On Wednesday, May 6, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Representative Kim Schrier (D-WA), and colleagues introduced the Emergency Funding for Child Protection Act that would bolster efforts by child protective services and non-profits to prevent abuse. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) provides funding to states to improve child protective services and funds community-based activities that stops child abuse and neglect before it happens, and the Emergency Funding for Child Protection Act would strengthen CAPTA.

The Emergency Funding for Child Protection Act would provide $500 million in emergency funds for local child protective services and $1 billion for community-based child abuse prevention programs. Child welfare and human service agencies across the country that play a role in preventing child abuse are challenged with conducting home visits or communicating virtual with children and family during the pandemic. During COVID-19 pandemic, children are at home and can be at risk and vulnerable to child abuse.

“We must do everything we can to ensure that our Nation’s children are safe from harm, stated Senator Casey. This legislation would provide additional support to the caseworkers who investigate cases of abuse and neglect, as well as strengthen the systems in place to prevent abuse from occurring in the first place.”

Congresswoman Schrier stated that “as a pediatrician, I am very concerned about children who are under the same roof as their abuser 24/7 during this time when many families are under extreme stress, and without the safe harbor of daycare or school, with educators who interact with them every day. We need to get child protective agencies the resources they need to support and protect children, and ultimately prevent child abuse when warning signs present.”