- Mike Blount
- Communications Director
SACRAMENTO – (Thursday, July 15 2021) – Widespread sexual abuse of children within youth service organizations has often been overlooked and gone underreported for decades. 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 Appropriations Committee.
“We hear about these stories of abuses against children sometimes decades after they happened,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez (D-San Diego) said. “We need to act so we’re not just holding these abusers accountable after the fact. We need to provide a safe environment for children by making sure the adults who are entrusted to care for them receive background checks and are trained to catch incidents of abuse early on.”
In one of the most notable examples in recent years, a lawsuit filed against the Boy Scouts of America alleged nearly 90,000 incidents of child abuse took place across more than four decades, leading the organization to declare bankruptcy in 2020.
AB 506 would establish a baseline for child abuse prevention policies in youth service organizations, including requiring background checks for employees and regular volunteers, and policies on reporting suspected abuse. The bill would require employees, administrators and regular volunteers to receive fingerprint-based background checks through the California Department of Justice.
For questions or to schedule an interview with Assemblywoman Gonzalez, contact Mike Blount: Mike.Blount@asm.ca.gov