On Wednesday, January 27, 2021, the House Committee on Education and Labor introduced bipartisan legislation to strengthen the prevention and treatment of child abuse. H.R. 485, Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), proposes robust funding increases for states and local communities to implement strategies and programs that prevent child abuse is critical to strengthen families and protecting children.
The passing of the reauthorization of CAPTA in a bipartisan manner prioritizes the need for investment in systems and programs that work. In addition, Stronger CAPTA strengthens the focus on prevention by helping states that will provide critical services to families facing challenging circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) remarked that “at a time when state governments are particularly strained due to the COVID-19 pandemic, [Stronger CAPTA] will help ensure that states can meet the growing need for services that protect children and strengthen families.”
Chairman Scott was joined by Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Kim Schrier (D-WA), and Haley Stevens (D-MI) and Committee Republicans Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Congressmen James Comer (R-KY), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY).
The National Child Abuse Coalition supports CAPTA reauthorization and is calling for a strong public health approach to child maltreatment prevention, as recommended by the Commission to End Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities to increase funding by one billion dollars. CWLA and hundreds of national, state, and local organizations have endorsed CAPTA requesting that Congress appropriates $500 million for Title I and $500 million for Title II. Robust funding is critical for CAPTA to help state and local systems effectively empower families and communities to be safe and healthy for children to grow and thrive. CWLA is a founding member of the National Child Abuse Coalition.