In the human services field you are constantly working with many different individuals for various reasons. When working with others and their situations they are many laws that have to be abided by to assure that their personal information and safety is protected. One particular act that we have learned about during the last couple weeks was the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Within the act it has give protection their client’s medical records and information to stop it getting to those who have no legal right to them. A law that I have found that I believe to be very important is the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010. This Act is a revised law from the original Child Abuse Protection and Treatment Act (CAPTA) that was presented to us in 2003. Every day children are being hurt and killed due to child abuse so I have decided this act would best to look more in to.
Over the last couple years I have noticed a rise in deaths of child because of neglect, or abuse. Although this has always been an issue that has been around for as long as we can remember, with the help of the media it is more frequently being brought to the attention of many around the world. The CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010 which was known as the CAPTA (Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act). The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act was previously known to be an essential source for funding of innovative dependency court programs as well as funding for child welfare agencies. The purpose of the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2012 is to improve program operation and data collection over time. (J.R Marsh, 2012) Also to improve systems for supporting and training individuals who prevent, identify, and respond to reports of neglect, abuse, and maltreatment of children. (J.R Marsh, 2012) As well as strengthening coordination among providers who address the challenges associated with child abuse, maltreatment, and neglect as well as dating and domestic violence. (J.R Marsh, 2012) For example, by not allowing a child to be placed back with a parent if they have committed sexual abuse on the child or any other child. Also by doing a criminal back ground check for any adults living in a residence of foster or adoptive parents. It also had an effect on the Abandoned Infants Assistance Act and Adoption Opportunities Program. The CAPTA reauthorization has also encouraged those who were previously victims of child abuse to join the Children’s Justice Act task force. (J.R Marsh, 2010)
I personally think this law has really affected me in many ways. I previously worked at a day care for year and I have dealt with many child abuse situations where child protective services was involved or they were placed in foster care. I feel like some children were taken away from bad situations and placed in foster care where they were dealing with the same thing. I had one foster mother who would have two to four children at a time, and we always had the same problem with the children she brought in. They all came in starving and at times bruised up, the child would confide in us and tell us their situations. As our responsibility we would report it but foster care and child protective services never seemed to pay any attention to these children’s words. I think with the Children’s Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act it will require Child Protective Services to be more involved and require more things needed for foster care parents. This also hits a personal spot for me because my mother at 7 years old had already lost both her parents from cancer and was placed in foster care. It is saddening to hear the stories of her physical abuse from her foster parents, sexual abuse from her foster siblings, and enduring this after a traumatic situation of losing her parents. This law will allow situations similar to these to prevent from other children suffering in the same way. Due to the rise in the issues there also has to be sanctions against those who violate the Act, no matter how many times some people hear the consequences they seem to repeat the offense. Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act require States to establish their own civil sanctions for violations. Unfortunately I have had no luck finding the sanctions for the state of Texas.
I found that there are many arguments for this law since this is a serious problem many are suffering from and it needs to be stopped. I have found it beneficial that there will be more consideration and back ground checks on those who are becoming foster parents and those who will live in the residence as well. Another upside to the CAPTA Reauthorization Act 2010 is that it does not require a child who to be reunited with a parent who has been charged with sexual abuse whether it was on that child or another. I personally do not find there any arguments against the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. I believe any law that is for helping the welfare of a child has no negatives. But if I had to make an argument it would be for the things that are not placed in the act such as that there should be more required background checks for foster care parents and more frequent checkups. Another action I believe should have been in the Act is that after a certain amount of times being investigated by child protective services rights for the child or children should be terminated. My aunt was a foster parent for her grandchildren for over 5 years before she was able to legally adopt them. For four and a half years the mother of the children was court ordered to take random drug test, each time she was tested she came out positive, which was approximately 6 times over that time frame. When a parent is not willing to better themselves, they should not be allowed to continue making the children suffer by having rights that are not properly utilized.
With that being said, I hope I have been able to allow you to see the importance of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act for my own personal and ethical reasons. This issue is becoming worse over the years and does not seem to slow down. As a future human services employee and someone who has personally seen the effects of child abuse I have found myself wanting to protect those who cannot speak for themselves or who are too afraid to speak up, before it is too late. With an Act like this I will one day have the opportunity to do so.