Kayden’s Law Hearing Being Held Thursday

Kayden Mancuso, 7, leans on her mother, Kathryn Sherlock, with her (from left) half-brother Blake, 1; stepfather Brian Sherlock; and half-brother Kyler. Photo submitted Aug. 6, 2018.

There will be a public hearing Thursday with the state Senate Democratic Policy Committee to hear the community’s input on a custody reform law. The bill in question, Kayden’s Law, would make changes to how the state judicial system reviews potential abuse cases.

Kayden’s Law is a direct response by state lawmakers to the murder-suicide killing of 7-year-old Kayden Mancuso in 2018. Her biologically father, Jeff Mancuso, had the weekend to spend with his daughter. He took the opportunity to kill her, then himself.

But Kayden’s biologically mother, Kathryn Sherlock, says Mr. Mancuso “had a violent and storied history.” To Sherlock, the court-ordered unsupervised visits show the system failed to protect her child.

While the Lower Makefield Township family can never have their daughter back, Kayden’s family is fighting to change the law. If passed into law, it would make the court “thoroughly vet allegations of abuse.” Stepfather Brian Sherlock says Kayden’s Law would have made an impact.

“They’ve done such a great job with this bill that I think if this was in place prior to last August, that she’d still be here,” Sherlock said in a telephone press conference.

Lower Makefield’s state Sen. Steve Santarsiero requested the state Senate Democratic Policy committee to host its hearing in the area Thursday.

“The safety of our children is being overlooked in far too many custody proceedings,” Santarsiero said. “It is our responsibility as legislators to reform the system so that a child’s safety is prioritized.”

The hearing will begin at 11 a.m. in the Lower Makefield Township Community Center, 1550 Oxford Valley Road.