Harder Amendment to Crack Down on Child Abuse Passes Key Committee Hurdle
A bipartisan amendment submitted by Rep. Josh Harder (CA-10) to the Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) which would prevent abuse by parents with addictions passed a key committee hurdle today. The amendment, aimed at empowering Child Protective Services (CPS) to respond to child abuse and neglect resulting from Substance Use Disorder (SUD), was passed unanimously in the Education and Labor Committee and will head to the House floor as a part of the larger CAPTA bill.
"The statistics are shocking -- one in eight kids has lived with an addicted parent over the last year -- our CPS professionals need more resources and support to make sure we're keeping our kids safe," said Rep. Harder. "We have to do more to help people with addictions get clean and back on their feet, and in the interim, we need to make sure their kids are supported too."
"As the opioid epidemic continues to devastate our communities and loved ones, children are suffering the consequences," said Rep. Dan Meuser (PA-9). "This amendment will provide much-needed support to communities fighting to protect children from harm and neglect."
Rep. Harder's amendment would direct federal grants to states like California to intake and assess reports of child abuse and neglect resulting from SUD and improve legal preparation and representation for survivors of abuse.
According to a 2017 report compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, one in eight children lived with a parent who had SUD over the preceding year. In Stanislaus County, as many as 3,400 people struggle with opioid use disorder alone. The amendment is cosponsored by Republican Dan Meuser (PA-9).