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Home > Advocacy > Advocacy Archive > CWLA's 2002 Legislative Agenda


CWLA 2002 Legislative Agenda

Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act

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  • Reauthorize and increase funding for the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).


Since 1974, CAPTA has been part of the federal government's effort to help states and communities improve their practices in preventing and treating child abuse and neglect. CAPTA provides grants to states to support innovations in state child protective services (CPS) and community-based preventive services, as well as research, training, data collection, and program evaluation.

State Grants
Title I of CAPTA authorizes discretionary grants to the states to help improve their CPS systems. Funding for these grants has not grown much over the past several years. In fiscal year 2002, CAPTA state grants were funded at $22 million. CAPTA imposes no income or other eligibility requirements for people receiving assistance, and the program is intended to help children of any age. States use these grants to develop innovative approaches to improve CPS systems. States must meet eligibility requirements, such as having mandatory reporting laws, preserving victim confidentiality, appointing guardians ad litem, and establishing citizen review panels.

Discretionary Grants
CAPTA discretionary funds support state efforts to improve their practices in preventing and treating child abuse and neglect. Funds support program development, research, training, technical assistance, and the collection and dissemination of data to advance the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. These funds also support the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, the only federal data collection effort to determine the scope of child abuse and neglect. CAPTA funds also support other national initiatives, such as the National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect, the National Resource Center on Child Maltreatment, and the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect. FY 2002 funding for these discretionary grants was $26 million.

Community-Based Family Resource and Support Program
The Community-Based Family Resource and Support Program was created in 1996 by combining the authority for the existing Community-Based Family Resource Programs, the Temporary Child Care for Children with Disabilities and Crisis Nurseries Program, and the Family Support Program. The consolidated program provides grants to states to support their efforts to develop, operate, and expand a network of community-based, prevention-focused family resource and support programs that coordinate resources among a range of existing public and private organizations.

Funding is allocated to states by a formula based on the number of children in a state's population and on the amount of funds directed through the grant recipient for prevention and family resource activities. The governor designates the state's funding recipient, which must be an existing entity, with priority consideration for children's trust funds or other entities that leverage a mix of funds for prevention activities. The Community-Based Family Resource and Support Program was funded at $33.4 million in FY 2002.

Key Facts

  • In 1999, state and local CPS agencies received an estimated 2,974,000 reports of abuse and neglect because family members, professionals, or other citizens were concerned about children's safety and well-being. CPS agencies investigated nearly 1,800,000 reports, representing an estimated 2,315,000 children.

  • After follow-up assessments, officials were able to substantiate that 826,162 children had been abused or neglected.

  • The average time from start of investigation to provision of service is 47.4 days. Forty-four percent of these child victims received no services. An additional estimated 217,000 children who were subjects of unsubstantiated reports received post-investigative services.

  • An estimated 1,137 children died as a result of abuse and neglect in 1999; 42.6% of those children died before their first birthday.


Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2001). Child maltreatment 1999: Reports from the states to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.

CWLA Contact

John Sciamanna

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