WASHINGTON— Today the House of Representatives passed the Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) which will invest more resources to improve quality of child protective services to better address instances of abuse. The bill includes provisions from Rep. Grijalva and Senator Warren’s American Indian and Alaska Native Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act which will require a GAO report on child abuse and neglect prevention efforts in tribal communities and increase funds set aside for tribes, tribal organizations, and migrant programs.
“When we talk about keeping children safe, we must ensure that our actions truly mean all children,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva. “Decades of underfunding have created circumstances on our tribal nations that make these programs even more necessary, and it’s critical that tribes receive a fair portion of these funds. I’m pleased these provisions and funds for culturally-relevant solutions were included in CAPTA to help tribes safeguard the well-being of their children while respecting tribal sovereignty.”
The American Indian and Alaska Native Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act was also previously introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren in the Senate.
“Child abuse and neglect don’t have a place in our country, and its prevalence in Indian Country is unacceptable,” Senator Warren said. “I am glad to see that the legislation passed in the House today includes our provisions for increased funding to address this problem, and for getting better answers on how to best meet the needs of Native children and help prevent child abuse across tribal communities.”
“The National Congress of American Indians strongly advocates for the protection and support of American Indian and Alaska Native children, who are the future of their families, cultures, and Tribal Nations. The Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act takes a step in the right direction to increase Tribal Nations’ access to prevention resources and share effective prevention strategies across Indian Country,” said Fawn Sharp, President, National Congress of American Indians.
“The Stronger CAPTA ensures that American Indian and Alaska Native tribal communities will have increased access to resources that can support the long proven, culturally-based child abuse and neglect prevention strategies that have kept Native children safe for many generations. This legislation also authorizes a first ever study of promising practices in tribal child abuse and neglect prevention efforts, which will support the replication of these culturally-based programs and services in Indian Country too. We are so grateful for Congressman Raul M. Grijalva’s assistance in getting this much needed legislation introduced,” said Sarah Kastelic, Executive Director, National Indian Child Welfare Association.