A bill establishing a new toll-free hotline for Iowans who want to report child abuse has cleared a Senate panel. Senator John Redwine, a republican from Sioux City, says it’s a 24-hour-a-day “9-1-1 for kids.” Redwine says the state might have to hire a couple more people and buy some new telephone software to get the hotline up and running. Redwine says the hotline now in place doesn’t work very well and functions basically as directory assistance. Redwine says the new system will put someone at the other end of the line who can take down the information and determine if the case needs immediate attention, or can wait. This new method was one of the State Ombudsman’s recommendations following his review of the death of Shelby Duis, the Spirit Lake toddler who died of abuse in January, 2000.
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