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About CAPTA: A Legislative History

Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2011. This factsheet summarizes the legislative history and purpose of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), the key Federal legislation addressing child abuse and neglect. CAPTA was originally enacted in P.L. 93-247 and was most recently amended and reauthorized on December 20, 2010, by the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-320).

CAPTA provides Federal funding to States in support of prevention, assessment, investigation, prosecution, and treatment activities and also provides grants to public agencies and nonprofit organizations for demonstration programs and projects. Additionally, CAPTA identifies the Federal role in supporting research, evaluation, technical assistance, and data collection activities; establishes the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect; and mandates Child Welfare Information Gateway. CAPTA also sets forth a minimum definition of child abuse and neglect.