Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act - P.L. 113-183

Date: September 2014


H.R. 4980
Enacted September 29, 2014 

Note: The Children's Bureau offers guidance on this legislation in Information Memorandum ACYF-CB-IM-14-03, issued October 23, 2014; Program Instruction ACYF-CB-PI-14-06, issued November 21, 2014; and Program Instruction ACYF-CB-PI-15-07, issued June 26, 2015.

Major Provisions of the Act

Amended the title IV-E State plan provisions to require that State agencies do the following:

  • Develop policies and procedures for identifying, documenting in agency records, and determining appropriate services for any child or youth over whom the State agency has responsibility and who the State has reasonable cause to believe is, or is at risk of being, a victim of sex trafficking
  • Authorize a State, at its option, to identify and provide services to any individual under age 26 who may be a victim of sex trafficking without regard to whether the individual is or was in foster care
  • Report to law enforcement authorities instances of sex trafficking
  • Include sex trafficking data in their reports to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System
  • Locate and respond to children who have run away from foster care
  • Report immediately information on missing or abducted children or youth to law enforcement authorities for entry into the National Crime Information Center database and to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
  • Develop a reasonable and prudent parent standard for a child's participation in age or developmentally appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities and apply this standard to any foster family home or child care institution receiving title IV-E funds
  • Develop strategies to assist foster parents in applying a reasonable and prudent parent standard in a manner that promotes child safety while also allowing children to experience normal and beneficial activities

Provided for the following additional amendments to title IV-E:

  • Make it a purpose of the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program to ensure that children who are likely to remain in foster care until age 18 have regular, ongoing opportunities to engage in age or developmentally appropriate activities
  • Limit the option of being placed in a planned permanent living arrangement to children age 16 or older and prescribe documentation and determine requirements for such an option
  • Give children age 14 and older authority to participate in the development of their own case plans, in consultation with up to two members of the case planning team, as well as plan for the transition to successful adulthood
  • Require that children who are leaving foster care at age 18 or older be provided with a copy of their birth certificate, Social Security card, health insurance information, medical records, and a driver's license or equivalent State-issued identification card
  • Extend through fiscal year 2016 the Adoption Incentive Payments program, revise the program's State eligibility requirements, and revise the program's formula for determining the award amount given to a State
  • Rename the Adoption Incentive Payments program as the Adoption and Legal Guardianship Incentive Payments program
  • Preserve a child's eligibility for kinship guardianship assistance payments when a guardian is replaced with a successor guardian
  • Direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to report to Congress on information about (1) children who run away from foster care and their risk of becoming sex trafficking victims; (2) State efforts to provide specialized services, foster family homes, child care institutions, or other forms of placement for children who are sex trafficking victims; and (3) State efforts to ensure children in foster care form and maintain long-lasting connections to caring adults, even when a child in foster care must move to another foster family home or when the child is placed under the supervision of a new caseworker
  • Require the Secretary to include in the annual report to Congress on State performance on child protection and child welfare program outcome measures any State-by-State data on children in foster care who have been placed in a child care institution or another setting that is not a foster family home, as well as State-by-State data on children in foster care who are pregnant or parenting

Amended the following provisions within title IV-B:

  • Extend the Family Connection Grant program through fiscal year 2014
  • Make universities eligible for matching grants under the Family Connection Grant program
  • Require a kinship navigator to promote partnerships between public and private agencies to increase their knowledge of the needs of individuals willing and able to be foster parents for children in foster care who are themselves parenting children

Amended title XI to establish the National Advisory Committee on the Sex Trafficking of Children and Youth in the United States to advise the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General on practical and general policies concerning improvements to the nation's response to the sex trafficking of children and youth in the United States