STAND. COM. REP. NO. 307
RE: S.B. No. 237
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Health and Human Services, to which was referred S.B. No. 237 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO CHILD CUSTODY,"
begs leave to report as follows:
(1) Require certain individuals attempting to serve as child custody evaluators to complete a training course on the dynamics of domestic violence every three years; and
(2) Require the individuals to submit a letter or certificate of completion of the training course to the Family Court.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Judiciary, Midwives Alliance of Hawaii, Domestic Violence Action Center, Hawai‘i State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and two individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii Coalition for Child Protective Reform and three individuals.
Your Committee finds that professionals who work before the family court and who have an impact on the safety and well‑being of children and families need to understand the dynamics of domestic violence. Knowledge pertaining to domestic violence, including its lethality, subtlety, and prevalence, is especially important for child custody evaluators who provide written reports to the court and testify at court hearings and trials, so that their recommendations to the court truly serve the best interests of the child. This measure ensures that child custody evaluators receive continuing education on the issue of domestic violence.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting an effective date of December 31, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Health and Human Services that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 237, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 237, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Health and Human Services,
JOY A. SAN BUENAVENTURA, Chair