H.R. 3894, To amend title 10, United States Code, to require the prompt notification of State Child Protective Services by military and civilian personnel of the Department of Defense required by law to report suspected instances of child abuse and neglect

H.R. 3894

To amend title 10, United States Code, to require the prompt notification of State Child Protective Services by military and civilian personnel of the Department of Defense required by law to report suspected instances of child abuse and neglect

Sponsor
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
Committee
Armed Services

Date
February 9, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Molly Newell

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, February 9, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 3894, To amend title 10, United States Code, to require the prompt notification of State Child Protective Services by military and civilian personnel of the Department of Defense required by law to report suspected instances of child abuse and neglect. The bill was introduced on November 3, 2015, by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and was referred to the Committee on Armed Services.

Bill Summary

H.R. 3894 requires a member of the Armed Forces, a civilian Department of Defense (DOD) employee, or a contractor employee working on a military installation who is mandated by federal regulation or state law to report known or suspected instances of child abuse and neglect to provide the report directly to State Child Protective Services or another appropriate state agency in addition to the member’s or employee’s chain of command or any designated DOD point of contact.

The bill also requires DOD to ensure that such individuals receive appropriate training in accordance with state guidelines to improve their: (1) ability to recognize evidence of child abuse and neglect, and (2) understanding of mandatory reporting requirements.

Background

The DOD’s Family Advocacy Program (FAP) is reponsible for the prevention and identification of child abuse and neglect in military families.[1] According to the FAP, between fiscal year 2001 and fiscal year 2011, there were over 70,000 cases reported to FAP that met their critera for child abuse and neglect.[2]

Currently, the FAP identifies individuals who are required to report to a point of contact about known or suspected cases of child abuse. These individuals, generally consisting of physicians, psychologists, social workers and teachers who interact with children, are only required to report to the FAP, which then coordinates with local Child Protective Services. This legislation would help close an information gap that may exist between the individuals who originally reported the cases and the state, by requiring them to also report directly to the local Child Protective Services.[3]

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[1] See Military One Source’s “The Family Advocacy Program
[2] See the Family Advocay Program’s “Information Paper
[3] See Rep. Gabbard Press Release, “Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Talia’s Law to Mandate Reporting of Child Abuse on Military Bases,” November 3, 2015.

Cost

A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate is currently unavailable.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Molly Newell with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 2-1374.