By Zach Caplan
We are less than a month away from the Baltimore Child Abuse Center’s Advocacy Day in Annapolis! On Tuesday, March 12, 9:30am to 1pm, join us for a day of advocacy and speaking with your elected officials about legislative efforts to prevent childhood trauma and abuse in Maryland.
It only takes one responsible adult to end abuse for a child, whether through advocacy, reporting, or prevention. On March 12, we need you to show up for Maryland’s most vulnerable children and be their superheroes—your voice can make a real, tangible difference in the lives of our kids. This is your opportunity to let your legislators know which bills currently under consideration will keep kids in Maryland safe from abuse, and hold adults accountable for preventing and reporting abuse.
Let us know you are coming—sign up for Advocacy Day now! We are also looking for some volunteers to help us out with logistics. If you are interested in volunteering, please email Nicole Reed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will gather at 9:30am at the Annapolis State House Building, 6 Bladen Street, Room 170 for check-in, a light breakfast, speakers, and to go over logistics for the day. After that, you will meet with your legislative representatives, either individually or you can join a team that already has an appointment.
Never been to an Advocacy Day before? No problem! We will tell you everything you need to know. Meetings will be very short, and we will provide you with materials to share with your representatives and a few talking points.
Please leave plenty of time to park, shuttle and go through security. Parking is available at Navy Stadium (free shuttle), the Gotts Garage/Visitor Center and the Hillman Noah Garage. For more information on parking options, click here.
Here are some of the specific bills we are supporting this legislative session:
SB739/HB1007: This year we are proud to be joining the Maryland Children’s Alliance to take leadership on SB739/HB1007 to help ensure that every child in Maryland has access to a nationally accredited child advocacy center. Following a report of child abuse or neglect, a child should be seen promptly at a nationally accredited CAC, where they can speak with a trained forensic interviewer in a child-friendly setting, thus reducing trauma of multiple interviews by different agencies, and helping to create trustworthy legal evidence if needed.
SB568/HB787: Professionals who work with children have a legal duty to report suspected child abuse. Sadly, not all do. This bill will help hold accountable professionals who know of abuse but choose not to report it.
SB541/HB486: Sex abuse and Misconduct Prevention in Schools. This bill does what criminal background checks alone do not: help alert a school about a potential employee’s past sexual misconduct or sexual abuse of students – incidents that don’t result in convictions but may have resulted in a serious investigation, firing or other disciplinary action.
For more information, please contact Zach Caplan at email@example.com.
Zach Caplan is a legislative intern at BCAC.