This bill — the Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (Stronger CAPTA) — would seek to strengthen the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) to combat rising rates of child maltreatment due to the opioid crisis. This bill would provide strategic funding to build networks of prevention services to strengthen families to improve child protective services’ quality.
It’d also authorize $270 million for the expansion of prevention services to reach over three million children annually, as well as another $270 million to foster new research and support state child protective services agencies in expanding services to meet increased demand without sacrificing quality.
This bill would also establish uniform standards for counting child fatalities and near-fatalities related to child maltreatment. It’d also create an electronic system allowing states to share data from their child abuse and neglect registries with other states.
Additionally, this bill would:
- Support the development of strategies and best practices for reducing rates of child abuse and neglect linked to parent substance use disorder;
- Address racial bias across the child welfare system and ensure that prevention services are accessible to all families;
- Strengthen and expand intrastate coordination among agencies serving vulnerable families at risk of child abuse and neglect to ensure such families have access to physical and mental health services, domestic violence prevention programs, disability supports, and substance use treatment when necessary;
- Educate child welfare professionals and paraprofessionals on practices and strategies that effectively treat and prevent child abuse and neglect;
- Provide funding for research and technical assistance activities aimed at enhancing providers’ and administrators’ knowledge of effective child abuse and neglect prevention and treatment strategies; and
- Increase prevention funding for tribal organizations and migrant programs.