The Child Welfare Information Gateway is the congressionally-mandated and -funded information service of the United States Children's Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, United States Department of Health and Human Services.It was established in 2006 to replace the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information and the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse. The Child Welfare Information Gateway covers child-welfare topics, including family-centered practice, child abuse and neglect, abuse and neglect prevention, child protection, family preservation and support, foster care, achieving and maintaining permanency, adoption, management of child welfare agencies and related topics such as child and family assessment, laws and policies, statistics and coincident family issues (e.g., domestic violence and substance abuse). Its website links to sources of print and electronic publications, websites, databases and online learning tools on these topics.
The United States Children's Bureau is a federal agency organized under the United States Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families. Today, the bureau's operations involve improving child abuse prevention, foster care, and adoption. Historically, its work was much broader, as shown by the 1912 act which created and funded it:
The said bureau shall investigate and report to [the Department of Commerce and Labor] upon all matters pertaining to the welfare of children and child life among all classes of our people, and shall especially investigate the questions of infant mortality, the birth-rate, orphanage, juvenile courts, desertion, dangerous occupations, accidents and diseases of children, employment, legislation affecting children in the several states and territories.
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is a division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It is headed by the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner. It has a $49 billion budget for 60 programs that target children, youth and families. These programs include assistance with welfare, child support enforcement, adoption assistance, foster care, child care, and child abuse.
The United States Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), also known as the Health Department, is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government with the goal of protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services. Its motto is "Improving the health, safety, and well-being of America". Before the separate federal Department of Education was created in 1979, it was called the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW).
Prior to the creation of Child Welfare Information Gateway, the Children's Bureau operated two separate, federally mandated clearinghouses, each representing different aspects of the child welfare system.
The National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information was established in 1974 by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (Public Law 93-247) to collect, organize, and disseminate information about all aspects of child maltreatment. The National Adoption Information Clearinghouse was established by the United States Congress in the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 to provide free information on all aspects of adoption.
The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1988 provides federal funding to US states in support of prevention, assessment, investigation, prosecution, and treatment activities and provides grants to public agencies and nonprofit organizations for demonstration programs and projects. Additionally, it identifies the federal role in supporting research, evaluation, technical assistance, and data collection activities; establishes the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect; and mandates the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information. It also sets forth a minimum definition of child abuse and neglect.
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) is a law passed by the U.S. Congress on a reconciliation basis and signed by President Ronald Reagan that, among other things, mandates an insurance program which gives some employees the ability to continue health insurance coverage after leaving employment. COBRA includes amendments to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The law deals with a great variety of subjects, such as tobacco price supports, railroads, private pension plans, emergency department treatment, disability insurance, and the postal service, but it is perhaps best known for Title X, which amends the Internal Revenue Code and the Public Health Service Act to deny income tax deductions to employers for contributions to a group health plan unless such plan meets certain continuing coverage requirements. The violation for failing to meet those criteria was subsequently changed to an excise tax.
In the early days of these federal clearinghouses, services consisted primarily of gathering print resources in a central library located in Northern Virginia. Responses to child welfare-related inquiries were provided via telephone, and publications were mailed via the postal service upon request. Early compendiums of national adoption resources and state child welfare laws were collected in binders.
More recently, the clearinghouses and now Information Gateway have increasingly used electronic databases and the Internet to provide services, including access to electronic copies of publications; searchable databases of state statutes, foster care organizations, and adoption resources; and interactive online learning tools.
A list of publications offered by Child Welfare Information Gateway can be found in its Publications Catalog in English or Spanish. Some of the titles available include:
Child abuse or child maltreatment is physical, sexual, and/or psychological maltreatment or neglect of a child or children, especially by a parent or a caregiver. Child abuse may include any act or failure to act by a parent or a caregiver that results in actual or potential harm to a child, and can occur in a child's home, or in the organizations, schools or communities the child interacts with.
Foster care is the term used for a system in which a minor who has been made a ward is placed in an institution, group home, or private home of a state certified caregiver referred to as a "foster parent". The placement of the child is usually arranged through the government or a social-service agency. The institution, group home or foster parent is provided compensation for expenses.
In the United States, adoption is permanently placing a minor with a parent or parents other than the birth parents.
Child neglect is a form of child abuse, and is a deficit in meeting a child's basic needs, including the failure to provide adequate health care, supervision, clothing, nutrition, housing as well as their physical, emotional, social, educational and safety needs. Society generally believes there are necessary behaviors a caregiver must provide in order for a child to develop physically, socially, and emotionally. Causes of neglect may result from several parenting problems including mental disorders, substance abuse, domestic violence, unemployment, unplanned pregnancy, and poverty.
Child protection is the protection of children from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect. Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child provides for the protection of children in and out of the home.
Boys & Girls Aid is a non-profit organization that provides services to children in crisis in the state of Oregon, United States.
In many parts of the western world, mandated reporters are people who have regular contact with vulnerable people and are therefore legally required to ensure a report is made when abuse is observed or suspected. Specific details vary across jurisdictions—the abuse that must be reported may include neglect, or financial, physical, sexual, or other types of abuse. Mandated reporters may include paid or unpaid people who have assumed full or intermittent responsibility for the care of a child, dependent adult, or elder.
Child Protective Services (CPS) is the name of a governmental agency in many states of the United States responsible for providing child protection, which includes responding to reports of child abuse or neglect. Some states use other names, often attempting to reflect more family-centered practices, such as "Department of Children & Family Services" (DCFS). CPS is also known by the name of "Department of Social Services" (DSS) or simply "Social Services".
Family preservation was the movement to help keep children at home with their families rather than in foster homes or institutions. This movement was a reaction to the earlier policy of family breakup, which pulled children out of unfit homes. Extreme poverty alone was seen as a justified reason to remove children. This new movement began in the 1890s, and in the 1909 White House Conference on Children it was the top ranked issue. In order to keep families together, the family would be given enough money so that the mother would not have to work a full-time job. The families that were given this assistance were usually headed by widows.
The Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSR) are conducted by the Children's Bureau, within the United States Department of Health and Human Services, to help States improve safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes for children and families who receive services through the child welfare system. The Bureau conducts the reviews to ensure conformity with federal child welfare requirements, to determine what is actually happening to children and families in child welfare services, and to assist states in helping children and families achieve positive outcomes. The CFSRs monitor States' conformity with the requirements of title IV-B of the Social Security Act. The first round of reviews took place between 2000 and 2004 and the second round took place between 2007 and 2010. In both rounds, all States were required to implement Program Improvement Plans (PIPs) as part of the review process. The third round of CFSRs took place between 2015 and 2018; a complete aggregate report of those findings has yet to be released.
Laws against child sexual abuse vary by country based on the local definition of who a child is and what constitutes child sexual abuse. Most countries in the world employ some form of age of consent, with sexual contact with an underage person being criminally penalized. As the age of consent to sexual behaviour varies from country to country, so too do definitions of child sexual abuse. An adult's sexual intercourse with a minor below the legal age of consent may sometimes be referred to as statutory rape, based on the principle that any apparent consent by a minor could not be considered legal consent.
The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN) is a national center that was established within the Children's Bureau, Department of Health and Human Services, an agency of the Federal government of the United States. It was created by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) of 1974.
The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) is an agency of the New York state government within the Department of Family Assistance. The office has its headquarters in the Capital View Office Park in Rensselaer.
In many parts of the world, mandated reporters are people who have regular contact with vulnerable people such as children, disabled persons, and senior citizens, and are therefore legally required to ensure a report is made when abuse is observed or suspected. Specific details vary across jurisdictions—the abuse that must be reported may include neglect, or financial, physical, sexual, or other types of abuse. Mandated reporters may include paid or unpaid people who have assumed full or intermittent responsibility for the care of a child, dependent adult, or elder.
National Child Abuse Prevention Month, also known as Child Abuse Prevention Month in America, is an annual observance in the United States dedicated to raising awareness and preventing child abuse. April has been designated Child Abuse Prevention Month in the United States since 1983. U.S. President Barack Obama continued that tradition, and in 2016 issued a Presidential proclamation stating: "During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we recommit to giving every child a chance to succeed and to ensuring that every child grows up in a safe, stable, and nurturing environment that is free from abuse and neglect."
Barbara L. Bonner is a clinical psychologist and expert on juvenile sex offenders. She is known for her research on the assessment and treatment of abused children, prevention of child fatalities due to neglect, and treatment of children and adolescents with problematic sexual behavior. Bonner is the CMRI/Jean Gumerson Endowed Chair and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. She serves as the Director of the Child Abuse and Neglect at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.