Gov. OKs new approach to child abuse reports

Gov. Terry Branstad has signed eight bills into law, including one that creates a less-adversarial approach to investigating reports of child abuse.

Branstad signed the bills Friday, a day after the Legislature adjourned.

The child abuse reporting bill was backed by the Iowa Department of Human Services. It calls for a less-confrontational approach when investigating reports of minor child neglect, focusing on helping those families that simply need access to services.

Reports of a sexual, physical or substance abuse nature will still receive a traditional full investigation.

Other bills include changes to payments from the indigent defense fund by the state public defender and enhanced emergency communication systems.

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