Summary

To require certain standards and enforcement provisions to prevent child abuse and neglect in residential programs, and for other purposes. Read More

Status

This bill was introduced on Oct 6, 2011, in a previous session of Congress, but was not passed.

Bill Text

A BILL

To require certain standards and enforcement provisions to prevent child abuse and neglect in residential programs, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2011''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

In this Act: (1) Assistant secretary.--The term ``Assistant Secretary'' means the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services. (2) Child.--The term ``child'' means an individual who has not attained the age of 18. (3) Child abuse and neglect.--The term ``child abuse and neglect'' has the meaning given such term in section 3 of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (42 U.S.C. 5101 note). (4) Covered program.-- (A) In general.--The term ``covered program'' means each location of a program operated by a public or private entity that, with respect to one or more children who are unrelated to the owner or operator of the program-- (i) provides a residential environment, such as-- (I) a program with a wilderness or outdoor experience, expedition, or intervention; (II) a boot camp experience or other experience designed to simulate characteristics of basic military training or correctional regimes; (III) a therapeutic boarding school; or (IV) a behavioral modification program; and (ii) operates with a focus on serving children with-- (I) emotional, behavioral, or mental health problems or disorders; or (II) problems with alcohol...

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Nation

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0 Opposing
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State: CA

1 Supporting
0 Opposing
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District: 1st

0 Supporting
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Organizations Supporting

July 7, 2011 Dear Chairman Miller: The undersigned national organizations, representing a broad coalition of groups serving children and adolescents with mental health or substance use conditions, strongly support your efforts to better regulate boot camps and other “alternative placement facilities” and bring transparency to the policies and practices of such programs. The reintroduction of your important legislation is a welcomed and needed response to numerous studies documenting the ineffectiveness of these programs and, in several instances, the tragic deaths as a result of child abuse and neglect as reported by the GAO in October 2007. Too many families struggle mightily in nearly every state to find placements, when appropriate, for their children that will address their complex mental health needs. These facilities flourish, in part, because parents lack the necessary information about the operation and practices of these programs. The promise of help cannot be allowed to obscure the fact that these kinds of programs are not sciencebased and have not been forthcoming about the incidence of neglect or abuse. We applaud your resolve to address the challenges facing many families. Your crucial legislation would seek relief from these risks by (1) establishing standards for these programs that are consistent with current child protection laws; (2) ensuring that personnel is qualified; (3) shifting these programs to be family-centered, as well as culturally and developmentally appropriate; (4) creating mechanisms for the monitoring and enforcement of these goals; (5) calling for greater transparency and accessibility to the compliance of these standards; and (6) providing grants to states for the prevention of child abuse and neglect and for the treatment of children’s mental health or substance use conditions. We also welcome your thoughtful approach to this legislation, and your call for an annual report to Congress is an effective tool in ensuring that these critical issues emerge from the shadows and see the light of day. We share your vision and commitment in protecting this vulnerable population. Your bill recognizes that mental health and substance use conditions are prevalent among our nation’s youth and the reintroduction of your bill is an important step in addressing our nation’s mental health crisis among youth. We commend you for reintroducing this critical legislation. http://www.bazelon.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=mvnVtMaif9M%3d&tabid=272

To require certain standards and enforcement provisions to prevent child abuse and neglect in residential programs, and for other purposes.

Dear Chairman Miller: The undersigned national organizations, representing a broad coalition of groups serving children and adolescents with mental health or substance use conditions, strongly support your efforts to better regulate boot camps and other “alternative placement facilities” and bring transparency to the policies and practices of such programs. The reintroduction of your important legislation is a welcomed and needed response to numerous studies documenting the ineffectiveness of these programs and, in several instances, the tragic deaths as a result of child abuse and neglect as reported by the GAO in October 2007. Too many families struggle mightily in nearly every state to find placements, when appropriate, for their children that will address their complex mental health needs. These facilities flourish, in part, because parents lack the necessary information about the operation and practices of these programs. The promise of help cannot be allowed to obscure the fact that these kinds of programs are not sciencebased and have not been forthcoming about the incidence of neglect or abuse. We applaud your resolve to address the challenges facing many families. Your crucial legislation would seek relief from these risks by (1) establishing standards for these programs that are consistent with current child protection laws; (2) ensuring that personnel is qualified; (3) shifting these programs to be family-centered, as well as culturally and developmentally appropriate; (4) creating mechanisms for the monitoring and enforcement of these goals; (5) calling for greater transparency and accessibility to the compliance of these standards; and (6) providing grants to states for the prevention of child abuse and neglect and for the treatment of children’s mental health or substance use conditions. We also welcome your thoughtful approach to this legislation, and your call for an annual report to Congress is an effective tool in ensuring that these critical issues emerge from the shadows and see the light of day. We share your vision and commitment in protecting this vulnerable population. Your bill recognizes that mental health and substance use conditions are prevalent among our nation’s youth and the reintroduction of your bill is an important step in addressing our nation’s mental health crisis among youth. We commend you for reintroducing this critical legislation. http://www.bazelon.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=mvnVtMaif9M%3d&tabid=272

We applaud this legislation as a necessary response to the cases of child abuse and neglect, some even resulting in death, investigated by Protection and Advocacy Systems and the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Programs designed to offer treatment for mental health or substance abuse must use quality programs grounded in best practices that ensure the safety of children. Families often have to make extremely difficult choices when seeking placements for children with these types of needs. Unfortunately, a number of the programs your legislation seeks to regulate flourish because parents lack even the most basic information, including whether their children will be treated humanely. Data from the Child Maltreatment 2006 report shows that children reported as having a disability were 54 percent more likely to be victims of maltreatment than children without disabilities. Of course, we also know that abuse and neglect can cause disability. This legislation could help prevent the maltreatment of children with disabilities as well as reduce the risk of children developing disabilities as a result of abuse. The Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act addresses this issue in a straightforward and thoughtful manner. The bill recognizes the important role of both the federal and state governments in protecting children from abuse and neglect at the hands of some residential programs. Additionally, the bill will provide families with the critical information necessary to make informed decisions. We commend you for your hard work on this legislation, and look forward to working with you to get it enacted into law. http://www.c-c-d.org/task_forces/education/CCD_support_ltr.pdf

We applaud this legislation as a necessary response to the cases of child abuse and neglect, some even resulting in death, investigated by Protection and Advocacy Systems and the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Programs designed to offer treatment for mental health or substance abuse must use quality programs grounded in best practices that ensure the safety of children. Families often have to make extremely difficult choices when seeking placements for children with these types of needs. Unfortunately, a number of the programs your legislation seeks to regulate flourish because parents lack even the most basic information, including whether their children will be treated humanely. Data from the Child Maltreatment 2006 report shows that children reported as having a disability were 54 percent more likely to be victims of maltreatment than children without disabilities. Of course, we also know that abuse and neglect can cause disability. This legislation could help prevent the maltreatment of children with disabilities as well as reduce the risk of children developing disabilities as a result of abuse. The Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act addresses this issue in a straightforward and thoughtful manner. The bill recognizes the important role of both the federal and state governments in protecting children from abuse and neglect at the hands of some residential programs. Additionally, the bill will provide families with the critical information necessary to make informed decisions. We commend you for your hard work on this legislation, and look forward to working with you to get it enacted into law. http://www.c-c-d.org/task_forces/education/CCD_support_ltr.pdf

We applaud this legislation as a necessary response to the cases of child abuse and neglect, some even resulting in death, investigated by Protection and Advocacy Systems and the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Programs designed to offer treatment for mental health or substance abuse must use quality programs grounded in best practices that ensure the safety of children. Families often have to make extremely difficult choices when seeking placements for children with these types of needs. Unfortunately, a number of the programs your legislation seeks to regulate flourish because parents lack even the most basic information, including whether their children will be treated humanely. Data from the Child Maltreatment 2006 report shows that children reported as having a disability were 54 percent more likely to be victims of maltreatment than children without disabilities. Of course, we also know that abuse and neglect can cause disability. This legislation could help prevent the maltreatment of children with disabilities as well as reduce the risk of children developing disabilities as a result of abuse. The Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act addresses this issue in a straightforward and thoughtful manner. The bill recognizes the important role of both the federal and state governments in protecting children from abuse and neglect at the hands of some residential programs. Additionally, the bill will provide families with the critical information necessary to make informed decisions. We commend you for your hard work on this legislation, and look forward to working with you to get it enacted into law. http://www.c-c-d.org/task_forces/education/CCD_support_ltr.pdf

Mental Health America 3 years ago
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Organizations Opposing

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Users Supporting

I support H.R. 3126: Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2011 because I was subjected to the following abuses at the Family Foundation School in Hancock, NY from 1998 to 2000: - Restrained violently as punishment for nonviolent infractions. Wrapped in a blanket with duct tape and left in a closet to soil myself - Locked multiple times in an isolation room approx 5' x 5' for up to 5 consecutive days with an air conditioning vent blowing overhead continually. No sweater or shoes allowed, & lights never turned off. No mattress, pillow or blanket to sleep with - Fed "food sanction" rations of 1 tbsp of dry tuna (no mayo added) on an english muffin half, and approx 10 oz of water, 3 times per day. Food sanctions sometimes lasted for more than one or two weeks consecutively - Removed from school for weeks on end to perform hard manual labor, including digging my own 6' x 6' x 4' grave -Loud, humiliating, public verbal abuse, including abuse of a sexual nature -Violent physical attack by a current staffer who admits to & brags of the attack -Made to abuse others in the same way. Eventually brainwashed to believe I was "helping" them. Thank you, Jessica W. Hogan

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NY
2
JessicaHogan
NY-2
2 years ago

I support H.R. 3126: Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2011 because... I worked in one of these programs for approximately 8 months. I hated how the kids were treated and tried to help them the best I could. I was fired from my job because I showed I cared for the kids. Please revive this bill.

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AL
5
Ms.Minnie
AL-5
2 years ago

I support H.R. 3126: Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2011 because...I support H.R. 3126: Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2011 because...The multi-billion dollar troubled teen industry has no Federal oversight, no evidence based therapeutic track record, and has negatively impacted many many young people and families. This lack of oversight has allowed abuses and even death according to the GAO. The "consumers" of these interventions are generally extremely vulnerable and need access to verified, objective information on programs and providers. These consumers increasingly include the state/taxpayers/juvenile justice system--all deserve the assurances of a centralized licensing and investigative body. Most of your constituents would be shocked to find out that abuse of teens in residential treatment is not already prohibited under our nation's laws. They should be shocked that the very companies and trade organizations that want to be entrusted with their children oppose the passage of such a law.

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NM
3
laszlohenry
NM-3
2 years ago

Users Opposing

No constituents opposing yet.

Bill Summary

To require certain standards and enforcement provisions to prevent child abuse and neglect in residential programs, and for other purposes.

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