HELP Committee Advances Bipartisan Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act
Today, the HELP Committee advanced the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) Reauthorization Act of 2021, by voice vote
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee advanced the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) Reauthorization of 2021—introduced by HELP Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC)—by voice vote. At the committee mark-up, Chair Murray and Ranking Member Burr applauded their colleagues for their bipartisan commitment to keeping children across the country safe by preventing and reducing child abuse and neglect and ensuring our child protective services system can respond effectively and quickly to serious cases of abuse and neglect.
“Every child deserves to live in a safe, secure, and stable environment. That’s not controversial. That’s not partisan,” said Senator Murray during her opening remarks. “It is so important that we work to prevent child abuse and neglect, ensure our child protective services system can respond effectively to keep children safe, and connect families experiencing difficulty meeting basic needs to critical supports and services I’m pleased to say this is an issue where Ranking Member Burr and I are in agreement—we need to address this crisis. Over the past few months, we have been able to find a lot of common ground on solutions to do just that.”
“Among all the laws that come before this committee, CAPTA may be the most important for stating who we are as a nation in our relationships with children and families. How we respond to the needs of abused and neglected children directly determines how children will grow into adulthood,” said Senator Burr in his opening statement. “I know all of us wish there was no need for the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. However, listening to those with personal experience who have lived the child welfare system, I believe we are taking positive steps forward in this reauthorization to preventing future incidents of child abuse and neglect and to better responding to those incidents that do occur.”
The bipartisan bill takes a public health, trauma-informed approach to improve our child protective services system to keep children safe. The bill focuses on expanding access to community-based prevention services to strengthen families and help prevent and reduce instances of child abuse and neglect—also ensuring that child protective services have the capacity to rapidly respond to cases where children are at serious risk of harm. The bill will also improve data collection to better understand the nature and scope of child abuse and neglect and support adoption opportunities for children facing systemic barriers to adoption.
To watch Chair Murray’s full remarks, click HERE.
To watch Ranking Member Burr’s full remarks, click HERE.
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