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Child Advocacy

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Summary

The Secretary of Defense is required by law to coordinate with civilian child welfare to obtain information of allegations of child abuse and neglect involving children in military families.

Key Message

State statute directing the collection of military affiliation as part of child welfare and neglect case files and sharing pertinent case file information with the appropriate military authorities can provide consistency and complement the statutory responsibility of the Department of Defense. This is a win-win for the state and military child welfare systems and military families we serve.

Statistic

DoD installations currently develop MoUs with counties which can leave gaps in coverage and inconsistencies in managing care for children in protective custody and foster care. Statewide MOUs between DoD (on behalf of the military communities) and the State child welfare agency (on behalf of local child protective services and other State and local agencies) can support improved continuity and child safety.