New law creates national commission to reduce child fatalities from abuse and neglect

On Jan. 14, President Obama signed into law APA-supported legislation, the Protect Our Kids Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-275), to create the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities. The commission will comprise 12 members — to be appointed by the president and congressional leaders — including members with experience in psychology, mental health and child development. The bill passed the House of Representatives on Dec. 19 and the Senate on Jan. 2. APA's Public Interest Government Relations Office (PI-GRO) had been working in support of the bill since 2011, when it originally was introduced in Congress. In December 2012, APA submitted written testimony (PDF, 89KB) in support of the bill to the House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Human Resources, for a hearing held by the subcommittee on reducing child deaths due to maltreatment.