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Time to Act

NCJ Number
J Devries
Date Published
0 pages
After reviewing the nature and prevalence of child abuse and neglect in America, this video reviews Federal law that requires Federal employees to report suspected child abuse observed in the course of their job duties and interprets the practical implications of such law for Federal law enforcement agents who observe situations of child abuse and neglect.
The video opens with a dramatization of Federal law enforcement agents knocking on the door of a house to announce the execution of a search warrant. A young girl answers the door and says that she is the only one home. The agents ask her to let them enter the house, and she does so. They discover no adults at home, and the girl indicates she has been alone for days. The agents find a crib baby in another room whose diapers have not been changed for a long period. Further, no suitable food is found in the house. The dramatization closes as one agent asks another, "What should we do?" The question is answered through interviews with Federal law enforcement administrators, child-protection workers, as well as narration, the video covers the mandates of the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. This act, among other provisions, requires that all Federal employees who observe what they believe to be child abuse or neglect in the course of their duties must report it to the appropriate authorities. The act further mandates that programs funded under the act must use multidisciplinary teams to investigate and manage child abuse cases. The thrust of the video is to instruct and persuade Federal law enforcement agents about their responsibility in reporting suspected child abuse and neglect, the need to cooperate with local authorities in case investigations, and how such actions can change the course of a child's life.