May 06, 2020

Harris, Colleagues Push for Emergency Funding to Protect Children in Abusive Situations

Legislation Would Bolster Efforts by Child Protective Services and Non-Profits to Prevent Abuse 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the COVID-19 pandemic strains the child welfare system, U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), Bob Casey (D-PA), Doug Jones (D-AL), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) are releasing a draft of the Emergency Funding for Child Protection Act, which would provide $500 million in emergency funds for local child protective services and $1 million for community-based child abuse prevention programs. As children are being kept at home to limit the spread of COVID-19, those who are vulnerable to child abuse are at particular risk during the national emergency. As a result, local child protective services and non-profits that prevent child abuse face challenges in continuing home visits or setting up the technology to do virtual visits during the pandemic. This bill would provide swift, flexible funding to allow them to bolster their efforts. U.S. Representative Kim Schrier (D-WA-8) is introducing companion legislation in the House of Representatives. Last month, Harris led her colleagues in a push to protect at-risk children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We must do everything we can to ensure vulnerable children are kept safe from abuse,” said Senator Harris. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in this important legislation– it’s vital we provide resources to services that protect children from harm.”

The Emergency Funding for Child Protection Act would strengthen systems put in place by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). CAPTA provides funding to states to improve child protective services and funds community-based activities that stops child abuse and neglect before it happens.

Read the Emergency Funding for Child Protection Act here.