• February 2011
  • Vol. 12, No. 1

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Congress Reauthorizes CAPTA

The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) Reauthorization Act of 2010 (S.3817) was signed into law on December 20, 2010, as Public Law 111-320.

The act leaves funding for discretionary grants (research, training, technical assistance, information collection, and program innovations) and for basic State grants at the old authorized level of $120 million in FY 2010 and at "such sums as may be necessary" for FY 2011 through 2015. A new funding section regarding allotments of the basic State grant funds for improving child protective services establishes a minimum State grant of $50,000, with additional distribution based on child population. For the Community-Based Prevention Grants, the act extends the existing funding level of $80 million in FY 2010 and "such sums" for FY 2011 through 2015. 

The act authorizes grants to public or private agencies and organizations to develop or expand effective collaborations between child protective service entities and domestic violence service entities to improve collaborative investigation and intervention procedures; provide for the safety of the nonabusing parent and children; and provide services to children exposed to domestic violence that also support the care-giving role of the nonabusing parent.

The act includes provisions for several new studies and reports to Congress on such topics as:

  • Shaken baby syndrome
  • Efforts to coordinate different organizations' programs and activities related to child abuse and neglect
  • The effectiveness of citizen review panels in examining State and local child protection agencies
  • How provisions for immunity from prosecution facilitate and inhibit individuals' reporting of child abuse or neglect


The CAPTA Reauthorization impacts child welfare in a number of other areas by:

  • Encouraging family participation in case planning and placement
  • Encouraging former child abuse victims to serve on citizen review panels and Children's Justice Act task forces
  • Requiring that newborns diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum syndrome receive appropriate referrals to CPS by health-care providers
  • Not requiring reunification of a child with a parent if the parent commits sexual abuse against the child or another child of the parent or if the parent is required to register with a sex offender registry
  • Mandating criminal record checks for other adults living in homes of prospective foster and adoptive parents
  • Requiring enhanced data reporting by States
  • Reauthorizing the Adoption Opportunities Program and the Abandoned Infants Assistance Act


The full-text of the legislation can be found online:

www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111s3817enr/pdf/BILLS-111s3817enr.pdf (234 KB)

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