The following recent policy and practice changes align with Within our Reach and recommendations of the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF):
Establishment of Within Our Reach Office: The Within Our Reach Office was established May 17, 2016 at the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities to coordinate partnerships and advance implementation of the CECANF report and recommendations in federal, state, and local practice and policy. The work of Within Our Reach is made possible in collaboration with Casey Family Programs, whose mission is to provide, improve—and ultimately prevent the need for—foster care.
American Academy of Pediatrics statement of support: In its March 17, 2016, statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics notes: “The Commission’s report maps out a series of recommendations that will inform future efforts on Capitol Hill to protect children from maltreatment and death. As Congress turns attention to reauthorizing the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act next year, and to funding efforts like improved training for mandatory reporters and supporting child death review teams, this report will serve as a critical resource to guide their efforts.”
American Academy of Pediatrics issues new policy statement on opioid use during pregnancy: The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement calling for a public health response to opioid and substance abuse during pregnancy that would include the following:
- A focus on preventing unintended pregnancies and improving access to contraception
- Universal screening for alcohol and other drug use in women of childbearing age
- Knowledge and informed consent of maternal drug testing and reporting practices
- Improved access to comprehensive obstetric care, including opioid-replacement therapy
- Gender-specific substance use treatment programs
- Improved funding for social services and child welfare systems
National Conference of State Legislatures statement of support: In its March 24, 2016, statement urging states to review the commission’s report, the National Conference of State Legislatures notes: “The report provides several steps states can take immediately, including examining child abuse deaths that have occurred over the past five years; reviewing child abuse and neglect report screening policies, especially for children under age three who are most at risk; and, supporting the sharing of real-time, critical information between child protective services and other key partners such as law enforcement and medical professionals.”
ZERO TO THREE support for the Commission’s call for a 21st Century Child Welfare System: In a May 2, 2016, Huffington Post article, ZERO TO THREE notes: “A successful 21st Century Child Well-Being System must be one that starts with valuing and making investments to support families, taking into account the whole family’s needs and employing a broader range of strategies beyond just those evaluated for fatality prevention.”
Reconvening of the National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths: The National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths reconvened beginning in April 2016. Activities to date include release of a summary of the commission’s report and development of an action plan calling for joint hearings in Congress, congressional briefings, and meetings with the new administration and key congressional staff and committees.
Three Branch Institute technical assistance program for improving child safety and preventing child fatalities: The Three Branch Institute, a partnership of the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, Casey Family Programs, the National Center for State Courts and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, was established in 2016 and is an 18-month commitment to technical assistance in developing and implementing child fatality prevention plans in eight states:
- West Virginia
Establishment of the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children: The Biden family established the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children in honor of the late Beau Biden, former Attorney General of the state of Delaware. The foundation will be national in scope and will support efforts focused on child safety and protection.
Increased funding for Nurse-Family Partnership: Nurse-Family Partnership announced receipt of a $200 million grant from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation and a $26 million investment from Blue Meridian Partners to develop a 10-year plan to scale its services nationally and expand pilot projects into new areas, including South Carolina, New York and Michigan.
American Enterprise Institute forum on predictive analytics: In May 2016, the American Enterprise Institute hosted a forum on predictive analytics referencing the work of the commission and its recommendations around children at risk.