Opioid Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act

Opioid Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. Child abuse and neglect is a pervasive public health problem that continues to affect millions of children across the country. Following significant declines in the rate of child abuse and neglect across the 1990s and 2000s, the rate of child maltreatment has ticked up in recent years as the opioid epidemic has devastated families and communities across the country.

Despite our growing understanding of how to effectively prevent child abuse and neglect, the federal government has failed to provide the necessary funding to reverse the rise in child maltreatment. In 2017, more children received an investigation or response from child protective services agencies than any other time in the decade prior.

The key Federal legislation addressing child abuse and neglect is the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), originally enacted on January 31, 1974 (P.L. 93-247). This act has been amended several times and was last reauthorized on December 20, 2010, by the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-320). It was amended in 2015, 2016, and 2018, and most recently, certain provisions of the act were amended on January 7, 2019, by the Victims of Child Abuse Act Reauthorization Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-424).

Opioid Abuse Prevention

Although CAPTA was enacted amid concern about physical abuse of children, the vast majority of founded instances of child maltreatment today are due to neglect. While definitions of maltreatment vary by state, neglect is generally defined in state law as failure to provide needed food, clothing, shelter, medical care or supervision to the extent that the child’s health, safety and well-being are threatened.

In 2017 across the U.S., 35 percent of the 643,291 children who spent time in out-of-home care were younger than age 5. In addition, child protection agencies see the highest impact and workload with families with children younger than age 5. Of the 1,720 estimated child maltreatment fatalities in 2017, the overwhelming majority were infants and toddlers

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