Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Amendments of 1996 - P.L. 104-235

Date: October 1996


S. 919
Enacted October 3, 1996

Major Provisions of the Act

  • Reauthorized CAPTA through fiscal year 2001
  • Abolished the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect and created the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Added new requirements to address the problems of false reports of abuse and neglect, delays in terminations of parental rights, and lack of public oversight of child protection
  • Required States to institute an expedited termination of parental rights process for abandoned infants or when the parent is responsible for the death or serious bodily injury of a child
  • Set the minimum definition of child abuse to include death, serious physical or emotional injury, sexual abuse, or imminent risk of harm
  • Recognized the right of parental exercise of religious beliefs concerning medical care
  • Continued the Community-Based Family Resource and Support Grants program, the Adoption Opportunities Act, the Abandoned Infants Assistance Act, the Victims of Child Abuse Act, the Children's Justice Act grants, and the Missing Children's Assistance Act
  • Provided for Federal grants for the establishment of not less than three citizen review panels in each State, such as child fatality panels or foster care review panels, for the purpose of examining the policies and procedures of State and local agencies and, where appropriate, specific cases in order to evaluate the extent to which the agencies are effectively discharging their child protection responsibilities, including the following reviews:
    • A review of the extent to which the State child protective services system is coordinated with the foster care and adoption programs established under title IV-E
    • A review of child fatalities and near fatalities