TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas’ child welfare department and law enforcement officers soon will be required to visually observe a child when they’re investigating allegations of abuse or neglect under a bill Gov. Laura Kelly signed into law Friday.
The measure is known as “Adrian’s Law,” and will take effect by mid-June. The new law is named for a 7-year-old Kansas City, Kansas boy, Adrian Jones, who was murdered in 2015.
The boy was tortured and starved before his remains were fed to pigs on his family’s rental property. His father and stepmother were sentenced to life in prison in connection with his death.
Department for Children and Families records released in 2017 showed that the department did not had physical contact with Adrian after February 2012 despite an earlier report suggesting his mother might have abused him. His family moved frequently, according to the records.
Adrian’s Law can also hold adults who witness abuse criminally responsible if they don’t report it to the authorities.
The new law also will establish a 13-member joint legislative committee to provide oversight for the state’s child welfare system.
The measure passed both chambers earlier this month with no members voting against it.