Child Welfare and Child Support: The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (P.L. 113-183) [October 16, 2014]   [open pdf - 365KB]

"The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (H.R. [House of Representatives] 4980), an omnibus bill that includes both child welfare and child support provisions, was signed into law on September 29, 2014, as P.L. [Public Law] 113-183. The bill received broad congressional support, passing the House by voice vote (under suspension of the rules) on July 23, 2014, and the Senate by unanimous consent on September 18, 2014. P.L. 113-183 amends the federal foster care program to require state child welfare agencies to develop and implement procedures for identifying, documenting in agency records, and determining appropriate services for certain children or youth who are victims of sex trafficking, or at risk of victimization. State child welfare agencies must also report to law enforcement and the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which administers child welfare programs, about such victims. In addition, HHS must establish a national advisory committee on child sex trafficking that must, among other responsibilities, develop policies on improving the nation's response to domestic sex trafficking. P.L. 113-183 also includes provisions to direct child welfare agencies to develop protocols on locating children missing from care. The law also seeks to ensure children in foster care have the opportunity to participate in activities that are appropriate to their age and stage of development. It requires changes in state foster home licensing law to enable foster caregivers to apply a 'reasonable and prudent parenting' standard when determining whether a child in foster care may participate in activities; and directs state child welfare agencies to provide training to caregivers on using this standard."

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CRS Report for Congress, R43757
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