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house Bill H.R. 485

Should the Feds Fund Efforts to Prevent Opioid-Related Child Mistreatment?

Argument in favor

The opioid epidemic has devastated families, causing cases of child maltreatment to spike in recent years. It’s important that the federal government funds programs to ensure children aren’t harmed due to their parents’ or caregivers’ addiction. This issue is particularly urgent during the COVID-19 pandemic, as families are under unprecedented levels of stress which may lead to increased incidences of child abuse.

Hillary's Opinion
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03/08/2021
Yes, but, if we funded real education with zero to private schools, funded universal health care, made some drugs legal, brought back community mental health system, provided mental health & domestic conflict specialists instead of expecting police to handle everything, if our society respected integrity, honesty, dignity, instead of only money-then this might be less of an issue.
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davidf's Opinion
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03/08/2021
If you question the impact Covid restrictions have had on increased opioid abuse and increased child abuse you are sorely out of touch with the real world. Funding this initiative is important. To not do so is itself contributory to abuse.
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Brian's Opinion
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03/17/2021
We should do whatever we can to help those suffering from Opioid abuse, including identifying and solving the root causes of this problem. We should protect children and families, but we need to be careful to not treat addicts as criminals just for using drugs. We have filled our prisons for decades with people for using drugs, and it's not working. Let's fund more treatment and rehabilitation programs, and make them affordable or free for ALL Americans, regardless of background or status.
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Argument opposed

While it’s important to keep children from being harmed by their parents’ or caregivers’ opioid addictions, it’s also equally — if even more — important to address the opioid epidemic’s root causes. This bill only addresses a symptom of the opioid epidemic. Additionally, its gender identity provision hijacks child abuse prevention legislation in order to insert leftist transgender ideology where it doesn’t belong.

Robert (steve)'s Opinion
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03/08/2021
I think the drug dealers should have to pay for this, big Pharma.
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B.R.'s Opinion
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03/08/2021
I don't think that anyone is questioning the importance of protecting our children from child abuse and neglect, and allocating the resources to do so, but this bill is lacking in its objective. To begin with, it is unclear what affects Covid has had on this issue, in addition to the data showing no increase activity during this timeframe. One must then ask, how can one use Covid as a justification for increasing the funding? More specifically, a justification for funding an additional $270 million for expansion and another $270 million for new research. By the way, have you noticed the bill excludes the existing funding already allocated. Aside from this, this bill does not address the core problem, which is opioid addiction, which has its own funding.
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Keene44's Opinion
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03/08/2021
This is a typical political flight of hand. They give it a heart wrenching title in hopes you won’t read it and just support it. However, like the joke of the stimulus package hardly any money goes to title program in a productive way. It mainly pads pockets of the politicians donors (puppet masters)
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What is House Bill H.R. 485?

This bill — the Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (Stronger CAPTA) — would seek to strengthen the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) by providing strategic funding to build networks of prevention services to strengthen families and 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.

Impact

The opioid epidemic; child abuse and maltreatment victims; child abuse and maltreatment prevention organizations; domestic violence prevention programs; child welfare professionals and paraprofessionals; child welfare research; tribal organizations; migrant programs; and inter-state sharing of child abuse data.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 485

$2.00 Billion
During the 116th Congress, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that this bill would cost over $2 billion over the five-year period from 2019-2024. Its cost would then increase to over $3.6 billion over the ten-year period from 2019-2029.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Kim Schrier (D-WA) reintroduced this bill from the 116th Congress to combat rising child mistreatment due to the rising rates of child maltreatment over the past decade:

“We have seen a worrying increase in reports of domestic violence and child abuse during this pandemic.  With more people at home together during this pandemic, and with families under more stress than ever, children are at higher risk of abuse. Too often we react to child abuse after the fact.  As a pediatrician, I want to do everything I can to ensure we prevent child abuse before it happens, which is what this bill intends.  That is why I’m proud to introduce Stronger CAPTA, which will provide resources to families and states to help prevent child abuse and neglect, including for children affected by the opioid crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

In the previous session of Congress, Rep. Schrier said:

“One death of a child is one too many. As a pediatrician, I am trained to identify potential instances of child abuse and neglect. Too often we react to child abuse instead of doing everything we can to prevent it. It is long past time to help children before they are abused. That is why I’m proud to introduce CAPTA, which will provide resources to families and states to help prevent child abuse and neglect, including for children affected by the opioid crisis.”

Original cosponsor Rep. James Comer (R-KY, Civil Rights and Human Services Subcommittee Ranking Member, believes this bill will be one of the five most important pieces of legislation to come out of Congress this year. He adds:

“I'm proud to be the lead Republican sponsor of this reauthorization of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), which provides states and community organizations with the tools and resources they need to provide evidence-based, prevention-focused services for our nation’s children and families. The safety and security of some of our most vulnerable members of society – our nation’s children – is of the utmost importance and requires this committee's full attention.”

Susan Dreyfus, president and CEO of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, a national association of nonprofit providers in social services, says the connection between the opioid epidemic and child maltreatment is playing out across the country. She says, “I move all around the country, and I cannot think of a single state where this is not becoming a growing issue in their child welfare system.”

However, Dreyfus adds, it’s imperative to address the opioid epidemic’s root causes:

“We’ve got to get underneath the true causes of [opioid addiction], which are really steeped in people’s lack of coping skills, their own health, well-being and sense of hopefulness in their lives. I think people are self-medicating with opioids and we’ve got to understand why. If we think we’re going to solve the opioid epidemic by simply increasing access to treatment, we will be forever perplexed by the dilemma.”

The American Principles Project opposed this legislation in the 116th Congress. It advocated for a clean reauthorization of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act instead, which would strip the House-added provisions, including the gender identity provision that it argued “slipped transgender ideology into child abuse prevention”:

“House Democrats have hijacked legislation designed to protect and support truly abused children in order to make it easier for transgender activists to control the healthcare decisions of minor children and coerce parents into going along with it by threatening to take their children away if they don’t… Despite many parents rightly questioning the idea that medical intervention is the best treatment for a child with body image issues or an immature understanding of gender, the Left is enforcing its radical gender ideology with an iron fist, hijacking the most fundamental human relationship — that of a parent and child. Already, parents in Ohio have lost custody of their minor daughter when they questioned a gender clinic’s decision to give her testosterone treatment. This decision to strip parental rights from good, loving parents was celebrated by transgender activist organizations.”

This legislation has 25 bipartisan House cosponsors, including 19 Democrats and six Republicans. The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, National Child Abuse Coalition, and National Court Appointed Special Advocates Guardians ad Litem (National CASA/GAL) support this legislation.

In the previous Congressional session, this bill passed the House by a voice vote 49 bipartisan cosponsors, including 30 Democrats and 19 Republicans.


Of NoteFollowing significant declines in child abuse and neglect rates through the 1990s and 2000s, the child maltreatment rate has climbed in recent years due to the opioid epidemic, which has devastated families and communities across the country. Thus, 676,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect in 2016.

In a March 2018 research brief, the Dept. of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation found that nationally, rates of drug overdose deaths and drug-related hospitalizations have a statistical relationship with child welfare caseloads, including rates of child protective services reports, substantiated reports, and foster care placements. The HHS report also found that higher indicators of substance use correspond to more complex and severe child welfare cases.

The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) is the key piece of federal legislation addressing child abuse and neglect. It provides federal funding to states to support child abuse prevention, assessment, investigation, prosecution, and treatment activities. It also provides grants to public agencies and nonprofits, including Native American tribes and tribal organizations, for demonstration programs and projects to prevent and address child maltreatment.

Although it’s unclear how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting rates of child abuse and neglect, initial data shows that the number of children hospitalized due to child abuse and negledct has remained stable during the pandemic. This suggests a continued need to support American families, especially with families facing unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic. 


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Imgorthand)

AKA

Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act

Official Title

To reauthorize the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
  • The house Passed March 17th, 2021
    Roll Call Vote 345 Yea / 73 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Education and Labor
    IntroducedJanuary 25th, 2021

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    Yes, but, if we funded real education with zero to private schools, funded universal health care, made some drugs legal, brought back community mental health system, provided mental health & domestic conflict specialists instead of expecting police to handle everything, if our society respected integrity, honesty, dignity, instead of only money-then this might be less of an issue.
    Like (58)
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    I think the drug dealers should have to pay for this, big Pharma.
    Like (21)
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    If you question the impact Covid restrictions have had on increased opioid abuse and increased child abuse you are sorely out of touch with the real world. Funding this initiative is important. To not do so is itself contributory to abuse.
    Like (24)
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    Sounds like both sides are talking past each other. Maybe they should try listening and working together to make a stronger bill that save children and addresses the root cause of opioid addiction.🤔
    Like (20)
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    We should do whatever we can to help those suffering from Opioid abuse, including identifying and solving the root causes of this problem. We should protect children and families, but we need to be careful to not treat addicts as criminals just for using drugs. We have filled our prisons for decades with people for using drugs, and it's not working. Let's fund more treatment and rehabilitation programs, and make them affordable or free for ALL Americans, regardless of background or status.
    Like (15)
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    If you work with children in any capacity, you already know more needs to be done in our country to protect children from abuse & neglect. Opioids increase the numbers of cases. Of course we need to address abuse & neglect, but we will continue to fund this if we don’t address the root causes!
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    But why wasn’t that part of the COVID virus relief bill? Is it so the democrats can tax more and spend more? Or was it because the bridge between New York and Canada or the underground rail system between San Francisco and Silicon Valley were more important because of the “need to payback friends”?
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    Wow kevin brady, nice to see so much INTEREST in this subject with your incredibly tough 'NOT VOTING' stance on keeping kids off of opioids! How many local Tx. pharmacies are in your pocket???
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    Yes, during the interim until Big Pharm the corporate entities most responsible for this tragic situation can be forced to pay for the damage their drugs and their lies have done!
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    Representatives, Thank you! The House Passed H. R. 485 Reauthorizing the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, and providing additional services. Yea: 345 Nay: 73 Next is onto the Senate.
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    I don't think that anyone is questioning the importance of protecting our children from child abuse and neglect, and allocating the resources to do so, but this bill is lacking in its objective. To begin with, it is unclear what affects Covid has had on this issue, in addition to the data showing no increase activity during this timeframe. One must then ask, how can one use Covid as a justification for increasing the funding? More specifically, a justification for funding an additional $270 million for expansion and another $270 million for new research. By the way, have you noticed the bill excludes the existing funding already allocated. Aside from this, this bill does not address the core problem, which is opioid addiction, which has its own funding.
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    Why is this even a question?
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    I bet Republicans will vote against the children as well.
    Like (7)
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    This is a typical political flight of hand. They give it a heart wrenching title in hopes you won’t read it and just support it. However, like the joke of the stimulus package hardly any money goes to title program in a productive way. It mainly pads pockets of the politicians donors (puppet masters)
    Like (7)
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    I would like to say YES but money goes to private schools and in our state tax dollars go to Charter Schools and private religious schools, defunding our public schools of school nurses, mental health counselors. Opioid addicted happens here and little is done for treatment. Healthcare is limited to those folks who need it the most. Everyone knows the wealthier schools, public and private opioids runs amuck. Congress allowed the big pharmaceuticals to run free getting people hooked on drugs and did nothing. Now they want to look like saviors but do nothing to pharmaceuticals or their CEOS who pushed these drugs. Now they will have taxpayers pay for their mistakes. Hard to believe in two faced Congress.
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    Why aren’t the pharmaceutical companies having to fund this. The opioid fines handed down was a mere slap on the wrist.
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    Sounds great but READ the bill. All it does is give tax payer money to gender studies and migrants!!!! While pharmaceutical companies who caused this mess continue to reap the benefits. Just another way to move money from our pockets to fund liberal elite interests. Myanmar, Hungary, Poland have now all banned soros open boarder groups and Soros will be arrested on sight in Poland. Realize they are dismantling us. We were thrust into a slave class with the scamdemic and they have no intention of letting go of the power. Wake up.
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    I would have said yes until I read the bill. This co-sponsored bill demonstrates a cross-party predilection to do the wrong thing for the right reason if it sounds good on the surface. Hopefully our legislators will actually read the bill themselves and vote instead to re-authorize a clean CAPTA bill
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    We should be doing everything we can to help those affected by this opioid crisis, including the vulnerable. Children need to grow up in a safe environment, not one where they are mistreated. I am absolutely in favor of this bill and encourage my senators to vote in favor.
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    That’s a lot of PORK! As noted: ‘This bill only addresses a SYMPTOM of the opioid epidemic. Additionally, its “gender identity provision” hijacks child abuse prevention legislation in order to insert leftist transgender ideology where it doesn’t belong.’ I am so sick of legislators adding PORK into these bills. We need to really crack down and STOP adding NON-RELATED items into these bills! I’m tired of paying out additional monies for BS.
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