OKLAHOMA CITY – Court-appointed special advocates would be submitted to a child welfare records search under legislation approved unanimously by the Senate Monday. Sen. Dewayne Pemberton, R-Muskogee, is the author of Senate Bill 722.
“Court-appointed special advocates work closely with abused and neglected children to make sure they get the assistance they need and deserve. They play a vital role in making sure Oklahoma’s youth don’t get lost in our overburdened legal and social service system or stuck in inappropriate group or foster homes,” Pemberton said. “This is one more step to protect the well-being and safety of our state’s children.”
Searches will be conducted of the child abuse and neglect information system maintained by the Department of Human Services.
Currently, advocates must submit to a criminal history search by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) and any other background check requirements under the Oklahoma Court-Appointed Special Advocate Association state standards for local programs.
SB 722 now moves to the House for further consideration.