IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
July 28, 2020
Ms. Collins (for herself and Ms. Sinema) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
To establish a National Child Abuse Hotline.
This Act may be cited as the
National Child Abuse Help Hotline Act of 2020.
National Child Abuse Hotline
The Secretary of Health and Human Services (referred to in this section as the
Secretary) may award a grant to a nonprofit entity to provide for the establishment and ongoing operation of a National Child Abuse Hotline, which shall provide a 24-hour, national, toll-free telephone hotline to improve capacity for the provision of crisis intervention, assistance, and information services with respect to child abuse or neglect, to victims of child abuse or neglect, and to parents, caregivers, mandated reporters, and other concerned community members, including through implementation of other communication technologies to improve access for such victims and other individuals.
To be eligible to receive the grant under subsection (a), an entity shall have experience in operating a hotline that provides information and assistance to victims of child abuse or neglect, and to parents, caregivers, and mandated reporters.
To be eligible to receive a grant under subsection (a), a nonprofit entity shall submit an application to the Secretary, at such time and in such manner as the Secretary may require, and containing—
a complete description of the entity’s plan for the operation of a national child abuse hotline, including descriptions of—
the professional development program for hotline personnel, including technology professional development to ensure that all individuals affiliated with the hotline are able to effectively operate any technological systems used by the hotline;
the qualifications for hotline personnel;
the methods for the creation, maintenance, and updating of a resource database;
a plan for publicizing the availability of the hotline throughout the United States;
a plan for providing service to non-English speaking callers, including service through hotline personnel who have non-English language capability;
a plan for facilitating access to the hotline and alternative modality services by individuals with hearing impairments and disabilities;
a plan for providing crisis counseling, general assistance, and referrals to youth victims of child abuse; and
a plan for utilizing available communications technologies other than the telephone hotline, as appropriate, such as texting or live chat;
information to demonstrate that the entity—
has the capacity and the expertise to maintain a child abuse and neglect hotline;
has the ability to provide information and referrals for contacts, directly connect contacts to such service providers, and employ crisis interventions; and
complies with Federal privacy laws and has established quality assurance practices; and
such other information, assurances, and agreements as the Secretary may require.
Authorization of appropriations
For purposes of carrying out this section, there are authorized to be appropriated $1,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2021 through 2025.