Stricter guidelines are now in place at Lancaster County’s Children & Youth agency following the beating death of a toddler earlier this year.
The changes come into play after a report has been filed and the child involved does not turn up.
“If a child birth to age 5 cannot be tracked down upon receiving a report within 24 hours and we cannot make contact with a parent, or a parent is unwilling to produce the child within a 24 hour period of time, police will be notified immediately,” said Crystal Natan, Executive Director of the Lancaster County Children and Youth agency.
For a child 6 to 11 years of age the window of time is 48 hours to contact police, and for a youngster 12 to 18 years old it is 72 hours.
These are for cases that do not automatically involve a police response, such as severe physical or sexual abuse.
The adjustments were implemented in mid-March and are the result of collaboration with county police departments, the District Attorney’s office, county commissioners and Children & Youth.
County commissioners made the request following the beating death of nearly 2-year-old Ja’Zirah Rodgers, a Lancaster girl allegedly beaten to death by her mother, 24-year-old Shondraya Dickson in Lancaster City back in January.