Hearing on Proposal to Reduce Child Deaths

HUMAN RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEE TO HOLD DEC. 12 HEARING
ON PROPOSAL TO REDUCE CHILD ABUSE FATALITIES

Press Conference Immediately Following with National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths

Erik Paulson, Acting Chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee, has announced a hearing to review a proposal to reduce child maltreatment fatalities. More than seven children die from abuse and neglect every day in America – some 2,500 a year – reflecting the estimated 50 percent undercounting in the officially estimated figure of 1,560.

Known as the Protect Our Kids Act, the bipartisan proposal was introduced late last year by U.S. Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and U.S. Representatives Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and Joseph Crowley (D-NY).  The National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths, a strong proponent of the Act, says it could make a significant impact towards reducing and preventing child deaths resulting from abuse and neglect, and make improvements throughout the child welfare system by establishing a commission to examine these issues and recommend a national strategy to reduce and prevent child maltreatment deaths.

WHAT:  Press conference immediately following the hearing on child abuse fatality legislation

WHEN:  Wednesday, December 12, 2012, at 2:00 p.m.

WHERE:  Room 1100, Longworth House Office Building

WHO:  Members of the National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths
Including Teresa Huizar, Executive Director of National Children’s Alliance, who will be testifying at the hearing, and other representatives from the Coalition who have testified on behalf of the Protect Our Kids Act in the past.

A child is abused or neglected every 36 seconds in the United States, yet only 40 percent of abused children with substantiated cases receive services, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

At a Subcommittee hearing last year, members called on national experts to explain why the number of child deaths has been undercounted. The hearing coincided with the release of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, which concluded that there were significant gaps in the national data on child deaths from maltreatment. The Dec. 12 hearing brings our country one step closer to addressing this problem.

Witnesses at the Dec. 12 hearing will include William Bell, Ph.D., President and CEO of Casey Family Programs; William Frenzel, former member of the U.S. House representing Minnesota’s District 3 and current Chairman of the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care; Teresa Huizar, Executive Director, National Children’s Alliance; and Madeline McClure, LCSW, founding Executive Director of TexProtects, the Texas Association for the Protection of Children.

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ABOUT THE MEMBERS OF THE COALITION TO END CHILD ABUSE DEATHS

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with 145,000 members and 56 chapters. NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies.

The National Center for the Review and Prevention of Child Deaths (NCRPCD) is a resource center for state and local child death review programs. The center provides technical assistance to help teams develop, implement and sustain a prevention-focused CDR process, training, strategic planning and program development for state and local teams, consultation to coordinate with other reviews, including fetal and infant mortality, domestic violence, serious injury, and maternal mortality, support for the network of CDR program leaders.

National Children’s Alliance (NCA) is the accrediting body and professional membership association for Children’s Advocacy Centers around the country dedicated to helping local communities respond to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient – and put the needs of child victims first. National Children’s Alliance provides training, support, technical assistance and leadership on a national level to local children’s and child advocacy centers, and communities responding to reports of child abuse and neglect.

The Every Child Matters Education Fund (ECM) was founded in 2002 with the mission to make children’s issues a political priority. To that end ECM has promoted the adoption of smart policies for children and youth. These include ensuring that children have access to affordable, comprehensive health care services, expanding early-care and learning opportunities and after-school programs, preventing violence, abuse, maltreatment and fatalities against children in their homes and alleviating child poverty.

The National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), founded in 1950, is the oldest and largest professional organization representing criminal prosecutors in the world. The National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse (NCPCA), a program of the NDAA was established in 1985. The NCPCA is staffed with professionals involved in the investigation and prosecution of child abuse, exploitation and computer facilitated crimes against children  NCPCA trains approximately 10,000 child abuse prosecutors and allied professionals annually, and provides technical assistance to thousands more.