Luján introduces bill to prevent child abuse and neglect

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US Senator Ben Ray Luján

News from the US SENATE:

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Ben Ray Luján (DN.M.) and Bob Casey (D-PA) on Friday introduced the Family Strengthening Infrastructure Act to make critical investments to correct the imbalance between prevention and service foster care in America by increasing funding for Titles I and Title II of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).

CAPTA has played a vital role in preventing and combating child abuse and neglect. CAPTA’s Title I state grants support the state’s child protection service systems in responding to abuse, and its CBCAP Title II grants support community-based, community-based services. evidence-based and trauma-informed that strengthens families and prevents child abuse and child protection system involvement.

The Family Strengthening Infrastructure Act would provide $ 250 million for Title I and $ 250 million for Title II per year until 2031. These investments would enable states to promote a public health approach to child abuse and neglect in America and prevent unnecessary family separation and foster care. , as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Department of Health and Human Services.

“Protecting the well-being of our children has been a priority for our country since 1974, when the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse Act (CAPTA) was enacted and became the cornerstone of our national efforts to supporting families and ensuring the safety of children. While this program has been shown to play a fundamental role in preventing child abuse, studies have shown that CAPTA is tragically underfunded – compromising the well-being of countless children across the country and continuing our addiction. federal government towards foster care, ”Luján said. “This is why I am proud to introduce the Family Strengthening Infrastructure Act, because it will increase funding for ACCAP and redirect federal investments to focus on improving families rather than removing children. As families and children of color are overrepresented in the child welfare system, this bill would enable our country to deliver on its commitment to the most vulnerable children and families by helping them stay together and thrive. ‘flourish.

“Every child in America deserves to grow up in a safe environment, but unfortunately too many children find themselves in situations where they are abused or neglected. I am proud to present the Family Strengthening Infrastructure Act with Senator Luján to make major investments in local child welfare services and community programs that work to prevent child abuse. Our country can only be successful if we give children every chance to succeed, ”said Casey.

“Providing long-term investments for CAPTA will expand community-driven primary prevention efforts that strengthen families, who are currently underfunded. The need to prevent child abuse and reduce foster care placements could not be greater than it is today, ”said CWLA President and CEO Christian James- Brown. “We support Senator Luján’s bill and hope that Congress will act to improve the lives of the most vulnerable children and families in this country,”

“Prevent Child Abuse America is pleased to support Senator Luján’s Family Strengthening Infrastructure Act of 2021. The Community Based Child Abuse Prevention Grant Program (CBCAP) is our country’s infrastructure for connecting children and families to primary prevention programs that strengthen families and prevent child abuse, ”he said. declared Prevent Children Abuse America. “Providing additional funding to the CBCAP is absolutely essential to ensure that more children and families in America have access to these essential services, which keep them together and thriving. “

“The National Child Abuse Coalition is pleased to support the Family Strengthening Infrastructure Act. CAPTA represents the infrastructure of services and supports that prevent child abuse and the subsequent involvement of the child protection system, ”said the National Child Abuse Coalition. “With adequate funding, the program is well positioned to generate major impact for children and families. ”

“The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and the Council on Accreditation thank Senator Luján and Senator Casey for recognizing the importance of adequate funding levels for the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA ) to meet the needs of families and children. By shifting federal resources to more upstream and preventative programs that strengthen families and support child well-being, they are helping to transform child protection systems into systems of child welfare and child welfare. family that support racial equity and primary prevention, ”said the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and Accreditation Council.

The legislation is approved by the Committee for Children, the Children’s Advocacy Institute, the Child Welfare League of America, Prevent Child Abuse America, Zero To Three, National Family Support Network, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and Council on Accreditation, Children and Families Futures, National Child Abuse Coalition, Triple P America, Inc. and Children’s Defense Fund.

The full text of the legislation can be found HERE.

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