Family Healing Center: Senate Bill 18 – The Children’s Bill of Rights

Mar 18, 2017 | 2017 Articles, Helping Hands

by Steve Wright

The Family Healing Center will be sharing with KRL’s readers about the things they do once a month.

logoOne of the things I make sure I do is keep up with as much of the legislation that has some kind of impact on children and the family. It is interesting to see that no matter what piece of legislation comes out, there is a polarizing political effect. One side says it’s good, the other side says its bad, and each has a bucket load of evidence to substantiate their claim. This is usually because from the inception the issue is partisan.

SB18 is no different. If you recall in the January issue, I discussed SB1322 which was designed to declare juveniles involved in prostitution as Human Trafficking victims and decriminalized prostitution for juveniles. Both sides are at odds over what that bill really does, and it is going to be impossible to tell until we see the enforcement arm begin to act on the bill. SB18 is a short bill that has seven provisions or a list of “rights” for children. When you look at the rights as written into the bill you think, well of course children should have the right to all of these things, we all should. I don’t think anyone would argue the rights themselves.

The problem comes in Section 2 of the bill that states by January 1, 2022, the State will put forth research based policy solutions that will ensure the Bill of Rights in its totality is applied evenly, equitably, and appropriately to all children and youth across the state. The problem is that the state or the “government” wants to dictate how each parent is applying these rights to children based on their own research based policy.

Each parent needs to look at this and see if they want to have input on what this “research based policy” looks like. There are already many laws on the books, namely the Welfare and Institutions Code, that apply to the care and welfare of children, among many others included in the Penal Codes of the State. This is where the controversy comes into play. Is this an unnecessary intrusion by the government into our rights as parents? or do we need the government telling us how to parent? I think each of us need to keep an eye on this bill and do not hesitate to speak your mind as this bill moves forward. If you say or do nothing you may have to live with the unwanted outcome.

SB18 Resources

For more information on the Family Healing Center visit our website at Learn more from their first column here in KRL.


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