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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 22, 2008.
Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2008 - (Sec. 3) Directs the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services to require each location of a covered program to meet specified minimum standards if individually or together with other locations it has an effect on interstate commerce.
Defines "covered program" as one not operated by a governmental entity that for children unrelated to the program owner or operator: (1) provides a residential environment; and (2) operates with a focus on serving children with emotional, behavioral, or mental health problems or disorders, or problems with alcohol or substance abuse.
Directs the Assistant Secretary to require each location of a covered program that, individually or together with other locations, has an effect on interstate commerce, to meet certain minimum health and safety standards.
Directs the Assistant Secretary also to: (1) establish a process for conducting unannounced site inspections of each covered program location to determine compliance with such standards; (2) implement an ongoing review process for investigating and evaluating reports of child abuse and neglect; (3) establish civil penalties for violations of standards; (4) establish public websites with information about each covered program, as well as a national toll-free telephone hotline to receive complaints; and (5) establish a process to ensure that complaints received by the hotline are promptly reviewed by persons with appropriate expertise.
(Sec. 4) Requires the Assistant Secretary to refer any violation of such standards to the Attorney General for appropriate action. Authorizes the Attorney General to file such a complaint on his or her own initiative regardless of whether such a referral has been made.
(Sec. 5) Authorizes a private right of action in a U.S. district court for harm caused by a violation of minimum standards.
(Sec. 7) Authorizes appropriations for FY2009-FY2013.
(Sec. 8) Amends the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act to establish additional eligibility requirements for grants to states to prevent child abuse and neglect at residential programs. Requires such states to develop policies and procedures to prevent child abuse and neglect at covered programs consistent with the standards specified by this Act. Authorizes appropriations for FY2009-FY2013.