The key Federal legislation addressing child abuse and neglect is the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), originally enacted in 1974 (P.L. 93-247). This Act was amended several times and was most recently amended and reauthorized on June 25, 2003, by the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-36).
CAPTA provides Federal funding to States in support of prevention, assessment, investigation, prosecution, and treatment activities and also provides grants to public agencies and nonprofit organizations for demonstration programs and projects. Additionally, CAPTA identifies the Federal role in supporting research, evaluation, technical assistance, and data collection activities; establishes the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect; and mandates the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information. CAPTA also sets forth a minimum definition of child abuse and neglect.
The complete text of the law (U.S. Code title 42, chapter 67) can be downloaded from the Cornell University Legal Information Institute website at http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/42/ch67.html. A booklet presenting CAPTA as amended by the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003, including the Adoption Opportunities program and Abandoned Infants Assistance Act, as amended, is available on the Children's Bureau website at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws/capta03/index.htm. Print copies of this booklet may be ordered from the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information.
The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) was originally enacted in P.L. 93-247. The law was completely rewritten in the Child Abuse Prevention, Adoption and Family Services Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-294, 4/25/88). It was further amended by the Child Abuse Prevention Challenge Grants Reauthorization Act of 1989 (P.L. 101-126, 10/25/89) and the Drug Free School Amendments of 1989 (P.L. 101-226, 12/12/89).
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