Sen. Kaine calls for emergency funding for child protective services

Senator Kaine and other members of Congress are sponsoring a bill requiring employers to...
Senator Kaine and other members of Congress are sponsoring a bill requiring employers to provide paid sick leave. | Credit: WHSV(WHSV)
Published: May. 7, 2020 at 2:21 PM EDT
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Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) is joining a number of other Democrat senators calling for Congress to pass a new bill providing millions to child protective services amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sen. Kaine announced this week, along with Senators Bob Casey, Doug Jones, Ron Wyden, Kamala Harris, and Sherrod Brown, the

, which would provide $500 million in emergency funds for local child protective services and $1 million for community-based child abuse prevention programs.

The senators say, with reports across the country of increased risks of domestic abuse and substance abuse as families have been required to stay home to limit the spread of COVID-19, their bill would help provide support to children vulnerable to abuse during the national emergency.

Many local child protective service agencies and non-profits that prevent child abuse have worked to set up virtual visits instead of regular home visits, but it's been a challenge for many.

Kaine says the bill they're proposing would "provide swift, flexible funding to allow them to bolster their efforts."

“As COVID-19 has forced schools and daycares across the country to close, Congress has to do more to make sure children at risk of abuse are still supported,” Kaine said. “This legislation will strengthen efforts by child protective services and non-profits to prevent abuse and protect children who are at risk.”

The Emergency Funding for Child Protection Act is designed to build on systems put in place by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), which provides funding to states to improve child protective services, as well as to fund community-based activities meant to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Sen. Kaine also signed

calling for more resources for the child welfare system.