U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act: Knowledge of Health Care and Legal Professionals.

NCJ Number
Child Welfare Volume: 96 Issue: 3 Dated: 2018 Pages: 41-58
Ira J. Chasnoff; Gail Barber; Jody Brook; Becci A. Akin
Date Published
18 pages
This article informs health care and legal professionals on how the provisions of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) pertain to their work with child victims.
The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), first passed in 1974, was amended in 2003 and then again in 2010 (CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010, 2010) to include required referral of newborns affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol or illegal drugs to each state's child protection services (CPS). Most recently, in 2016, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), in response to the current epidemic of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, amended CAPTA to remove the term "illegal" when denoting reportable substance exposure (Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, 2016). Although most child welfare reporting laws reside at the state level, CAPTA specifically requires that state plans contain assurances that there is a state law or statewide program that includes the following: policies and procedures (including appropriate referrals to child protection service systems and for other appropriate services) to address the needs of infants born and identified as being affected by substance abuse or withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure, or a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (sic), including a requirement that health care providers involved in the delivery or care of such infants notify the child protective services system of the occurrence of such condition of such infants. (publisher abstract modified)