Supporting Child Maltreatment Prevention Efforts in Community Health Centers Act

The Supporting Child Maltreatment Prevention Efforts in Community Health Centers Act (S. 54 and H.R. 5841) would fund demonstration programs at federally qualified community health centers to prevent child maltreatment and promote family well-being by addressing parenting practices and skills for families from diverse backgrounds.

Child Maltreatment: Scope of the Problem
  • Child maltreatment is a serious public health problem that affects millions of children and families in the U.S.

  • According to the Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect,(PDF, 4MB) over 2.9 million children nationwide (one of every 25 children in the U.S.) were maltreated during a one-year period in 2005–2006. More than three-quarters of these maltreated children were neglected, and 29 percent were abused.

  • Each day, more than seven children in the U.S. die as a result of maltreatment, according to the National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths.

Investing in Prevention
  • Child maltreatment can be prevented. Evidence-based interventions can substantially reduce child maltreatment, child injuries, and out-of-home placements (Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy, 2012).

  • Investments in highly effective prevention programming yield significant cost savings for public programs (Miller, 2009) (PDF, 123KB) as well as long-term benefits to participating children and families (Karoly et al., 2005).

Legislation

The Supporting Child Maltreatment Prevention Efforts in Community Health Centers Legislation Act would authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services through the National Center for Injury Control and Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to award competitive grants to eligible federally qualified community health centers (FQHCs) to fund demonstration projects. FQHCs could use these funds for a variety of prevention efforts, such as:

  • Adapting and implementing evidence-based parenting skills training programs for caregivers who use the FQHC for health care and well-child visits.

  • Adapting instruments and screening caregivers for child maltreatment risk factors such as depression, substance abuse and intimate partner violence.

  • Providing access to mental health services to caregivers screened positive for child maltreatment risk factors.

  • Promoting models of integrated care that involve behavioral health specialists and primary care providers working collaboratively to deliver services that prevent child maltreatment and promote family well-being.

  • Develop public education campaigns to increase community awareness of integrated services offered by the health centers.