WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), announced her co-sponsorship of the American Indian and Alaska Native Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, bipartisan legislation to amend the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) to provide tribal nations with resources to combat child abuse and neglect.
“We must do all we can to tackle the issue of child abuse,” said Senator Rosen. “This legislation would provide more resources to tribal communities in Nevada and across the country in an effort to better address this threat and end the prevalence of child abuse and neglect. I will continue fighting to keep all of Nevada’s children safe and healthy.”
BACKGROUND: As the primary federal law addressing child abuse and neglect, CAPTA has been crucial in protecting children in the United States. However, it has not gone far enough to address the needs of American Indian and Alaska Native children. Though CAPTA contains specific language regarding tribal eligibility for discretionary grants and an emphasis on American Indian and Alaska Native child maltreatment issues, tribal nations rarely receive federal CAPTA grants, and research projects that focus specifically on unique tribal community issues are largely unfunded.
The bipartisan American Indian and Alaska Native Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act helps fill this gap by:
- Amending CAPTA to require that tribal nations be included in the equitable distribution criteria for allocating CAPTA federal funding,
- Increasing the dedicated tribal set-aside for funding to five percent (up from one percent) after overall CAPTA funding increases — bolstering community funding available for child abuse and neglect prevention efforts and helping to address current limitations in the development of innovative child abuse and neglect prevention program models in tribal communities,
- Requiring a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on child abuse and neglect prevention efforts in tribal communities that GAO would conduct in consultation with tribal nations.