Congressional Briefing

Preventing Child Maltreatment through CAPTA

In the House
Tue. Dec. 4, 2-3pm
421 Cannon
In the Senate
Wed. Dec. 5, 11:30am – 12:30pm
385 Russell


Child abuse and neglect affects 1 in 8 children by age 18 and is incredibly costly with an estimated economic burden of $124 billion tied to new cases every year. Although substantial advances have been made to understand how to prevent maltreatment before it occurs, there is little investment in effective prevention strategies. For instance, roughly 40% of children reported for suspected maltreatment are re-reported, even if the initial case was determined unsubstantiated. Although some prevention strategies have demonstrated effectiveness, there have been modest reductions in reported incidences of physical abuse and neglect, and even fewer prevention strategies have reduced sexual abuse incidence. The reauthorization of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) presents an opportunity to leverage and strengthen innovative and effective approaches for preventing maltreatment occurrence and recurrence.

To respond to policymakers’ questions regarding research on child maltreatment prevention, the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network hosted a congressional briefing and produced a written brief. The briefing described research to date on preventing child abuse and neglect, then highlighted case examples from states implementing prevention programs that aim to coordinate evidence-based programs across local health and human services. The panel described (1) research on prevention, including costs associated with NOT preventing child maltreatment, (2) an example of local, multi-systemic coordination for primary prevention, and (3) an example of a targeted intervention that diverts non-maltreatment cases toward prevention services and out of child protective services. Subsequently, a former child protective service worker and a child abuse survivor described how their experiences correspond with community-based, prevention strategies.



Too Little is Done to Prevent the Costly Problem of Child Maltreatment
Jennie Noll, Child Maltreatment Solutions Network, Penn State University  PDF  Video

Investing in Effective Community-based Child Abuse Prevention: Scaling Triple P in NC
Kristin O’Connor, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services  PDF  Video

Targeting At-Risk Children and Families with Prevention Services
Dan Comer, Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, University of Colorado  PDF  Video

First-hand Experience as a Case Worker, Foster Parent, and Researcher
Sarah Font, Child Maltreatment Solutions Network, Penn State University  PDF  Video

A Survivor's Testimony on How Prevention Could Have Helped
Nathan Ross, Foster Adopt Connect, Missouri  Video

Q & A Session  Video


Logos for Penn State Child Maltreatment Solutions Network, APA 125: American Psychological Association, Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice: Division 37 of the American Pyschological Association, NPSC: To Improve Lives