Text: H.R.6655 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)
Public Law No: 112-275 (01/14/2013)
[112th Congress Public Law 275]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
PROTECT OUR KIDS ACT OF 2012
[[Page 126 STAT. 2460]]
Public Law 112-275
To establish a commission to develop a national strategy and
recommendations for reducing fatalities resulting from child abuse and
neglect. <<NOTE: Jan. 14, 2013 - [H.R. 6655]>>
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Protect our Kids
Act of 2012. 42 USC 1305 note.>>
SECTION 1. COMMISSION.
This Act may be cited as the ``Protect our Kids Act of 2012''.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress finds that--
(1) deaths from child abuse and neglect are preventable;
(2) deaths from child abuse and neglect are significantly
underreported and there is no national standard for reporting
(3) according to the Child Maltreatment Report of 2011, in
fiscal year 2011, 1,545 children in the United States are
reported to have died from child abuse and neglect, and many
experts believe that the actual number may be significantly
(4) over 42 percent of the number of children in the United
States who die from abuse are under the age of 1, and almost 82
percent are under the age of 4;
(5) of the children who died in fiscal year 2011, 70 percent
suffered neglect either exclusively or in combination with
another maltreatment type and 48 percent suffered physical abuse
either exclusively or in combination;
(6) increased understanding of deaths from child abuse and
neglect can lead to improvement in agency systems and practices
to protect children and prevent child abuse and neglect; and
(7) Congress in recent years has taken a number of steps to
reduce child fatalities from abuse and neglect, such as--
(A) providing States with flexibility through the
Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act
of 2011 to operate child welfare demonstration projects
to test services focused on preventing abuse and neglect
and ensuring that children remain safely in their own
(B) providing funding through the Child and Family
Services Improvement Act of 2006 for services and
activities to enhance the safety of children who are at
risk of being placed in foster care as a result of a
parent's substance abuse;
(C) providing funding through the Fostering
Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of
[[Page 126 STAT. 2461]]
for grants to facilitate activities such as family group
decisionmaking meetings and residential family treatment
programs to support parents in caring for their
(D) requiring States through the Child and Family
Services Improvement and Innovation Act of 2011 to
describe how they will improve the quality of data
collected on fatalities from child abuse and neglect.
SEC. 3. ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMISSION.
(a) Establishment.--There is established the Commission to Eliminate
Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (in this Act referred to as the
(A) <<NOTE: Appointments.>> Members.--The
Commission shall be composed of 12 members, of whom--
(i) <<NOTE: President.>> 6 shall be appointed
by the President;
(ii) 2 shall be appointed by the Speaker of
the House of Representatives;
(iii) 1 shall be appointed by the minority
leader of the House of Representatives;
(iv) 2 shall be appointed by the majority
leader of the Senate; and
(v) 1 shall be appointed by the minority
leader of the Senate.
(B) Qualifications.--Each member appointed under
subparagraph (A) shall have experience in one or more of
the following areas:
(i) child welfare administration;
(ii) child welfare research;
(iii) child development;
(iv) legislation, including legislation
involving child welfare matters;
(v) trauma and crisis intervention;
(vii) psychology and mental health;
(viii) emergency medicine;
(ix) forensic pathology or medical
investigation of injury and fatality;
(x) social work with field experience;
(xi) academia at an institution of higher
education, as that term is defined in section 101
of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C.
1001), with a focus on one or more of the other
areas listed under this subparagraph;
(xii) law enforcement, with experience
handling child abuse and neglect matters;
(xiii) civil law, with experience handling
child abuse and neglect matters;
(xiv) criminal law, with experience handling
child abuse and neglect matters;
(xv) substance abuse treatment;
(xvi) education at an elementary school or
secondary school, as those terms are defined in
section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary
Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801);
[[Page 126 STAT. 2462]]
(xvii) epidemiology; and
(xviii) computer science or software
engineering with a background in interoperability
(C) <<NOTE: President. Congress.>> Diversity of
qualifications.--In making appointments to the
Commission under subparagraph (A), the President and the
congressional leaders shall make every effort to select
individuals whose qualifications are not already
represented by other members of the Commission.
(2) <<NOTE: Deadline.>> Date.--The appointments of the
members of the Commission shall be made not later than 90 days
after the date of enactment of this Act.
(c) Period of Appointment; Vacancies.--Members shall be appointed
for the life of the Commission. Any vacancy in the Commission shall not
affect its powers, but shall be filled in the same manner as the
(d) <<NOTE: Deadline.>> Initial Meeting.--Not later than 60 days
after the date on which a majority of the members of the Commission have
been appointed, the Commission shall hold its first meeting.
(e) Meetings.--The Commission shall meet at the call of the
(f) Quorum.--A majority of the members of the Commission shall
constitute a quorum, but a lesser number of members may hold hearings.
(g) <<NOTE: President.>> Chairperson.--The President shall select a
Chairperson for the Commission from among its members.
SEC. 4. DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION.
(1) In general.--The Commission shall conduct a thorough
study on the use of child protective services and child welfare
services funded under title IV and subtitle A of title XX of the
Social Security Act to reduce fatalities from child abuse and
(2) Matters studied.--The matters studied by the Commission
(A) the effectiveness of the services described in
paragraph (1) and best practices in preventing child and
youth fatalities that are intentionally caused or that
occur due to negligence, neglect, or a failure to
exercise proper care;
(B) the effectiveness of Federal, State, and local
policies and systems within such services aimed at
collecting accurate, uniform data on child fatalities in
a coordinated fashion, including the identification of
the most and least effective policies and systems in
(C) the current (as of the date of the study)
barriers to preventing fatalities from child abuse and
neglect, and how to improve efficiency to improve child
(D) trends in demographic and other risk factors
that are predictive of or correlated with child
maltreatment, such as age of the child, child behavior,
family structure, parental stress, and poverty;
(E) methods of prioritizing child abuse and neglect
prevention within such services for families with the
highest need; and
[[Page 126 STAT. 2463]]
(F) methods of improving data collection and
utilization, such as increasing interoperability among
State and local and other data systems.
(3) <<NOTE: Review.>> Materials studied.--The Commission
(A) all current (as of the date of the study)
research and documentation, including the National
Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being and research
and recommendations from the Government Accountability
Office, to identify lessons, solutions, and needed
improvements related to reducing fatalities from child
abuse and neglect; and
(B) recommendations from the Advisory Board on Child
Abuse and Neglect.
(b) Coordination.--The Commission shall provide opportunities for
graduate and doctoral students to coordinate research with the
(c) Recommendations.--The Commission shall--
(1) develop recommendations to reduce fatalities from child
abuse and neglect for Federal, State, and local agencies, and
private sector and nonprofit organizations, including
recommendations to implement a comprehensive national strategy
for such purpose; and
(2) <<NOTE: Guidelines.>> develop guidelines for the type
of information that should be tracked to improve interventions
to prevent fatalities from child abuse and neglect.
(1) In general.--Not later than 2 years after the date on
which a majority of the members of the Commission have been
appointed, the Commission shall submit a report to the President
and Congress, which shall contain a detailed statement of the
findings and conclusions of the Commission, together with its
recommendations for such legislation and administrative actions
as it considers appropriate.
(2) Extension.--The President may extend the date on which
the report described in paragraph (1) shall be submitted by an
additional 1 year.
(3) <<NOTE: Public information. Web posting.>> Online
access.--The Commission shall make the report under paragraph
(1) available on the publicly available Internet Web site of the
Department of Health and Human Services.
SEC. 5. POWERS OF THE COMMISSION.
(1) In general.--The Commission may hold such hearings, sit
and act at such times and places, take such testimony, and
receive such evidence as the Commission considers advisable to
carry out this Act.
(2) Location.--The location of hearings under paragraph (1)
(A) areas with high fatality rates from child abuse
and neglect; and
(B) areas that have shown a decrease in fatalities
from child abuse and neglect.
(3) Subject.--The Commission shall hold hearings under
(A) to examine the Federal, State, and local
policies and available resources that affect fatalities
from child abuse and neglect; and
[[Page 126 STAT. 2464]]
(B) to explore the matters studied under section
(b) Information From Federal Agencies.--The Commission may secure
directly from any Federal department or agency such information as the
Commission considers necessary to carry out this Act. Upon request of
the Chairperson of the Commission, the head of such department or agency
shall furnish such information to the Commission.
(c) Postal Services.--The Commission may use the United States mails
in the same manner and under the same conditions as other departments
and agencies of the Federal Government.
(d) Gifts.--The Commission may accept, use, and dispose of gifts or
donations of services or property.
SEC. 6. COMMISSION PERSONNEL MATTERS.
(a) Travel Expenses.--The members of the Commission shall be allowed
travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates
authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of chapter 57 of
title 5, United States Code, while away from their homes or regular
places of business in the performance of services for the Commission.
(1) In general.--The Chairperson of the Commission may,
without regard to the civil service laws and regulations,
appoint and terminate an executive director and such other
additional personnel as may be necessary to enable the
Commission to perform its duties. The employment of an executive
director shall be subject to confirmation by the Commission.
(2) Compensation.--The Chairperson of the Commission may fix
the compensation of the executive director and other personnel
without regard to chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of
title 5, United States Code, relating to classification of
positions and General Schedule pay rates, except that the rate
of pay for the executive director and other personnel may not
exceed the rate payable for level V of the Executive Schedule
under section 5316 of such title.
(c) Detail of Government Employees.--At the discretion of the
relevant agency, any Federal Government employee may be detailed to the
Commission without reimbursement, and such detail shall be without
interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.
(d) Procurement of Temporary and Intermittent Services.--The
Chairperson of the Commission may procure temporary and intermittent
services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, at rates
for individuals that do not exceed the daily equivalent of the annual
rate of basic pay prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule under
section 5316 of such title.
SEC. 7. TERMINATION OF THE COMMISSION.
The Commission shall terminate on the earlier of--
(1) the 30th day after the date on which the Commission
submits its report under section 4(d); or
(2) the date that is 3 years after the initial meeting under
SEC. 8. FEDERAL AGENCY RESPONSE.
Not <<NOTE: Deadline. Reports.>> later than 6 months after the
submission of the report required under section 4(d), any Federal agency
that is affected
[[Page 126 STAT. 2465]]
by a recommendation described in the report shall submit to Congress a
report containing the response of the Federal agency to the
recommendation and the plans of the Federal agency to address the
SEC. 9. ADJUSTMENT TO THE TANF CONTINGENCY FUND FOR STATE WELFARE
(a) In General.--Section 403(b)(2) of the Social Security Act (42
U.S.C. 603(b)(2)) is amended by striking ``for fiscal years 2011 and
2012'' and all that follows through the end of the paragraph and
inserting ``for fiscal years 2013 and 2014 such sums as are necessary
for payment to the Fund in a total amount not to exceed $612,000,000 for
each fiscal year, of which $2,000,000 shall be reserved for carrying out
the activities of the commission established by the Protect our Kids Act
of 2012 to reduce fatalities resulting from child abuse and neglect.''
(b) Prevention of Duplicate Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2013.--
Expenditures made pursuant to section 148 of the Continuing
Appropriations Resolution, 2013, for fiscal year 2013, shall be charged
to the applicable appropriation provided by the amendments made by this
section for such fiscal year.
Approved January 14, 2013.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 6655:
Vol. 158 (2012):
Dec. 19, considered and passed
Vol. 158 (2013):
Jan. 2, considered and passed