Press Releases

Hickenlooper Introduces Bill to Help States Prevent Child Abuse

May 28, 2021

Bill would increase access to child abuse prevention programs 

Washington, D.C.- U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper today introduced the Strengthening Families Act, a bill that would help states prevent child abuse. The bill would modify Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) grants by clarifying how states can use the funds. Because the current law is unclear, many states are unable to use these grants for their intended purpose.

“Giving families the support they need to prevent child abuse is a no-brainer,” said Hickenlooper. “We must help states use these federal grants for this important cause.”

Full text of the bill is available HERE.

CBCAP is designed to create environments where families get the support they need before abuse ever occurs. Existing law allows states to use CBCAP grants to enhance “protective factors,” which serve as safeguards, helping parents who might otherwise be at risk of abusing their children find resources, support, or coping strategies that allow them to parent effectively. 

Under existing law, protective factors are ill-defined, leaving many states unsure of which programs qualify for the grants. 

Specifically, the bill would:

  • Define protective factors as areas which have been demonstrated to ensure that families are less likely to experience child abuse and neglect. Protective factors  include: knowledge of parenting and child development, parental resilience, social connections, support in times of need, and support for the social and emotional development of children.
  • Promote coordination between local programs, public agencies, and relevant private providers to develop and expand primary preventive support programs that promote child, parent, and family well-being, with a focus on increasing access to services for diverse populations.

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