Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Public Law No: 108-36 (06/25/2003)

(This measure has not been amended since the conference report was filed on June 12, 2003. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003 - Title I: Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act - Subtitle A: General Program - (Sec. 111) Amends the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act to revise the requirements for the national clearinghouse dissemination of information to require it to: (1) maintain all effective child abuse programs, including community-based programs that hold potential for broad implementation and replication; (2) provide technical assistance for prosecution of child physical and sexual abuse cases and for psychological services to child victims; and (3) collect and disseminate information on training resources available to law enforcement personnel and designated persons engaged in delivery of child abuse services, as well as on best practices being used for making appropriate referrals addressing the physical, developmental, and mental health needs of abused and neglected children.

(Sec. 112) Instructs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to implement a longitudinal research program to provide child abuse prevention information. Specifies additional research foci. Requires biennial opportunities for public comment regarding research priorities.

Removes the "nonprofit" restriction placed upon participating entities receiving Federal technical assistance.

Authorizes the Secretary to make grants and enter contracts for time-limited demonstration programs and projects that target: (1) promotion of safe, family-friendly physical environments for visitation and exchange; (2) education identification, prevention, and treatment; (3) research-based risk and safety assessment tools relating to child abuse and neglect; and (4) research-based innovative training for mandated child abuse and neglect reporters.

(Sec. 113) Replaces grants to public agencies and nonprofit private organizations for demonstration programs and projects with grants to States and public or private agencies and organizations (whether nonprofit or for profit).

Eliminates the restriction of grants to time-limited demonstration programs and projects.

Expands the purposes for which grants may be awarded, including: (1) training of law enforcement, judiciary, social work and child protection, education, and other relevant fields, or individuals such as court appointed special advocates (CASAs) and guardians ad litem, as well as other specified personnel; (2) innovation in responding to reports of child abuse and neglect; (3) enhanced linkage between child protective service agencies and public health, mental health, and developmental disabilities agencies to help assure that a greater number of substantiated victims of child maltreatment have their needs appropriately diagnosed and treated; and (4) programs within pediatric and adolescent care facilities that provide model approaches for improving medical diagnosis of child abuse and neglect.

(Sec. 114) Revises requirements for mandatory development and operation grants to assist the States in improving their child protective services systems. Expands the purposes for such grants, including: (1) developing and updating systems of technology that support the program and track reports of child abuse and neglect from intake through final disposition (allowing interstate and intrastate information exchange); (2) obtaining or coordinating necessary services for families of disabled infants with life-threatening conditions; (3) facilitating adoptive placement of any such infants who have been relinquished for adoption; and (4) supporting interagency collaboration between the child protection system and the juvenile justice system for improved delivery of services and treatment.

Requires States to have in effect and enforce: (1) policies and procedures to address the needs of infants born and identified as being affected by illegal substance abuse or withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure (including appropriate referrals to child protection service systems, and including a requirement that health care providers involved in the delivery or care of such infants notify the child protective services system of such condition); (2) a plan of safe care for the infant born and identified as being affected by illegal substance abuse or withdrawal symptoms; and (3) triage procedures for the appropriate referral of a child not at risk of imminent harm to a community organization or voluntary preventive service.

Requires a court appointed special advocate (CASA) and a guardian ad litem to receive appropriate training.

Requires State policies regarding public access to court proceedings to determine child abuse and neglect to ensure the safety and well-being of the child, parents, and families.

Requires certain citizen review panels to: (1) provide for public outreach and comment in order to assess the impact of current procedures and practices upon children and families in the community; and (2) submit recommendations to improve child protection services system at the State and local levels.

Requires annual State data reports to include: (1) a summary of the activities of the State citizen review panels; and (2) the number of children under the care of the State child protection system who are transferred into the custody of the State juvenile justice system.

(Sec. 115) Provides for grants to assist States in developing, establishing, and operating programs designed to improve the handling of cases involving children with disabilities or serious health-related problems who are victims of abuse or neglect.

(Sec. 116) Expresses the sense of Congress that the Secretary should encourage all States and other entities that receive assistance under such Act to ensure that children and families with limited English proficiency who participate in programs under the Act are provided materials and services in an appropriate language other than English.

(Sec. 117) Authorizes appropriations for FY 2004 through 2008.

(Sec.118) Directs the Secretary to study and report to Congress on the effectiveness of certain citizen review panels.

Subtitle B: Community-Based Grants for the Prevention of Child Abuse - (Sec. 121) Directs the Secretary to make grants to programs that: (1) demonstrate a commitment to meaningful parent leadership, including parents of children with disabilities, parents with disabilities, racial and ethnic minorities, and members of other underrepresented or underserved groups; and (2) provide referrals to early health and developmental services.

(Sec. 122) Removes the "Statewide network" requirement for Federal grant eligibility, emphasizing community-based and prevention-focused programs and activities designed to strengthen and support families to prevent child abuse and neglect (through networks where appropriate).

(Sec. 124) Repeals the authority for existing grants for: (1) the Community-based Family Resource programs; (2) the Family Support Center programs; (3) the Emergency Child Abuse Prevention Services grant program; and (4) programs under the Temporary Child Care for Children with Disabilities and Crisis Nurseries Act of 1986.

(Sec. 127) Revises the requirements for performance measures for grantee States.

(Sec. 130) Authorizes appropriations for FY 2004 through 2008.

Subtitle C: Conforming Amendments - Makes technical and conforming amendments to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act .

Title II: Adoption Opportunities - (Sec. 202) Amends the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment and Adoption Reform Act of 1978 to direct the Secretary to provide for the implementation of programs that increase the number of older foster care children placed in adoptive families, with a special emphasis on child-specific recruitment strategies, including a grants program to eliminate barriers to placing children for adoption across jurisdictional boundaries.

(Sec. 203) Requires the Secretary to study and report to appropriate congressional committees on: (1) how interstate placements are financed across State lines; (2) recommendations on best practice models for both interstate and intrastate adoptions; and (3) how State policies defining special needs children differentiate or group similar categories of children.

(Sec. 204) Requires the Secretary to: (1) study and report to appropriate congressional committees on adoption outcomes and the factors affecting those outcomes; and (2) make recommendations to Congress for an action plan to facilitate interjurisdictional adoption of foster children.

(Sec. 205) Authorizes appropriations for FY 2004 through 2008.

Title III: Abandoned Infants Assistance - (Sec. 302) Amends the Abandoned Infants Assistance Act of 1988 to prohibit the Secretary from making a grant unless the grant applicant agrees to give priority to abandoned infants and young children who: (1) are infected with, or have been perinatally exposed to, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), or have a life-threatening illness or other special medical need; or (2) have been perinatally exposed to a dangerous drug.

(Sec. 303) Revises the requirement that the Secretary study and report to Congress on the estimated number of abandoned infants and young children. Requires an annual estimate and report, including: (1) an estimate of the annual number of infants and young children who are victims of homicide; and (2) the characteristics and demographics of parents who have abandoned an infant within one year of its birth.

Requires the Secretary to evaluate and report on effective methods of intervening to prevent such abandonment and to respond to the needs of those children.

Repeals the Secretary's authority to contract with public or nonprofit private entities for development and operation of model projects to disseminate certain information to individuals disproportionately at risk of dysfunctional behaviors that lead to the abandonment of infants or young children.

(Sec. 304) Authorizes appropriations for FY 2004 through 2008.

Title IV: Family Violence Prevention and Services Act - (Sec. 401) Amends the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act to direct the Secretary to make competitive grants for demonstration programs that provide: (1) multisystem interventions and services (either directly or by referral) for children who witness domestic violence; and (2) training (either directly or by referral) for entities who work with such children.

(Sec. 402) Allows the Secretary to appoint more than one person to implement such Act.

(Sec. 404) Amends the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act to include issues relating to children who witness domestic violence among those on which the National Resource Center is required to offer Federal, State, and local government agencies, domestic violence service providers, and others resource, policy, collaboration, and training assistance.

(Sec. 405) Extends through FY 2008 the authorization of appropriations for specified family violence prevention programs, including projects to address the needs of children who witness domestic violence.

Mandates that not less than ten percent of such appropriations be made available for grants to State domestic violence coalitions.

(Sec. 407) Instructs the Secretary to use not more than 2.5 percent of appropriations for evaluation, monitoring and other administrative costs.

(Sec. 408) Repeals: (1) the family member abuse information and documentation project; (2) model State leadership grants for domestic violence intervention; and (3) authorization for model programs for youth education and domestic violence.

(Sec. 411) Authorizes the Secretary to award five-year grants (subject to annual approval) to private, nonprofit entities for establishment and operation of: (1) a national, toll-free information and assistance telephone hotline for victims of domestic violence; or ( 2) a highly secure Internet website to provide such information and assistance.

Prescribes grant implementation guidelines. Authorizes appropriations for FY 2004 through 2008.

(Sec. 413) Authorizes appropriations for FY 2004 through 2008 for demonstration grants for community initiatives and transitional housing assistance.