Lawmakers, Advocates Celebrate Committee Approval of Child Reunification Legislation

HARRISBURG – NFL Hall of Famer and Super Bowl Champion Mike Singletary joined State Senators Camera Bartolotta (R-Washington) and Scott Martin (R-Lancaster) today to mark the advancement of a bill to provide a new tool to reunify lost children with their parents.

Senate Bill 460, also known as the Child Reunification Act, would provide parents with free identification kits that include fingerprinting materials, DNA collection swabs and other information that can be used to help identify the child in case of an emergency.

The information would be stored securely by parents and would not be entered in any sort of state or national database in order to protect the personal information of children and families.

“As a parent, I cannot imagine a more terrifying situation than my child going missing,” Bartolotta said. “When families face this terrible situation, there is nothing more important than making sure law enforcement has every tool they need to reunite a missing child as quickly as possible.”

“The idea of a missing child is an absolute nightmare, and every second counts in that scenario,” Martin said. “It is crucial for families to have this tool available, even if we hope they never need to use it.”

Under the bill, the kits would be distributed by school districts for all students in first grade at no cost to parents. Bartolotta and Martin have been working on the legislation for several months since they first announced the plan in October.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Crime Information Center, there were 30,618 active missing person records for juveniles under the age of 18 as of December 31, 2019. More than 460,000 children in the United States go missing each year – one child every 40 seconds, on average.

The Child Reunification Act is part of a national grassroots effort to expand child identification programs. The community safety initiative began in 1997 in response to the abduction of Amber Hagerman, for whom the Amber Alert was named. The NFL Alumni Association and Pro Football Hall of Fame offer continued support and leadership for the program.

Across the nation, these efforts have been known as the Greene-Trumka Child Reunification Act, honoring the longtime support of Pittsburgh Steelers legend Joe Greene and the late AFL-CIO leader Richard Trumka.


CONTACT:           Jason Thompson (Martin)
                                Katrina Hanna (Bartolotta)

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