Our work at Foster Care to Success is so intrinsically tied this issue, as some people fail to realize: children in the foster care system are not bad kids, rather they’ve had bad things happen to them.
Every year, about 3 million cases of child abuse are reported in the United States, most of which are placed in the foster care system. While the statistics are grave, our society continually strives to build a safer and more equitable home for communities, families and most importantly children.
Here is a powerful video depicting the pain and impact of child abuse that subsequently lends to the foster care system:
41 years ago, President Nixon signed The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) law in order to spearhead efforts of investing in the health and welfare of our children. CAPTA marked the beginning of Federal assistance to States in order to provide funding and assistance for prevention, identification, and treatment of child abuse and neglect. It also created the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, which is now known as the Office of Child Abuse and Neglect, and the National Clearing House on Child Abuse and Neglect Information.
CAPTA has enabled the funding and support for non-profit organizations and initiatives in all 50 states, each state that accepts CAPTA funding must establish programs that comply with CAPTA requirements:
- Enforce child abuse reporting laws
- Investigate reports of abuse and neglect
- Ensure the safety of children who are victims of abuse or neglect
- Educate the public about abuse and neglect
- Provide a guardian ad litem (GAL) to every abused or neglected child whose case is subject to a court proceeding
- Maintain confidential records of child abuse or neglect reports and investigations. States must be prepared to release information to federal, state and all other government offices in need of information. States must also release reports of child abuse or neglect that led to the death or near death of a child to the public
- Expunge public records of unsubstantiated used for employment or background checks of unsubstantiated and false reports of abuse and neglect
The national recognition of child abuse and neglect prevention has and continues to develop over the years, check out the milestones that have led to the commemorating of April being the official month for National Child Abuse Prevention.
While the highlighted milestones are big moments, we cannot forget the “little” things that go a long way towards achieving the bigger picture. Loving a child is the first and most important step to prevent abuse. Let your little things, become big moments.