(Mar. 12) – A bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, to protect the personal information of caseworkers that work in child abuse and neglect cases unanimously passed the House.
“This bill protects the people who serve as frontline first responders to protect our kids,” said Rep. Singer, chair of the House Public Health Care & Human Services committee. “When these caseworkers are trying to raise their own families and get calls at 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning to stand up for vulnerable children, they need a line of defense. This bill will ensure they receive the dignity and respect that their profession deserves.”
HB19-1197 makes it unlawful for a person to knowingly put the personal information of a caseworker or their family on the internet if the information poses an imminent or serious threat to the safety of the caseworker or their family.
This bill is to address the issue that child protection caseworkers sometimes face with threats against them or their families related to their duties. This protection will also extend to county attorneys who engage in legal action against those charged with child abuse and neglect.
Rep. Singer’s bill would also require state or local government officials to deny a request for inspection of these caseworkers under the Colorado Open Records Act, which would serve the same purpose as prohibiting posting the person’s information online.
Rep. Terri Carver, R-Colorado Springs, is a co-prime sponsor on this bill. HB19-1197 unanimously passed the House. It now heads to the Senate.
Rep. Singer has an extensive background in social work, having served for nearly a decade with child protection and family services in Boulder County.