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Child protection laws will be at the emotional center of the current legislative session. That being the case, KSL hopes cool heads and reason will somehow prevail as the intense debate over parental rights proceeds.
Already, numerous bills designed to shackle the powers of the Department of Child and Family services have been introduced. More are expected. Mostly, they come as a reaction to the Parker Jensen case. Last year’s disturbing battle between Parker’s parents and the courts over the boy’s medical treatment for cancer became a rallying point for those who feel the state wields far too much power over the rights of parents to be parents.
Surely, beyond Parker Jensen there’ll be anecdotal evidence from other parents who adamantly claim child protection laws are unreasonable and excessive. They’ll tell heart-wrenching tales of intimidation and familial intrusion.
On the other hand, there’ll be equally compelling “what if” stories – what if DCFS hadn’t stepped in to remove an abused or endangered child from a home? What if key child protection laws hadn’t been enforced?
In today’s world, KSL believes there must be appropriate balance between protecting children from harm or abuse . . . and protecting the rights of parents. It’s that realistic balance lawmakers need to seek as the emotional debate proceeds.