HARRISBURG – PA could soon receive $25 million in federal funding to keep children safe through passage of Senate Bill 78, known as Kayden’s Law. Congress passed the 2022 Reauthorization of Violence Against Women’s Act, which makes new federal grants available to states that reform their child custody laws. Kayden’s Law would provide such reform. The legislation would make a child’s safety and welfare the principle focus in any custody dispute by imposing safety conditions and restrictions on visitation in cases of abuse; modifying the factors a judge must consider in making a custody award to put the focus on the health and safety of the child; and recommending better training of court personnel involved in custody cases. The bill was named for Kayden Mancuso, a 7-year-old girl murdered in August 2018 by her biological father during an unsupervised visit. The visit had been ordered by the court in the custody case between the father and Kayden’s mom, despite evidence of abusive and violent behavior by the father. Senate Bill 78 is before the PA House Judiciary Committee.

KAYDEN MANCUSO