Child Welfare & Adoption: House Committee Approves CAPTA Reauthorization

On May 8, the House Committee on Education and Labor approved the Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (H.R.2480). This bill reauthorizes the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), which provides federal funding to states to address child abuse and neglect. This bill increases investments to address child maltreatment resulting from the opioid epidemic. Learn more about the legislation here.

New Legislation Introduced to Protect Children From Abuse

Senate Bill 2054, the Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2014, was introduced by Senator Christopher Murphy (D-CT) with Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) as a co-sponsor.  S.2054 addresses the lack of federal law regulating the treatment of minors in residential facilities by establishing standards designed to prevent child abuse and improve access to medical care during emergencies.  The bill would prohibit physical or mental abuse and withholding of essential food, water, clothing, shelter, or medical care to children in the program’s care and restrict the use of restraints.  The bill requires programs to obtain parental consent before making nonemergency changes to a child’s medication. Programs must report any deaths to the protection and advocacy system within 48 hours after informing the state of the death.  Covered programs include public or private residential programs that provide behavioral modification programs and therapeutic boarding schools and are designed for children with emotional, behavioral, or mental health problems or alcohol or substance abuse issues.  To view The Arc’s statement on this legislation, visit our blog.

Bill introduced to stop child abuse in residential programs for teens

The Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) (S. 1667) and in the House by Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) (H.R. 3126).  The legislation seeks to end child abuse in residential programs for teens by providing the reporting mechanisms, funding, surveillance, and training requirements needed to ensure that residential programs for teens are staffed with qualified, equipped, and safe personnel. The Arc supports efforts to ensure that people with disabilities are free from abuse, neglect, or any kind of mistreatment and to assure a well-trained workforce.