42 U.S.C. § 5106a - Grants to States for child abuse or neglect prevention and treatment programs

Cite as:42 U.S.C. § 5106a
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-135 (03/26/2020)
 
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(a) Development and operation grants

The Secretary shall make grants to the States, from allotments made under subsection (f) for each State that applies for a grant under this section, for purposes of assisting the States in improving the child protective services system of each such State in-

(1) the intake, assessment, screening, and investigation of reports of child abuse or neglect;

(2)

(A) creating and improving the use of multidisciplinary teams and interagency, intra-agency, interstate, and intrastate protocols to enhance investigations; and

(B) improving legal preparation and representation, including-

(i) procedures for appealing and responding to appeals of substantiated reports of child abuse or neglect; and

(ii) provisions for the appointment of an individual appointed to represent a child in judicial proceedings;

(3) case management, including ongoing case monitoring, and delivery of services and treatment provided to children and their families;

(4) enhancing the general child protective system by developing, improving, and implementing risk and safety assessment tools and protocols, including the use of differential response;

(5) developing and updating systems of technology that support the program and track reports of child abuse and neglect from intake through final disposition and allow interstate and intrastate information exchange;

(6) developing, strengthening, and facilitating training including-

(A) training regarding research-based strategies, including the use of differential response, to promote collaboration with the families;

(B) training regarding the legal duties of such individuals;

(C) personal safety training for case workers; and

(D) training in early childhood, child, and adolescent development;

(7) improving the skills, qualifications, and availability of individuals providing services to children and families, and the supervisors of such individuals, through the child protection system, including improvements in the recruitment and retention of caseworkers;

(8) developing, facilitating the use of, and implementing research-based strategies and training protocols for individuals mandated to report child abuse and neglect;

(9) developing, implementing, or operating programs to assist in obtaining or coordinating necessary services for families of disabled infants with life-threatening conditions, including-

(A) existing social and health services;

(B) financial assistance;

(C) services necessary to facilitate adoptive placement of any such infants who have been relinquished for adoption; and

(D) the use of differential response in preventing child abuse and neglect;

(10) developing and delivering information to improve public education relating to the role and responsibilities of the child protection system and the nature and basis for reporting suspected incidents of child abuse and neglect, including the use of differential response;

(11) developing and enhancing the capacity of community-based programs to integrate shared leadership strategies between parents and professionals to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect at the neighborhood level;

(12) supporting and enhancing interagency collaboration between the child protection system and the juvenile justice system for improved delivery of services and treatment, including methods for continuity of treatment plan and services as children transition between systems;

(13) supporting and enhancing interagency collaboration among public health agencies, agencies in the child protective service system, and agencies carrying out private community-based programs-

(A) to provide child abuse and neglect prevention and treatment services (including linkages with education systems), and the use of differential response; and

(B) to address the health needs, including mental health needs, of children identified as victims of child abuse or neglect;,1 including supporting prompt, comprehensive health and developmental evaluations for children who are the subject of substantiated child maltreatment reports; or

(14) developing and implementing procedures for collaboration among child protective services, domestic violence services, and other agencies in-

(A) investigations, interventions, and the delivery of services and treatment provided to children and families, including the use of differential response, where appropriate; and

(B) the provision of services that assist children exposed to domestic violence, and that also support the caregiving role of their nonabusing parents.

(b) Eligibility requirements

(1) State plan

(A) In general

To be eligible to receive a grant under this section, a State shall submit to the Secretary a State plan that specifies the areas of the child protective services system described in subsection (a) that the State will address with amounts received under the grant.

(B) Duration of plan

Each State plan shall-

(i) remain in effect for the duration of the State's participation under this section; and

(ii) be periodically reviewed and revised as necessary by the State to reflect changes in the State's strategies and programs under this section.

(C) Additional information

The State shall provide notice to the Secretary-

(i) of any substantive changes, including any change to State law or regulations, relating to the prevention of child abuse and neglect that may affect the eligibility of the State under this section; and

(ii) of any significant changes in how funds provided under this section are used to support activities described in this section, which may differ from the activities described in the current State application.

(2) Contents

A State plan submitted under paragraph (1) shall contain a description of the activities that the State will carry out using amounts received under the grant to achieve the objectives of this subchapter, including-

(A) an assurance that the State plan, to the maximum extent practicable, is coordinated with the State plan under part B of title IV of the Social Security Act [ 42 U.S.C. 620 et seq.] relating to child welfare services and family preservation and family support services;

(B) an assurance in the form of a certification by the Governor of the State that the State has in effect and is enforcing a State law, or has in effect and is operating a statewide program, relating to child abuse and neglect that includes-

(i) provisions or procedures for an individual to report known and suspected instances of child abuse and neglect, including a State law for mandatory reporting by individuals required to report such instances;

(ii) policies and procedures (including appropriate referrals to child protection service systems and for other appropriate services) to address the needs of infants born with and identified as being affected by substance abuse or withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure, or a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, including a requirement that health care providers involved in the delivery or care of such infants notify the child protective services system of the occurrence of such condition in such infants, except that such notification shall not be construed to-

(I) establish a definition under Federal law of what constitutes child abuse or neglect; or

(II) require prosecution for any illegal action;

(iii) the development of a plan of safe care for the infant born and identified as being affected by substance abuse or withdrawal symptoms, or a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder to ensure the safety and well-being of such infant following release from the care of health care providers, including through-

(I) addressing the health and substance use disorder treatment needs of the infant and affected family or caregiver; and

(II) the development and implementation by the State of monitoring systems regarding the implementation of such plans to determine whether and in what manner local entities are providing, in accordance with State requirements, referrals to and delivery of appropriate services for the infant and affected family or caregiver;

(iv) procedures for the immediate screening, risk and safety assessment, and prompt investigation of such reports;

(v) triage procedures, including the use of differential response, for the appropriate referral of a child not at risk of imminent harm to a community organization or voluntary preventive service;

(vi) procedures for immediate steps to be taken to ensure and protect the safety of a victim of child abuse or neglect and of any other child under the same care who may also be in danger of child abuse or neglect and ensuring their placement in a safe environment;

(vii) provisions for immunity from civil or criminal liability under State and local laws and regulations for individuals making good faith reports of suspected or known instances of child abuse or neglect, or who otherwise provide information or assistance, including medical evaluations or consultations, in connection with a report, investigation, or legal intervention pursuant to a good faith report of child abuse or neglect;

(viii) methods to preserve the confidentiality of all records in order to protect the rights of the child and of the child's parents or guardians, including requirements ensuring that reports and records made and maintained pursuant to the purposes of this subchapter and subchapter III shall only be made available to-

(I) individuals who are the subject of the report;

(II) Federal, State, or local government entities, or any agent of such entities, as described in clause (ix);

(III) child abuse citizen review panels;

(IV) child fatality review panels;

(V) a grand jury or court, upon a finding that information in the record is necessary for the determination of an issue before the court or grand jury; and

(VI) other entities or classes of individuals statutorily authorized by the State to receive such information pursuant to a legitimate State purpose;

(ix) provisions to require a State to disclose confidential information to any Federal, State, or local government entity, or any agent of such entity, that has a need for such information in order to carry out its responsibilities under law to protect children from child abuse and neglect;

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