Digital Advocacy Opportunity: Contact Congress Tomorrow

Digital Advocacy Opportunity: Contact Congress Tomorrow

Tomorrow, April 21, 2021, is Prevent Child Abuse America’s second annual Digital Advocacy Day, and we need your help! Join advocates across the country at 12:00pm MT TOMORROW to contact your lawmakers and urge them to act now to reauthorize the bipartisan Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) and increase funding for this important program. 

Background Information

The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) represents a cornerstone of our nation’s system for both preventing and responding to incidents of child abuse and neglect. Created in 1974, CAPTA reflects the entire continuum of supports to children, parents, and families, from primary prevention strategies at the heart of Title II (Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention [CBCAP] grants) to the identification and treatment of abuse and neglect in Title I (state grants). Through CAPTA reauthorization, the current 117th Congress has an extraordinary opportunity to strengthen community-based supports to families to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Last year, CAPTA reauthorization passed the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously and in the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions with bipartisan support. Additionally, a Senate bipartisan “Dear Colleague” letter, signed by 28 U.S. Senators, nearly one-third of the Senate, advocated for robust funding increases in CAPTA appropriations.

Unfortunately, CAPTA reauthorization was never considered on the Senate floor, and ultimately Congress never passed it into law. Congress did, however, increase funding for CBCAP, appropriating a $16 million increase for the first time in 15 years and an additional $5 million increase the following year. This still only funds primary prevention at 82 cents per child per year, resulting in a great deal of unmet need.  

Why Is CBCAP Important?

Due to the pandemic, parents and caregivers are confronted with extraordinary challenges, including decreased wages or loss of work, lack of childcare, and housing instability, among other hardships that can compound the day-to-day stress of raising children. CBCAP is designed to help families get the support they need before harm occurs, including voluntary evidence-based home visiting services, community-based parent support programs, early childhood and child care programs, family resource centers, and coordination and connection with mental health, substance use, and domestic violence services, among others. CBCAP provides grants to all 50 states to meet the needs of communities, realized through partnerships that use federal funding to leverage greater state and local public and private dollars.

As Congress works to reauthorize this historically bipartisan legislation, we urge them to include significant funding increases to provide states and communities the resources to drive community-based solutions that strengthen and improve child and family well-being. We recommend that Congress authorize and appropriate $750 million for Title II of CAPTA in fiscal year 2022. An increase in funding will enable greater service delivery to address the needs of vulnerable families and provide much-needed support and systems-building at the state and community levels.

Key Messages
  • We all have an obligation to protect our nation’s children.
  • Due to the pandemic, parents and caregivers are confronted with extraordinary challenges, including decreased wages or loss of work, lack of adequate childcare, and housing instability, among other hardships that can compound the day-to-day stress of raising children.
  • Given the unprecedented challenges the pandemic has inflicted on America’s families, there is an urgent need for services and supports made possible by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).
  • Access to these services and supports can be instrumental in lowering parent and caregiver stress and incidences of child abuse by providing  families the support they need before harm occurs.
  • When we fail to prevent abuse and neglect from occurring, it has tremendous consequences for children, families, communities, and our nation. Exposure to violence at a young age can heighten the risk for physical health issues later on in life, such as smoking, alcoholism, and drug abuse and addiction; mental health disorders; and criminal behavior.   
  • But child abuse and neglect are not inevitableResearch shows that the safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments that children need to thrive are linked to a lower incidences of child abuse and neglect. 
  • Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) grants, an important provision of CAPTA, fund key services that prevent child maltreatment in all 50 states, including voluntary evidence-based home visiting programs, parent support programs, distribution of food and medication, family resource centers, child care, and coordination and connection with mental health, substance use, and domestic violence services, among others.
  • CBCAP represents the main federal investment in primary prevention for the entire country; however, it has been chronically under-funded. In 2020, CBCAP funded prevention at only 82 cents per child per year, resulting in a great deal of unmet need. (See “Graphics” below)
  • As Congress works to reauthorize CAPTA, we urge them to include significant funding increases that provide states and communities the resources they need and drive community-based solutions for strengthening and improving child and family well-being
  • Specifically, we recommend that Congress authorizes and appropriates $750 million for Title II of CAPTA in fiscal year 2022. 
Sample Tweets
  • Thank you, @HouseFloor & @SenateFloor, for including a critical amount of aid to families & communities in the #AmericanRescuePlan #CAPTA #CBCAP #MIECHV @PCAAmerica #GrowingBetterTogether #CAPMonth
  • But our work isn’t over—@HouseFloor & @SenateFloor, we must increase funding to #CAPTA Title II #CBCAP now. Local prevention programs are critical during times of crisis to ensure parents have the tools to manage stress & keep children safe. Let’s focus on #GrowingBetterTogether this #CAPMonth @PCAAmerica
  • Join us in urging Congress to act to approve increased funding for #CAPTA, appropriating $750M for #CBCAP grants, which are vital to providing necessary supports to lower familial stress…contact your representatives today! #GrowingBetterTogether #CAPMonth @PCAAmerica
  • Additional stress from #COVID19 can increase the risk of child abuse, but we can support families with prevention services. Congress must increase funding to #CAPTA #CBCAP now…tell your representatives today! We’re #GrowingBetterTogether during #CAPMonth & all year long! @PCAAmerica
  • Congress must act to invest in our children’s future by increasing #CAPTA funding now. Access to concrete supports can be instrumental in lowering familial stress & incidences of child abuse and neglect…contact your representatives today! We’re #GrowingBetterTogether during #CAPMonth & all year long! @PCAAmerica
  • Local prevention services & programs are critical during times of crisis to ensure parents have the tools to manage stress & keep their children safe. Congress must increase funding for #CAPTA #CBCAP now…contact your representatives today! Let’s focus on #GrowingBetterTogether in #CAPMonth @PCAAmerica
Email/Phone Script

Dear [your member of Congress], 

Given the unprecedented challenges the pandemic has inflicted on America’s families, there is an urgent need for services and supports made possible by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)As Congress works to reauthorize this important bipartisan legislationI urge you to include significant funding increases that provide states and communities the resources they need and drive community-based solutions for strengthening and improving child and family well-beingSpecifically, please ensure that Congress authorizes and appropriates $750 million for Title II of CAPTA in the first year of reauthorization, ramping up to $1.5 billion for Title II over 5 years. 

Investments to Title II, the Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention grants (often referred to as CBCAP), will make an immediate and meaningful difference in the lives of children and families across the country. CBCAP funds key services that prevent child maltreatment in all 50 states, including voluntary evidence-based home visiting programs, parent support programs, distribution of food and medication, family resource centers, child care, and coordination and connection with mental health, substance use, and domestic violence services, among others. Expanding this program will be transformational for parents and families and is essential to building healthy and thriving communities throughout the United States.

I fully support this legislation and hope that you will, too.

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

Sincerely, 

[Your name, address, and contact information, if you wish to receive a response] 

Congressional Contact List

Use our Find & Contact Your Representative resource page to reach out today!

Due to the pandemic, parents and caregivers are confronted with extraordinary challenges, including decreased wages or loss of work, lack of adequate childcare, and housing instability, among other hardships that can compound the day-to-day stress of raising children. Given the unprecedented challenges the pandemic has inflicted on America’s families, there is an urgent need for services and supports made possible by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). Access to these services and supports can be instrumental in lowering parent and caregiver stress and incidences of child abuse by providing families the support they need before harm occurs.

Specifically, we’re requesting that Congress authorizes and appropriates $750 million for Title II of CAPTA in fiscal year 2022. This crucial investment in American families will support resources at the state and community levels that mitigate the many challenges and stressors parents and caregivers are facing right now. 

CBCAP represents the main federal investment in primary prevention for the entire country; however, it has been chronically under-funded. In 2020, CBCAP funded prevention at only 82 cents per child per year, resulting in a great deal of unmet need. As Congress works to reauthorize CAPTA, we urge them to include significant funding increases that provide states and communities the resources they need and drive community-based solutions for strengthening and improving child and family well-being.

Find and contact your Representative. Your members of Congress need to hear from you! Please get involved by emailing, tweeting, posting on Facebook, and calling your senators and representatives. (NOTE: Because many representatives and congressional staff are working remotely, email and Twitter/Facebook are better vehicles than phone calls right now, but please call if that’s your preferred means of communication.)

It’s Pinwheel Planting Season!

It’s Pinwheel Planting Season!

Every day, we help positive childhood experiences take root. Planting pinwheels represents the bright childhoods we all want for children. Since 2009, as the Colorado Chapter for Prevent Child Abuse America, Illuminate Colorado has lead an effort to distribute pinwheels throughout our state to raise awareness for the prevention of child abuse and strengthening families. 

And since the beginning of the Pinwheels for Prevention® Campaign in Colorado, our collective efforts have grown exponentially with hundreds of local organizations and individuals distributing more than fifty thousand pinwheels each year. It was an amazing effort, that is until last year. Just as we were getting started distributing pinwheels the pandemic hit Colorado and we have been storing approximately forty thousand pinwheels in our offices ever since.

And while life may have not returned to normal yet, we are not going to let that deter us from doing what our organization always does this time of year – get ready for child abuse prevention month in April. However, we also know we can’t rely on our tried and true strategy of connecting with community organizations, early childhood councils, human service agencies, advocates and schools to inspire their communities to strengthen families. Those folks are busy and STRESSED dedicating their careers to creating positive childhood experiences and supporting people parenting during this incredibly stressful time in all of our lives.

This year, we need to look to you – our friends, families and neighbors – to plant pinwheels in your front yards or neighborhoods as a symbol of support for the bright childhoods we all want for children. We know we need this reminder now more than ever. 

To that end, we are excited to announce that – for the first time thanks to the generous support of our Board of Directors and the philanthropic community- Illuminate Colorado is giving away 40,000 FREE Pinwheels for Prevention® to inspire ​Coloradans to grow a better tomorrow for all children, together. 

Pinwheels for Prevention® Giveaway!

Illuminate Colorado is giving away 40,000 FREE Pinwheels for Prevention® to inspire ​Coloradans to grow a better tomorrow for all children, together. 

The coronavirus outbreak and its subsequent losses have changed our world permanently. In the United States and likely your community, parents and professionals alike are still trying to adapt and understand the new landscape that the pandemic has created and its repercussions for raising happy healthy children. 

The risk to our nation’s children for experiencing child abuse and neglect in times of extreme stress and uncertainty is quite high. COVID-19 has added stressors to the lives of parents and caregivers, such as loss of employment, loss of income due to lack of paid leave, school and business closings that necessitate new childcare and homeschool arrangements, and food insecurity.

Physical distancing leads to the unintended consequence of isolation. The social connections and community services and activities that serve as protective factors against child abuse and neglect under ordinary conditions may not exist in this extraordinary time of physical distancing. 

Join us in planting the seeds of a better tomorrow for children and families in your community by visiting COPinwheelsForPevention.org to get your free pinwheels TODAY.  

There is a limit of 100 FREE pinwheels per household or organization and shipping and handling costs are not included in this special offer. 

Use Pinwheels for Prevention®

  • Give the pinwheels as a gift to another family to let them know you care

  • Display them in the background of your virtual meetings
  • Share pictures on social media #GrowingBetterTogether to promote positive childhood experiences

Ways to Get Involved

Follow #GrowingBetterTogether to Connect to the Movement in Your Community

Tag us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to Let Us Know You are Committed to #GrowingBetterTogether

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