DHR Secretary to Testify in Favor of Open State Gov.

BALTIMORE (Feb. 3, 2009) – Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) Secretary Brenda Donald will testify in support of Senate Bill 59 Child Abuse and Neglect – Disclosure of Information. This bill will allow the Department of Human Resources to more readily share information with the public from child protective services records following the death or near fatality of a child.

“The O’Malley/Brown Administration believes that the business of government, as much as humanly possible, should be conducted in a transparent fashion,” said Donald. “Nothing matters more to me as secretary of the department than providing the best possible outcomes for Maryland’s children and families. This bill is about increasing accountability to those we serve.”

A major provision of the bill changes language in the current law from DHR “may share” information in instances where a child who is receiving services has died or suffered a critical injury, to DHR “shall share” information. Consideration is still given to if information shared will negatively impact the best interests of siblings of the injured child and/or jeopardize any legal proceedings.

The hearing is open to the public and will take place at 1 p.m. before the Maryland Judicial Proceedings Committee on Wednesday, February 4, 2009 in the Miller Senate Office Building, 2nd Floor (East Wing).

Source: Maryland Department of Human Resources

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