Senator Tom Killion E-Newsletter

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Protecting Children in Foster Care

Remembering Grace Packer

Last month I introduced a legislative proposal to better protect Pennsylvania’s children in foster care.

This legislation is in memory of Grace Packer, a 14-year old from Southeastern Pennsylvania who was brutally murdered in 2016 by her adoptive mother and the adoptive mother’s boyfriend. Before Grace was killed, she was beaten and raped by the boyfriend, and her body was dismembered and dumped in Luzerne County.

This unbelievably tragic story made national headlines, and it brought to light the severe monitoring and reporting deficiencies that exist in Pennsylvania’s foster care system.

Following Grace’s death, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services issued the Report on the Fatality of Grace Packer, which can be found HERE. This report suggests a number of reforms needed to protect children who are in foster care and who are adopted through county child welfare agencies, as was the case with Grace.

My legislation contains recommendations from this report, including:

  • Updating expungement regulations and laws so that county child welfare agencies have more accurate and relevant family member records to better track any behaviors that would endanger children;
  • Allowing an expedited case review process by county child welfare agencies when families move to a new county;
  • Removing barriers for the sharing of information between child-related agencies and law enforcement so that those responsible for the well-being of children know as much as possible about potentially dangerous situations;
  • Extending the length of time child agencies and contractors are required to keep records that are needed for the long-term safety monitoring of children placed with families.

What happened to Grace Packer must never be allowed to happen to another child. Our child welfare agencies and foster care system failed Grace. I am hopeful this legislation will protect our children and help prevent future tragedies.

A television news story about the Grace Packer case can be found HERE.

More information about my legislation can be found HERE.

Upcoming Events

Protecting Pennsylvania’s Animals

It was a pleasure participating in a forum last week on promoting animal welfare at Neumann University’s Center for Leadership. Along with Delco DA Katayoun Copeland, Kristin Tullo from the Humane Society of Pennsylvania and others, we discussed the strides PA has made to improve its animal welfare laws and the need to build on our recent successes with legislation like Victoria’s Law.

Plus, I got to hang out with Molly, who is available for adoption at Brandywine Valley SPCA!

Drug Abuse Forum

Several dozen people came out for the drug abuse forum I hosted along with Delco DA Katayoun Copeland in Marcus Hook last week. I worked with the Borough of Marcus Hook to organize this event to ensure those who are personally affected or have a family member suffering from drug addiction understand there a number of resources available to get help. It is important community leaders have the tools necessary to fight the drug epidemic in Pennsylvania.

You can read the Delco Times article about the event HERE.

Hearing on Liquor Laws in Pennsylvania

This week I hosted a hearing of the Senate’s Law & Justice Committee at Grace Winery in Thornbury, Delaware County. We were discussing ways to build on the successes of Act 39 of 2016 which created new opportunities for wineries, breweries, distilleries and cider mills to get their products to consumers. Act 39 has resulted in a dramatic growth in the craft beverage industry in Pennsylvania.

You can watch the entire hearing HERE.

Wawa’s Future Food Scientist Program – featuring Garnet Valley High School!

I had a great time participating in the product launch of a limited-edition chicken and waffles recipe developed by middle school students in the Garnet Valley School District as part of Wawa’s inaugural Future Food Scientist Program. The program offers students a unique, behind-the-scenes look at how fresh quality food and beverages are made at Wawa.

Weatherproofing for Winter Months Ahead

Early fall temperatures offer perfect conditions for weather-proofing your home, according to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

The heat loss due to a quarter inch gap at the base of a three-foot wide exterior door is equal to the loss through a three inch hole in the wall of your home. Prepare now to conserve energy and money later with the following resources:

Utilities are required by the PUC to offer programs and protections that help low-income customers maintain utility service.

Assistance for Veterans

I partner with the Pennsylvania American Legion every month to assist local veterans at my Brookhaven office. A representative from this organization will be helping veterans with issues on:

Date: Wednesday, September 25th

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Location: Senator Killion’s Brookhaven Office, 4110 Edgmont Avenue, Brookhaven, PA

I encourage veterans and their families who have questions about benefits and programs to schedule an appointment during these assistance hours. Appointments can be made by contacting my office at (610) 447 – 3163. This service is offered the fourth Wednesday of each month.


Always Here to Help

My offices provide many services to families in our area. Here are some of the ways we can help.

  • Unemployment compensation issues
  • SEPTA Key Senior Photo IDs
  • Free notary service
  • Pennsylvania birth certificates
  • PennDOT assistance with drivers licensing questions
  • Information on financial assistance for higher education
  • Assistance with preparation of Property Tax/Rent Rebate applications
  • Citations from the Pennsylvania Senate for notable local accomplishments and milestones
  • Assistance with PA insurance programs: Medical Assistance and CHIP
  • Fishing and hunting information
  • Pennsylvania personal income tax forms
  • Pennsylvania road maps
  • Requests for copies of legislation, bills and regulations
  • Requests for literature for students and senior citizens
  • Tours of the State Capitol for individuals or groups
  • Assistance with state agency issues

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