"The American Academy of Pediatrics applauds the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor for advancing the Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act yesterday. This bipartisan legislation will build upon and strengthen the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act in ways that are most supportive to vulnerable children and their families.
"The bill authorizes needed federal funding increases for services that prevent and treat child abuse and neglect, leading to meaningful change for vulnerable children and families. Pediatricians understand that prevention is key when it comes to keeping children safe, and the Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act recognizes this important connection by reforming the law to apply a public health approach to addressing child abuse. The bill would improve our ability to identify injuries in infants that are potential signs of abuse, and better track child maltreatment fatalities, making great strides toward ensuring we have the tools we need to keep children safe.
"CAPTA has long required plans of safe care for infants who have experienced prenatal substance exposure. These are multi-disciplinary plans to ensure infant health and safety and maternal access to needed treatment. Resource constraints and inconsistent interpretation of this policy have led to its ineffective implementation in some states. As the bill advances to the full chamber, we look forward to continuing to work with members to ensure this policy is evidence-based and reflects the same public health approach that the rest of the Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act takes.
"Child maltreatment is pervasive public health problem, but we must remember that it is preventable; this bill not only recognizes that, but also offers solutions. The Academy thanks Representatives Kim Schrier (D-Wash.) and James Comer (R-Ky.) for their strong leadership in sponsoring this legislation, and Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) for their leadership in this important bipartisan process. We urge the full House to pass the bill without delay."
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.