel also unanimously approved a bill that allows children and others suffering from incurable seizures to be prescribed a non-euphoric form of marijuana oil dubbed Charlotte’s Web, according to the Florida Current. After passing the Senate Health Care Policy Committee, the proposal (SB 1030) will go next to the Senate Criminal Justice and Appropriations Committees, before reaching the Senate floor, the Current reports.

Tags (3-5, separate with commas): child-welfare, SPB 7074, child neglect, child abuse, Department of Children and Families, SPB 7072, SPB 7076, Charlotte’s Web, SB 1030, marijuana

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.