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Home / Legal News / Evers signs ‘Ethan’s Law,’ tightening out-of-home placement restrictions

Evers signs ‘Ethan’s Law,’ tightening out-of-home placement restrictions

Gov. Tony Evers has signed “Ethan’s Law,” a law that tightens out-home-home placement restrictions in an effort to protect children from abusive guardians.

Evers signed the bill on Thursday during a private ceremony with the family of Ethan Hauschultz, the bill’s namesake. The 7-year-old was beaten to death in 2018 after he was placed in the home of a distant relative in Manitowoc County who had previously pleaded no contest to a felony child abuse charge.

Senate Bill 24, now now 2021 Wisconsin Act 72, prohibits a juvenile court from putting a child in an out-of-home placement with a person has been convicted of, pled no contest to or been subject to a plea agreement for a crime against a child. However, the act allows for exceptions if the the judge determines by clear and convincing evidence that the placement is in the best interest of the child.

Ethan’s Law also bars licensed entities from employing, contracting with, or housing any person or employee that has been charged with certain crimes against a child.

Evers called the bill an important step in protecting children and making sure all kids have an opportunity to lead happy, healthy lives.

About Michaela Paukner, [email protected]

Michaela Paukner is the legal reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal. She can be reached at (414) 225-1825 or by email at [email protected]

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