Gonzalez Bill to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse Passes Senate Public Safety Committee

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – (Tuesday, June 22, 2021) – Today, Assembly Bill 506 to require youth service organizations to implement child sexual abuse prevention measures and mandate regular volunteers to complete training on how to identify and report child abuse and neglect was unanimously approved by the Senate Public Safety Committee.
 
“As a parent, I want to know that staff and volunteers caring for children have been vetted and know how to catch and report any potential abuse happening,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez (D-San Diego) said. “Unfortunately, this just hasn’t been the case. Sexual abuse of children in youth organizations has been disturbingly underreported for decades. This is a commonsense bill that simply ensures those who work closely with children in these organizations are subject to comprehensive background checks, follow minimum standards and have the basic training necessary to protect kids.”
 
Widespread child sexual abuse within some youth service organizations has been able to persist for years before ever being reported. In one case, hundreds of children were sexually abused while participating in the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, which serves more than 4 million children as the nation’s largest youth development nonprofit organization. Similarly, it was revealed the Boys Scouts of America had more than 90,000 cases of childhood sexual abuse over decades after a lawsuit was filed against the organization in 2020. 
 
Despite some youth service organizations adopting best practices to prevent childhood sexual abuse following these incidents, there are still no uniform prevention standards in place. AB 506 establishes a baseline for child abuse prevention policies, including requiring background checks for employees and regular volunteers, and policies on reporting suspected abuse.
 
For questions or to schedule an interview with Assemblywoman Gonzalez, contact Mike Blount: Mike.Blount@asm.ca.gov