May , 2018

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Bipartisan legislation sponsored by state Rep. Chris Welch, D-Hillside, which will help strengthen child welfare investigations and better allow for the prosecution of those who abuse or neglect children, was signed into law on Tuesday.

“As a young father, one of my top priorities is to protect the welfare of children across our state,” Welch said. “This legislation provides tools that will help in this effort and, hopefully, prevent child abusers from sliding through cracks in the justice system.”

Senate Bill 1335, an initiative of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office that Welch sponsored in the House, will allow State’s Attorneys to use evidence of child abuse and neglect from previous cases in temporary custody proceedings and abused, neglected, or dependent adjudication hearings.  Welch’s measure was also supported by the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services, the Illinois Attorney General’s office, the Office of the Cook County Public Guardian, and the Family Defense Center.

“A wide coalition of advocates backed this legislation because it will improve child abuse investigations and keep children safer in the future,” Welch added. “I remain committed to working with advocates and my colleagues in Springfield to ensure that child abusers are punished and prevented from victimizing children again.”

Welch represents the 7th District which includes all or parts of Bellwood, Berkley, Broadview, Forest Park, Hillside, La Grange Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, River Forest, Westchester and Western Springs.

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