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Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act  

Federal Authorizing Legislation: Section 106 of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act as amended by the Keeping Children and Family Safe Act of 2003, Public Law 108-36

CAPTA State Grants



The CAPTA State Grant Program provides States with flexible funds to improve their child protective service systems in one or more of the following areas:

  • The intake, assessment, screening, and investigation of reports of abuse and neglect
  • Protocols to enhance investigations; and improving legal preparation and representation
  • Case management and delivery of services provided to children and their families
  • Risk and safety assessment tools and protocols
  • Automation systems that support the program and track reports of children abuse and neglect
  • Training for agency staff, service providers, mandated reports

Developing, strengthening, and supporting child abuse and neglect prevention, treatment, the CAPTA amendments of the Keeping Children and Family Safe Act of 2003 added new several new grant purposes including:

  • To develop and strengthen training regarding research-based strategies to promote collaboration with families; training regarding the legal duties of child protection workers and personal safety training for case workers
  • To improve the skills, availability, recruitment and retention of child protection workers supervisors and caseworkers
  • To develop and facilitate research-based strategies for training mandatory reports
  • To develop, implement or operate programs that obtain and/or coordinate services for families of disabled infants with life-threatening conditions, including financial assistance and services to facilitate adoptive placements of such infants who have been relinquished for adoption
  • To educate the public on the role of child protective services, as well as the nature and basis for reporting suspected incidents of child abuse and neglect
  • To support and enhance interagency collaboration between the child protection system and the juvenile justice system, including methods for continuity of treatment for children that transition between the two system
  • To enhance collaboration among public health agencies, the child protection system and private community-based programs to address the health needs of abused and neglected children, including health and developmental evaluation for such children


States must submit a five-year plan and an assurance that the State is operating  a statewide child abuse and neglect program that includes specific provisions and procedures.  Among other things, the assurances include:  The establishment of citizen review panels; expungement of unsubstantiated and false reports of child abuse and neglect; preservation of the confidentiality of reports and records of child abuse and neglect, and limited disclosure to individuals and entitles permitted in statute; provision for public disclosure of information and findings about a case of child abuse and neglect that results in a child fatality or near fatality; the appointment of a Guardian Ad Litum to represent a child's best interests in court; expedited termination of parental rights (TPR) for abandoned infants; not requiring reunification of a child with parents who have committed certain crimes and provisions that make conviction of certain felonies grounds for TPR.

The CAPTA amendments of the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act 2003 added many new State assurances including that States have in place:

  • Policies and procedures that address the needs of drug exposed infants
  • Triage procedures for referral of children not at imminent risk of harm to community or preventative services
  • Procedures to advise an individual who is the subject of an investigation about the allegations made against them
  • Training for CPS workers on their legal duties and parents' rights
  • Provisions to refer children under age three who are involved in a substantiated case to early intervention services under IDEA Part C
  • Flexibility for States to determine open court policies to cases of child abuse and neglect

Funding is allotted on a formula basis according to a State's ratio of children under the age of 18 to the national total.