Child Welfare

By Vanessa Rasmussen, © 2004, All rights reserved.

In the past couple of decades many laws have been passed by the U.S. Congress for the welfare of children, especially against abuse. Listed below are some prominent federal child welfare laws:

  • Adoption Promotion Act of 2003 - Reauthorizes the adoption incentive program under Title IV-E; provides additional incentives for adoption of older children (age 9 and older) from foster care.
  • Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003 - Extends and amends the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act; the Adoption Opportunities Act; the Abandoned Infants Assistance Act; and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act.
  • PROTECT Act (Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today Act of 2003) - Creates a national Amber alert system, and provides for enhanced penalties for child sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, and child pornography.
  • Promoting Safe and Stable Families Amendments of 2001 - Extends and amends the Promoting Safe and Stable Families program; amends the Foster Care Independent Living program.
  • Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 - Title II includes provisions to extend permanently the adoption credit; increase the maximum credit to $10,000 per eligible child; and increase to $150,000 the beginning of point of the income phase-out range.
  • Child Citizenship Act of 2000 - Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to confer United States citizenship automatically and retroactively to certain foreign-born children adopted by citizens of the United States.
  • Strengthening Abuse and Neglect Courts Act of 2000 -Seeks to improve the administrative efficiency and effectiveness of the Nation's abuse and neglect courts and for other purposes consistent with the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997.
  • Children's Health Act of 2000 -Title XII of this Act authorizes funding for adoption awareness activities and public awareness campaigns for adoption of infants and children with special needs.
  • Child Abuse Prevention and Enforcement Act - Seeks to reduce the incidence of child abuse and neglect through law enforcement initiatives and prevention activities.
  • Foster Care Independence Act - Amends title IV-E of the Social Security Act to provide States with more funding and greater flexibility in carrying out programs designed to help children make the transition from foster care to self-sufficiency.
  • Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 - Seeks to promote the safety, permanency and well-being of children in foster care; accelerate the permanent placement of children in care; and increase the accountability of the child welfare system.
  • Immigration Vaccine Act - Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to exempt from specified vaccination requirements a child, ten years old or younger, who is seeking U.S. admission as an orphan being adopted (or already adopted) by U.S. parents, subject to the parents' affidavit that the child will be vaccinated within 30 days after admission or at the earliest medically appropriate time.
  • Improving America's Schools Act of 1994 - Title V (Miscellaneous Provisions) of the Act contains the provisions of the Multiethnic Placement Act.
  • Family and Medical Leave Act - Grants family and temporary medical leave for employees, including civil service employees, under certain circumstances, including the birth or adoption of a child.
  • Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, Adoption and Family Services Act of 1992 - Reauthorized through fiscal year 1995 and amended the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act; the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act; and the Adoption Opportunities program.

Copyright 2001, 2004. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of this article in whole or in part without written or verbal permission is strictly prohibited. For information about reprinting this article, contact the copyright owner: Vanessa Rasmussen, Ph.D, Starting a Day Care Center,