May 06, 2020

Wyden Pushes 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. Senator Ron Wyden today released draft legislation to provide $500 million in emergency funds for local child protective services and $1 million for community-based child abuse prevention programs.

The Emergency Funding for Child Protection Act would provide swift, flexible funding to bolster the efforts of local child protective services and non-profits that prevent child abuse, which face challenges in continuing home visits or setting up the technology to do virtual visits during the pandemic.

“At a time where a child may be trapped at home with their abuser and social services are strapped, investing in child abuse prevention is critical to ensure the safety of our children in Oregon and across the nation,” Wyden said. “The Emergency Funding for Child Protection Act will direct much needed resources to the workers on the frontlines helping the most vulnerable children escape abuse.”

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.

Wyden will join U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., in introducing the bill, along with U.S. Sens. Doug Jones, D-Ala., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

A copy of the bill text is available here.