PANDEMIC STRAINS CAPACITY TO PREVENT CHILD MALTREATMENT:

Emergency Funding Proposed in Congress

All parents want what is best for their children. However, the increased economic, physical, and psychological distress exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic can take a toll on families and even lead to a rise in child abuse and neglect. The Emergency Funding for Child Protection Act (S. 3660) would provide a significant and much needed boost of emergency funding for the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)–$500 million to state child welfare agencies for child protective services and $1 billion to community-based organizations for child abuse and neglect prevention services, such as home visiting and parenting support programs.

What Are Our Legislators Doing?

In recent months, many organizations that serve children and families have rapidly changed procedures to allow remote training and support for foster parents and kinship caregivers. Staff continue to conduct home visits to ensure children and families have the support they need. Drop-in family resources centers have been set up so families can access services and support to help them get through these hard times.

Funding from the Emergency Funding for Child Protection Act will strengthen child protective services with updated technology, personal protective equipment for case workers, and emergency resources like food, cleaning supplies, and diapers for families.

The bill will also direct flexible funds toward nonprofit community-based organizations for expanding services, strengthening families in distress and shoring up state child abuse hotlines.

The continued absence of additional, flexible dollars, will force child welfare organizations to scale back services for children and families due to state funding cuts at a time when they can least afford to.

How Can I Help?

Urge your U.S. Senators to become a co-sponsor of S. 3660, The Emergency Funding for Child Protection Act, to improve the stability of families and parent capacity to care for their children while experiencing significant stress resulting from this public health and economic crisis.


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