Jan 152015
 

The maltreatment of children includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse as well as neglect. Complaints of neglect account for about 70% of all child abuse reports followed by physical abuse (20%) and sexual abuse (10%). Each year, more than 3 million complaints of child abuse involving more than 6 million children are reported to our nation’s child protective services, and nearly 1 million of these reports are substantiated. At least 1,500 American children die from physical abuse and neglect each year, and about 80% of our children that die from physical abuse are under the age of 4. The UN has recently reported that about two thirds of children worldwide are physically abused by their caretakers on a regular basis. At least 100,000 children are also reported to be sexually abused each year but this actual total is likely much higher. It is estimated that more than 70% of child victims do not report sexual abuse to anyone for a year and 45% do not tell anyone for at least 5 years. In over 90% of all sexual assaults, the victim knows the perpetrator. Child advocates claim the number of physical child abuse cases is also greatly underreported. Many victims and witnesses do not report these domestic assaults due to fears of retaliation, family disruption or many other reasons. They say this shows the need to develop prevention programs that reduce death and disability from child abuse, including strategies that help parents and caregivers respond in nonviolent ways to the stresses of caring for young children.

Child abuse is not limited to the home. Many thousands of our teenagers attend private and public residential treatment programs where physical or sexual abuse can occur. These programs, including wilderness and boot camps and therapeutic and behavior-modification facilities, assist children with mental, behavioral, emotional and substance abuse problems. Recent studies have found the strategies used by some of these programs, including strenuous exercise without being allowed to drink water, restrained confinement in small spaces and sexual abuse by staff have resulted in many injuries and several deaths.

Pending Legislation:
H.R.1311 – Kilah Davenport Child Protection Act of 2013 (113th Congress 2013-2014)

I oppose reforming current child abuse policy

I support improving training for school personnel to recognize the signs of child sexual abuse, and wish to identify a legislator who will either reintroduce S.756 – Helping Schools Protect Our Children Act of 2013 (113th Congress 2013-2013), or a similar version thereof

I support prohibiting grants to a state for specified child abuse or neglect prevention and treatment programs until the state’s laws provide for a criminal punishment, including a prison term of at least 3,800 days, for any individual providing care of a child under age 16, and intentionally inflicts on that child any serious bodily injury or permanent or protracted loss or impairment of any of the child’s mental or emotional function, and wish to identify a legislator who will either reintroduce H.R.1311 – Kilah Davenport Child Protection Act of 2013 (113th Congress 2013-2014), or a similar version thereof

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

For most American families living in the modern world, child care is a necessity. More than 70% of all single mothers, including 60% of all mothers with infants less than one year old, are now employed. Child care expenses for these families often exceed $7,000/year. More than 13 million American preschoolers currently spend most of their waking day in childcare centers. These children come from diverse homes and bring with them a wide range of needs. Half of America’s children live in single parent families, one third of all American children are poor and one American child in twelve is disabled. Although quality childcare is often difficult to find, experts say it is vital to the well being of our nation’s kids. Unfortunately, the shortage of quality childcare prevents many children from receiving this much-needed assistance. Head start programs are able to enroll only about 60% of children who are eligible and that was before our sequestration cuts. Advocates say we need more quality childcare centers staffed with better-trained and better-paid childcare providers.

Pending Legislation:

S.1086 – Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current child care policy and wish to defeat S.1086

I support reauthorizing the Child Care and Development Block Grant of 1990 through 2019 that revises and expands plan requirements to include compliance with state and local health and safety and child abuse reporting requirements, protection for working parents, and coordination with other programs; prescribing early learning and developmental guidelines; authorizing a state to use funds to establish or support a system of local or regional child care resource and referral organizations; requiring states receiving grant funds under such Act to carry out criminal background checks for child care staff members of child care providers; making ineligible for employment by a licensed, regulated, or registered child care provider any individual who refuses to consent to a criminal background check, knowingly makes a materially false statement in connection with such a background check, is registered or is required to be registered on a state sex offender registry or the National Sex Offender Registry, or has been convicted of one or more specified felonies, and wish to pass S.1086

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

America’s poverty level is three times that of other wealthy industrialized nations. More than 16 million American children are now living in poverty and many millions more are close to it. It is recognized that the first three years of life are critical to a child’s proper development. More than 3 million poor American children under the age of three are often exposed to many factors that can impair healthy development. These factors include inadequate nutrition, low-quality child care, child abuse or neglect and exposure to environmental toxins. Many of our children also face other challenges. Many divorced fathers are not permitted full access to their children while other fathers choose to have little contact with their kids. Studies have shown that children from fatherless homes account for most youth suicides, teenage pregnancies and juvenile delinquent behavior. Child advocates say most children have at least one parent who is employed. They claim it is the responsibility of both parents to do all they can to alleviate the harm caused by childhood poverty. It is estimated that after a divorce, the average standard of living for men increases by over 40%, while women and children are subjected to a 70% decrease in living standards. There are more than 20 million American children now living with only one custodial parent, 82% of whom are women. Most of these children depend on adequate financial support from absent dads to avoid poverty, or to at least mitigate its effects. A “deadbeat parent” is defined as one who is criminally liable for willfully failing to pay more than $5,000 in child support payments. Child support payments represent nearly half the income of poor families headed by single moms. Advocates say deadbeat dads are the reason 41% of households headed by single women live below the poverty level, twice that of households headed by single men and nearly 5 times that of married couples. The total amount of outstanding child support payments that is due America’s children is now more than $110 billion. It has cost taxpayers at least $53 billion in public assistance over the years to support these children.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.2359 – Julia Carson Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current child support policy and wish to defeat H.R.2359

I support awarding grants to states for an employment demonstration project involving a court, or state child support agency supervised, employment program for noncustodial parents who have barriers to employment and a history of nonpayment, so that they can pay their child support obligations; awarding grants for transitional jobs programs and for public-private career pathways partnerships; prohibiting a state from conditioning receipt of TANF benefits on participation in a healthy marriage or responsible fatherhood program; prohibiting a state from collecting any amount owed it by reason of costs it has incurred for the birth of a child for whom support rights have been assigned; requires a state to make a full distribution of collected child support to the family, and wish to pass H.R.2359

 Posted by at 12:00 am