Casey Introduces Bill to Strengthen Child Protection Laws

November 19, 2011 Comments Off on Casey Introduces Bill to Strengthen Child Protection Laws

Casey Introduces Bill to Strengthen Child Protection Laws

Casey: All Adults Have Responsibility to Report Abuse to Authorities

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Bill Would Emphasize Awareness Training for Those Most Likely to Witness Abuse

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today introduced legislation to require all adults to report child abuse and neglect to the appropriate authorities….

The Speak Up to Protect Every Abused Kid (Speak Up) Act of 2011 would require all states to pass and enforce a law requiring all adults to report instances of known or suspected child abuse in order for states to receive funding through the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), the federal statute focused on child abuse and neglect prevention and response.

The Speak Up Act will specify that child abuse must be reported directly to law enforcement or the state’s Child Protective Services agency. Currently, federal law does not specify to whom mandated reporters must report suspected abuse or neglect. In Pennsylvania and many other states, the reporter must notify only the person in charge of the relevant institution, creating a loophole that tragically prevents or delays action against suspected abusers.

The bill will also:

Provide support to states to carry out educational campaigns and training to inform individuals about what constitutes child abuse and neglect, and promote greater responsibility;

Promotes new approaches and techniques to improve reporting; and

Evaluate states’ progress on mandatory reporting.

The Speak Up Act is cosponsored by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA).

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