2023 Bills

HB 504: Requiring a Warrant for Child Welfare Workers to Enter a Home

This bill did not receive a vote.

Libertas Institute supports this bill

Staff review of this legislation finds that it aligns with our principles and should therefore be passed into law.

Child welfare case workers wear many hats. Most often, they provide services to families and children. However, at other times, they are responsible for investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect. When they do so, they are essentially performing law enforcement functions including gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses and suspects.

When workers go into homes to collect evidence or when the homeowner is suspected of abusing or neglecting a child, workers should have to obtain a warrant before entering the home. This is precisely what would be required by House Bill 504, sponsored by Representative Christin Watkins.  The bill recognizes that the protections of the Fourth Amendment apply not only when police officers investigate a crime, but any time a government agent searches or seizes property.  

Our homes are our castles, and any time the government is going to demand entry, a neutral judge, unconnected with the investigation, should find that there is probable cause to do so. For these reasons, the Libertas Institute supports this bill.