Wednesday, April 21, 2021, is Prevent Child Abuse America’s second annual Digital Advocacy Day, and we need your help!
On our second annual Digital Advocacy Day we are asking our lawmakers to reauthorize the bipartisan Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) and increase funding for this important program.
Join us in contacting lawmakers and urging them to act now!
The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) represents a cornerstone of our nation’s system for both preventing and responding to incidents of child abuse and neglect. Created in 1974, CAPTA reflects the entire continuum of supports to children, parents, and families, from primary prevention strategies at the heart of Title II (Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention [CBCAP] grants) to the identification and treatment of abuse and neglect in Title I (state grants). Through CAPTA reauthorization, the current 117th Congress has an extraordinary opportunity to strengthen community-based supports to families to prevent child abuse and neglect.
Last year, CAPTA reauthorization passed the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously and in the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions with bipartisan support. Additionally, a Senate bipartisan “Dear Colleague” letter, signed by 28 U.S. Senators, nearly one-third of the Senate, advocated for robust funding increases in CAPTA appropriations.
Unfortunately, CAPTA reauthorization was never considered on the Senate floor, and ultimately Congress never passed it into law. Congress did, however, increase funding for CBCAP, appropriating a $16 million increase for the first time in 15 years and an additional $5 million increase the following year. This still only funds primary prevention at 82 cents per child per year, resulting in a great deal of unmet need.
Why Is CBCAP Important?
Due to the pandemic, parents and caregivers are confronted with extraordinary challenges, including decreased wages or loss of work, lack of childcare, and housing instability, among other hardships that can compound the day-to-day stress of raising children. CBCAP is designed to help families get the support they need before harm occurs, including voluntary evidence-based home visiting services, community-based parent support programs, early childhood and child care programs, family resource centers, and coordination and connection with mental health, substance use, and domestic violence services, among others. CBCAP provides grants to all 50 states to meet the needs of communities, realized through partnerships that use federal funding to leverage greater state and local public and private dollars.
As Congress works to reauthorize this historically bipartisan legislation, we urge them to include significant funding increases to provide states and communities the resources to drive community-based solutions that strengthen and improve child and family well-being. We recommend that Congress authorize and appropriate $750 million for Title II of CAPTA in fiscal year 2022. An increase in funding will enable greater service delivery to address the needs of vulnerable families and provide much-needed support and systems-building at the state and community levels.
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