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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 Jun 25, 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 operated by a public or private entity that with respect to one or more 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: (1) implement an on-going review process for investigating and evaluating reports of child abuse and neglect; (2) establish public websites with information about each covered program, as well as a national toll-free telephone hotline to receive complaints; (3) establish civil penalties for violations of standards; and (4) 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 if the Assistant Secretary determines that a violation has not been remedied through the enforcement process. 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. 6) Authorizes appropriations for FY2009-FY2013.
(Sec. 7) 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. Require 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.
(Sec. 8) Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to study and report to Congress on outcomes for children in both private and public covered programs under this Act encompassing a broad representation of treatment facilities and geographic regions.