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S. 3975: Victims of Child Abuse Act Reauthorization Act of 2022


The text of the bill below is as of Mar 31, 2022 (Introduced).


II

117th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3975

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 31, 2022

(for himself, Mr. Blunt, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Grassley, Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Young, Ms. Hirono, Mrs. Capito, Mr. Cornyn, Mr. Wicker, and Mrs. Feinstein) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To reauthorize the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Victims of Child Abuse Act Reauthorization Act of 2022.

2.

Improving investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases

The Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 (34 U.S.C. 20301 et seq.) is amended—

(1)

in section 211 (34 U.S.C. 20301)—

(A)

in paragraph (1)—

(i)

by striking 3,300,000 and inserting 3,400,000; and

(ii)

by striking , and drug abuse is associated with a significant portion of these;

(B)

by redesignating paragraphs (3) through (8) as paragraphs (4) through (9), respectively;

(C)

by inserting afer paragraph (2) the following:

(3)

a key to a child victim healing from abuse is access to supportive and healthy families and communities;

; and

(D)

in paragraph (9)(B), as so redesignated, by inserting , and operations of centers before the period at the end;

(2)

in section 212 (34 U.S.C. 20302)—

(A)

in paragraph (5), by inserting coordinated team before response; and

(B)

in paragraph (8), by inserting organizational capacity before support;

(3)

in section 213 (34 U.S.C. 20303)—

(A)

in subsection (a)—

(i)

in the heading, by inserting and maintenance after Establishment;

(ii)

in the matter preceding paragraph (1)—

(I)

by striking , in coordination with the Director of the Office of Victims of Crime,; and

(II)

by inserting and maintain after establish;

(iii)

in paragraph (3)—

(I)

by striking and victim advocates and inserting victim advocates, multidisciplinary team leadership, and children’s advocacy center staff; and

(II)

by striking and at the end;

(iv)

by redesignating paragraph (4) as paragraph (5);

(v)

by inserting after paragraph (3) the following:

(4)

provide technical assistance, training, coordination, and organizational capacity support for State chapters; and

; and

(vi)

in paragraph (5), as so redesignated, by striking and oversight to and inserting organizational capacity support, and oversight of ;

(B)

in subsection (b)—

(i)

in paragraph (1)—

(I)

in subparagraph (A), by inserting and maintain after establish; and

(II)

in the matter following subparagraph (B), by striking and technical assistance to aid communities in establishing and inserting training and technical assistance to aid communities in establishing and maintaining; and

(ii)

in paragraph (2)—

(I)

in subparagraph (A)—

(aa)

in clause (ii), by inserting Center after Advocacy; and

(bb)

in clause (iii), by striking of, assessment of, and intervention in and inserting and intervention in child; and

(II)

in subparagraph (B), by striking centers and interested communities and inserting centers, interested communities, and chapters; and

(C)

in subsection (c)—

(i)

in paragraph (2)—

(I)

in subparagraph (B), by striking evaluation, intervention, evidence gathering, and counseling and inserting investigation and intervention in child abuse; and

(II)

in subparagraph (E), by striking judicial handling of child abuse and neglect and inserting multidisciplinary response to child abuse;

(ii)

in paragraph (3)(A)(i), by striking so that communities can establish multidisciplinary programs that respond to child abuse and inserting and chapters so that communities can establish and maintain multidisciplinary programs that respond to child abuse and chapters can establish and maintain children’s advocacy centers in their State;

(iii)

in paragraph (4)(B)—

(I)

in clause (iii), by striking and at the end;

(II)

in by redesignating clause (iv) as clause (v); and

(III)

by inserting after clause (iii) the following:

(iv)

best result in supporting chapters in each State; and

; and

(iv)

in paragraph (6), by inserting under this Act after recipients;

(4)

in section 214 (34 U.S.C. 20304)—

(A)

by striking subsection (a) and inserting the following:

(a)

In general

The Administrator shall make grants to—

(1)

establish and maintain a network of care for child abuse victims where investigation, prosecutions, and interventions are continually occurring and coordinating activities within local children’s advocacy centers and multidisciplinary teams;

(2)

develop, enhance, and coordinate multidisciplinary child abuse investigations, intervention, and prosecution activities;

(3)

promote the effective delivery of the evidence-based, trauma-informed Children's Advocacy Center Model and the multidisciplinary response to child abuse; and

(4)

develop and disseminate practice standards for care and best practices in programmatic evaluation, and support State chapter organizational capacity and local children’s advocacy center organizational capacity and operations in order to meet such practice standards and best practices.

;

(B)

in subsection (b), by striking , in coordination with the Director of the Office of Victims of Crime,;

(C)

in subsection (c)(2)—

(i)

in subparagraph (C), by inserting to the greatest extent practicable, but in no case later than 72 hours, after hours; and

(ii)

by striking subparagraphs (D) through (I) and inserting the following:

(D)

Forensic interviews of child victims by trained personnel that are used by law enforcement, health, and child protective service agencies to interview suspected abuse victims about allegations of abuse.

(E)

Provision of needed follow up services such as medical care, mental healthcare, and victims advocacy services.

(F)

A requirement that, to the extent practicable, all interviews and meetings with a child victim occur at the children's advocacy center or an agency with which there is a linkage agreement regarding the delivery of multidisciplinary child abuse investigation, prosecution, and intervention services.

(G)

Coordination of each step of the investigation process to eliminate duplicative forensic interviews with a child victim.

(H)

Designation of a director for the children's advocacy center.

(I)

Designation of a multidisciplinary team coordinator.

(J)

Assignment of a volunteer or staff advocate to each child in order to assist the child and, when appropriate, the child's family, throughout each step of intervention and judicial proceedings.

(K)

Coordination with State chapters to assist and provide oversight, and organizational capacity that supports local children's advocacy centers, multidisciplinary teams, and communities working to implement a multidisciplinary response to child abuse in the provision of evidence-informed initiatives, including mental health counseling, forensic interviewing, multidisciplinary team coordination, and victim advocacy.

(L)

Such other criteria as the Administrator shall establish by regulation.

; and

(D)

by striking subsection (f) and inserting the following:

(f)

Grants to State chapters for assistance to local children's advocacy centers

In awarding grants under this section, the Administrator shall ensure that a portion of the grants is distributed to State chapters to enable State chapters to provide oversight, training, and technical assistance to local centers on evidence-informed initiatives including mental health, counseling, forensic interviewing, multidisciplinary team coordination, and victim advocacy.

;

(5)

in section 214A (34 U.S.C. 20305)—

(A)

in subsection (a)—

(i)

in paragraph (1), by striking attorneys and other allied and inserting prosecutors and other attorneys and allied; and

(ii)

in paragraph (2)(B), by inserting Center after Advocacy; and

(B)

in subsection (b)(1), by striking subparagraph (A) and inserting the following:

(A)

a significant connection to prosecutors who handle child abuse cases in State courts, such as a membership organization or support service providers; and

; and

(6)

by striking 214B (34 U.S.C. 20306) and inserting the following:

214B.

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out sections 213, 214, and 214A, $40,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2028.

.