Protect Montana Kids Commission Meets Thursday
The Protect Montana Kids Commission meets again tomorrow, this time with a new member and an extended deadline for the group’s recommendations on fixing the state’s child protection system.
Governor Steve Bullock pushed the deadline back by two months for his appointed commission to address the state’s struggling child abuse and neglect services.
The department handling those services says they are overwhelmed by the number of cases coming in and need more staff and resources.
When the Governor created the commission last fall, the deadline was March 31; it's now May 31.
Representative Chuck Hunter, a democrat from Helena, will enter the child protection discussion Thursday as a newly-appointed member after the committee said it would be helpful to have a legislative voice in the talks.
On Thursday, the Commission will spend most of the day listening to kids who have had experience with Montana’s child protective system.
Protect Montana Kids Commission Chair Leslie Halligan:
"All of our work affects children and courts don’t often have as much involvement, or direct involvement, with the youth in the system. So we are hoping that committee members will get to listen to youth about concerns they have and changes they wish to offer."
The committee will also spend the day listening to foster care providers and judges who rule on child abuse cases.