Senator Alexander Applauds Child Abuse Prevention Bill's Passage In House-Senate Conference

Posted on May 22, 2003

WASHINGTON: U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander today commended the passage of the "Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)" in the House-Senate Conference Committee." The legislation authorizes funding for research and demonstration projects dedicated to preventing and treating child abuse and neglect, provides grants to states to improve child protection systems and support community-based family resource and support services. "This program is vital for the safety and sanctity of our most precious resource: our children," Alexander said. "I congratulate my colleagues for working very diligently in a bipartisan manner in order to ratify this important legislation." The main objectives of the bill are to:
  • Train workers on how to best work with families from initial investigation through treatment;
  • Increase cross-training for workers to better recognize neglect, domestic violence or substance abuse in a family;
  • Promote partnerships that offer creative approaches to meet the needs of abused children.
Tennessee programs funded by CAPTA include:
  • Catholic Charities, Chap-Plus: The purpose of Chap-Plus is to provide services to families in Davidson County that will reduce the likelihood of abuse of children born drug-affected or who have a life threatening disease. Referrals come from the medical community and the Department of Children's Services.
  • Child and Family Services, Therapeutic Visitation Services: This grant funded a pilot project to provide intensive service to families with children in the foster care system from four rural areas in east Tennessee. The goal is to preserve and strengthen family relationships while facilitating visitation between children and biological parents.
  • Wicklander/Zowloski, Investigative Interviewing Techniques: The purpose of this training is to provide cross-training seminars for Child Protective Service and Law Enforcement staff. The training provides trainees with the tools to accurately obtain information leading to better case assessment.
  • University of Tennessee, Legally Defensible Child Interviewing: This grant provides training to Child Protective Services case managers who are legally mandated to work in multidisciplinary investigative teams. Participants learned skills to improve their performance in conducting effective child interviews.
  • University of Tennessee, Citizen Review Panel and Support Services: This grant provides the technical support to facilitate the activities of three Citizen Review Panels and to generate the annual report. Additionally, this project assists DCS to comply with the Tennessee legislature mandated annual report on severe abuse and sexual abuse investigations and facilitates the coordination of Methamphetamine Action Teams in rural Tennessee areas to address the growing child protection issues associated with methamphetamine production.
Alexander, an original co-sponsor of the bill, is one of four appointed conferees from the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee of which he chair's the Subcommittee on Children and Families. Other senate conferees include Sens. Judd Gregg (R-NH), Mike DeWine (R-OH), Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Christopher Dodd (D-CT).