- The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) authorizes grants to states for the purpose of assisting States in developing, establishing, and operating programs designed to improve:
- The assessment and investigation of suspected child abuse and neglect cases, including cases of suspected child sexual abuse and exploitation, in a manner that limits additional trauma to the child and the child’s family;
- The assessment and investigation of cases of suspected child abuse-related fatalities and suspected child neglect-related fatalities;
- The investigation and prosecution of cases of child abuse and neglect, including child sexual abuse and exploitation; and
- The assessment and investigation of cases involving children with disabilities or series health-related problems who are suspected victims of child abuse or neglect.
- The Children’s Justice Act (CJA) is one such grant provided to States. To be eligible for CJA funds, States must be eligible for the CAPTA State Grant and are required to establish and maintain a CJA Task Force. Funds are allocated in the amount of $50,000 per State, plus an additional amount based on the population of children under 18 years of age in the State's jurisdiction. Funding comes from the Crime Victims' Fund, which collects fines and fees charged to persons convicted of Federal crimes. The Fund is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Victims of Crime and the grants are awarded by the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as outlined in Section 107 of the CAPTA, as amended, by the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003.
- The CJA Task Force is to be comprised of representatives from the following disciplines: Law Enforcement Community, Criminal Court Judge, Civil Court Judge, Prosecuting Attorney, Defense Attorney, Child Advocate, Court Appointed Special Advocate, Health Professional, Mental Health Professional, Child Protective Service Agencies, Individual experienced in working with children with disabilities, Parents and Representative of Parent Groups, Adult former victims of child abuse and neglect; and Individuals experienced in working with homeless children and youths. The purpose of the Task Force is to make policy and training recommendations regarding methods to better handle child abuse and neglect cases, with the expectation that it will result in reduced trauma to the child victim and the victim's family, while insuring fairness to the accused.
- The Child Protection Accountability Commission (CPAC) became the CJA Task Force in FFY08. Prior to this, the CPAC Abuse Intervention Subcommittee, previously known as the Department of Justice Abuse Intervention Committee, was the CJA Task Force. Historically, the Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families has administered the grant for the past two decades. However, in fiscal year 2011, the Division of Family Services proposed that the Office of the Child Advocate, on behalf of CPAC, administer the grant. Incidentally, in October 2010, the Office of the Child Advocate, on behalf of CPAC, contracted with the Division of Family Services to fund a Children’s Justice Act Coordinator to provide administrative support to CPAC primarily for all child abuse intervention training activities related to the CJA grant.
- Funding Activities
- Training Coordinator, Mandatory Reporting Training, Protecting Delaware’s Children Conference, Advanced Training Opportunities for the Multidisciplinary Team (MDT), MDT Scholarships to National Conferences, Cross-Education Training, Online Training System and Surveys, and Child Abuse and Neglect Report Line Publicity