HELENA — Montana lawmakers heard several bills seeking to make changes to the state’s child protection system, setting higher standards for removing children from their homes and reducing caseworker turnover.
The House Judiciary Committee heard three bills Thursday, the first of which would require children be in danger of serious bodily injury before they can be removed from their home. Opponents argued that standard does not address children who are being sexually or emotionally abused.
Another bill would require a show-cause hearing within 48 hours of a child being removed, which opponents said wasn’t practical.
One bill sought to reduce turnover by helping caseworkers repay their student loans if they stay with the agency for three years while another recommended annual training for caseworkers.
Lawmakers have not voted on the bills.
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