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TENNESSEE COMPILATION OF SELECTED LAWS ON CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, 2011 EDITION

TENNESSEE CODE ANNOTATED

Title 37 Juveniles

Chapter 1 Juvenile Courts and Proceedings

Part 6 Child Sexual Abuse

37-1-603. Comprehensive state plan.

(a) The department shall develop a state plan that encompasses and complies with the scope of all provisions of this part for the detection, intervention, prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse. The department of education and the state board of education shall participate and fully cooperate in the development of the state plan. Furthermore, appropriate state and local agencies and organizations shall be provided an opportunity to participate in the development of the state plan. Appropriate groups and organizations shall include, but not be limited to, community mental health centers; the juvenile courts; the school boards of the local school districts; private or public organizations or programs with recognized expertise in working with children who are sexually abused, physically abused, emotionally abused, or neglected and with expertise in working with the families of such children; private or public programs or organizations with expertise in maternal and infant health care; multi-disciplinary child protection teams; child care centers; and law enforcement agencies. The state plan to be provided to the general assembly, the appropriate committees and the governor shall include, as a minimum, the information required of the various groups in subsection (b).

(b) The development of the comprehensive state plan shall be accomplished in the following manner:

(1) The department of children's services shall establish a task force composed of representatives from the department of mental health, department of intellectual and developmental disabilities, the commission on children and youth created by § 37-3-102, a child abuse agency as defined in § 37-5-501, a treatment resource as defined in § 33-1-101, and a local child service agency. Representatives of the departments of children's services, education, health, the Tennessee bureau of investigation, district attorneys general conference, Tennessee council of juvenile and family court judges, and local law enforcement agencies shall serve as ex officio members of the task force. The task force shall be responsible for:

(A) Developing a plan of action for better coordination and integration of the goals, activities, and funding of the department pertaining to the detection, intervention, prevention, and treatment of child sexual abuse in order to maximize staff and resources, including the effective utilization of licensure personnel in determining whether children are properly cared for and protected by the child care agencies licensed by the department of children's services or human services. The department shall develop ways not only to inform and instruct all personnel in the child care agencies in the detection, intervention, prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse, but shall develop ways for licensure personnel at least annually to require that all such agencies present a prevention program to the children enrolled in and cared for by the agency. Licensing staff shall provide training to such agencies if needed to assist them in presenting such a program and shall review and approve the materials to be presented. The department shall formulate an effective and efficient method for updating files of victims of child sexual abuse. The plan for accomplishing this end shall be included in the comprehensive state plan;

(B) Preparing the state plan for submission to the members of the general assembly and the governor. Such preparation shall include the cooperative plans as provided in this section and the plan of action for coordination and integration of departmental activities into one (1) comprehensive plan. The comprehensive plan shall include a section reflecting general conditions and needs, an analysis of variations based on population or geographic areas, identified problems, and recommendations for change; and

(C) Working with the specified agency in fulfilling the requirements of subdivisions (b)(2), (3), (4), (5) and (6);

(2) The department of education and the state board of education and the department of children's services shall work together in developing ways to inform and instruct appropriate school personnel and children in all school districts in the detection, intervention, prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse and in the proper action that should be taken in a suspected case of child sexual abuse. The plan for accomplishing this end shall be included in the comprehensive state plan;

(3) The departments of education and children's services, and the state board of education, shall work together on the enhancement or adaptation of curriculum materials to assist instructional personnel in providing instruction through a multi-disciplinary approach on the detection, intervention, prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse. The curriculum materials shall be geared toward a sequential program of instruction at progressional levels for kindergarten (K) through grade six (6). Strategies for utilizing the curriculum shall be included in the comprehensive plan;

(4) (A) The Jerry F. Agee Tennessee Law Enforcement Academy, the Tennessee peace officer standards and training commission, and the department of children's services shall work together in developing ways to inform and instruct appropriate local law enforcement personnel in the detection of child sexual abuse and in the proper action that should be taken in a suspected case of child sexual abuse:

(i) Guidelines shall be prepared establishing a standard procedure that may be followed by police agencies in the investigation of cases involving sexual abuse of children, including police response to, and treatment of, victims of such crimes;

(ii) The course of training leading to the basic certificate issued by the Tennessee peace officer standards and training commission shall include adequate instruction in the procedures described in subdivision (b)(4)(A) and shall be included as a part of the in-service training requirement to be eligible for the salary supplement authorized in § 38-8-111;

(iii) A course of study pursuant to such procedures for the training of specialists in the investigation of child sexual abuse cases shall be implemented by the Jerry F. Agee Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy. Officers assigned as investigation specialists for these crimes shall successfully complete their training;

(iv) The peace officers standards and training commission may authorize the certification of officers under this section if the officers have received training meeting the criteria established in subdivision (b)(4)(A) from any other approved training course at sites other than the Jerry F. Agee Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy; and

(v) It is the intent of the general assembly to encourage the establishment of child sex crime investigation units in sheriffs' departments and police agencies throughout the state, which units shall include investigating crimes involving sexual abuse of children;

(B) The plan for accomplishing this end shall be included in the comprehensive state plan;

(5) The department of children's services shall work with other appropriate public and private agencies to emphasize efforts to educate the general public about the problem of and ways to detect, intervene in, prevent and treat child sexual abuse, and in the proper action that should be taken in a suspected case of child sexual abuse. Such plan shall include a method for publicizing and notifying the general public of the resources and agencies available to provide help and services for victimized children and their families. The plan for accomplishing this end shall be included in the comprehensive state plan; and

(6) The department of children's services and the judicial council shall work together in developing a mechanism to inform and instruct judges with juvenile, divorce and criminal jurisdiction in the detection, intervention, prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse and in the proper action that should be taken in a known or suspected case of child sexual abuse. The plan for accomplishing this end shall be included in the comprehensive state plan.

(c) (1) All budget requests submitted by the department of children's services, the department of education, or any other agency to the general assembly for funding of efforts for the detection, intervention, prevention, and treatment of child sexual abuse shall be based on the state comprehensive plan developed pursuant to this section.

(2) The department of children's services shall readdress the plan one (1) year following its initial presentation and at least biennially thereafter, and shall make necessary revisions. No later than January 31, 1987, and no later than January 31 of every uneven year thereafter, such revisions shall be submitted to the government operations committees of both houses of the general assembly and to the governor.

Acts 1985, ch. 478, § 4; 1987, ch. 145, § 27; 1988, ch. 953, § 13; 1989, ch. 278, § 36; 1996, ch. 1079, § 73; 2000, ch. 947, § 6; 2000, ch. 981, §§ 51, 56; 2009, ch. 238, § 2; 2010, ch. 1100, § 53.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2010, ch. 1100, § 153 provided that the commissioner of mental health and developmental disabilities, the commissioner of mental health, the commissioner of intellectual and developmental disabilities, and the commissioner of finance and administration are authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of the act. All such rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

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