A bill which lets legislators get confidential information about child abuse investigations has cleared a House Committee. The bill is one response to the recent death of a Spirit Lake youngster who had been abused. Another committee yesterday questioned Department of Human Services administrators about child abuse investigations. Dale Schmidt of the D-H-S defended the agency’s shift to helping families fix their problems, rather than having case workers act as interrogators.But Senator David Miller, a republican from Libertyville, is a lawyer who has served as legal advocate for children who’ve been abused. He says the new system isn’t doing what’s best for the kids.D-H-S administrators say social workers do not have the legal authority to take a child out of an abusive situation, but must have law enforcement and the courts involved to remove a child from a parent’s custody.
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