ACTION ALERT: Contact your senator today and ask him/her to fully fund the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)

Originally enacted in 1974, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) is the only federal program exclusively dedicated to the prevention, assessment, identification, and treatment of child abuse and neglect. CAPTA protects vulnerable children by providing critical funding for programs that aid healthy child development and reduce the likelihood of more serious problems in the future. CAPTA helps children and families in all 50 states through services such as evidence-based voluntary home visiting programs, early childhood and child care programs, mental and substance use services, family resource centers, and respite and crisis care, among many other valuable resources. CAPTA is also the only legislation that addresses universal primary prevention capacity building at a local level, supporting services essential to healthy and thriving communities.

On May 20, CAPTA reauthorization passed in the US House of Representatives with unanimous consent. Additionally, 28 senators have signed a bipartisan request for increased funding for CAPTA. These are monumental achievements, but the race isn’t over—adequate funding for this legislation is far from assured. Currently, CAPTA is funded at less than half its authorized level of $200 million. The Senate Appropriations Committee is determining CAPTA funding right now, with final markup expected in early June.

We need your help! Contact your senator today—and mobilize your network to do the same—and request that funding for CAPTA be increased to $1 billion; $500 million for Title I and $500 million for Title II provisions. Let your representatives know that the well-being of our nation’s children depends on them, and their support for CAPTA will be the impetus for healthier children and stronger families and communities across the nation.

Here’s what you can do if your senator sits on the Appropriations Committee (see directory below):

1. Contact your senator today.

Use the Senate Appropriations Committee directory at the bottom of this page to identify and contact your senator, or call the congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected with your senator.

When you reach your senator’s receptionist, identify yourself as a constituent—clearly stating your name and state/town/city where you live—and ask to speak to him/her directly. You may be transferred to a legislative assistant/aide, or you may be asked to leave a voice message or send an email, which is fine, but ask to be connected directly to your senator if possible. Be persistent but polite.

What to say:

When speaking or leaving/sending a message, be sure to identify yourself as a constituent—again, clearly stating your name and state/town/city where you live—and state: “I’m asking you to appropriate $1 billion to fully fund the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).” Feel free to elaborate using the sample messages below. Thank them for their time. Repeat this process at least once for each of your senators, if applicable.

Sample message #1: Fully fund CAPTA

The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) is currently funded at less than half its authorized level of $200 million, a drop in the bucket compared to the public dollars spent after neglect or abuse has occurred. Additionally, substance abuse caused by the opioid crisis, which leads to the removal of children from their parents, has resulted in a rise in the number foster care placements for five consecutive years. I’m asking you to increase CAPTA’s funding to $1 billion annually, appropriating $500 million to both Title I and Title II. Your support for CAPTA will be the impetus for healthier children and stronger families and communities across the nation.

Sample message #2: Fully funding CAPTA makes good sense economically

In the US, the total lifetime economic burden associated with child maltreatment is approximately $2 trillion, rivaling the cost of other high-profile public health crises, such as stroke and type two diabetes. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) can change that. Prevention services strengthen families by improving knowledge of child development and parenting strategies. These services also increase upward mobility and enable families to achieve self-sufficiency. Ultimately, they give families the tools they need to help nurture the next generation. It’s urgent that CAPTA be fully funded today—increase CAPTA’s funding to $1 billion annually, appropriating $500 million to both Title I and Title II. The well-being of our nation’s children depends on you.

Sample message #3: Focus on building healthier communities

The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) helps children and families in all 50 states through services such as evidence-based voluntary home visiting programs, early childhood and child care programs, and mental and substance use services, among many other valuable resources. We must re-envision support to states and localities for prevention services and infrastructure through Title I funding and Title II Community Based Child Abuse Prevention (CB-CAP) grants. I’m asking you to fully fund CAPTA today—appropriating $500 million to both Title I and Title II. Your support protects vulnerable children by providing critical funding for programs that aid healthy child development, strengthen communities across the country, and reduce the likelihood of more serious problems in the future.

2. Encourage family and friends to join you.

We all play a role. Reach out to relatives and your social and professional circles and urge them to contact their representatives, too—start by forwarding the URL to this web page (https://preventchildabuse.org/latest-activity/capta-action-alert/) to five family members or friends and encourage them to call or write.

3. Spread the word on social media.

Take 5 minutes to show your support on social media and encourage others to take action, too. Follow Prevent Child Abuse America (@PCAAmerica on Twitter; @preventchildabuseamerica on Facebook) and share our posts/tweets, or create your own using the samples below. In addition to raising awareness throughout your network, Twitter is a great way to contact your representatives—contact information for members of the Appropriations Committee can be found at: https://twitter.com/SenateApprops/lists/senate-approps-dems?lang=en and https://twitter.com/SenateGOP/lists/senaterepublicans/members?lang=en. Be sure to tag your representative and Prevent Child Abuse America and include these hashtags when posting/tweeting: #CAPTA #PreventChildAbuse #StrengthenFamilies #HealthyChildhoods

Sample tweets:

#CAPTA expired in 2015—now’s the time for Congress to act! Fully fund CAPTA to #PreventChildAbuse, #StrengthenFamilies, and ensure #HealthyChildhoods @PCAAmerica

Congress must act NOW to support families & children across America—fully fund #CAPTA today! #PreventChildAbuse #StrengthenFamilies #HealthyChildhoods @PCAAmerica

#CAPTA helps fund programs that #PreventChildAbuse and #StrengthenFamilies in all 50 states. Invest in [YOUR STATE]’s future. Fully fund and reauthorize CAPTA today! @PCAAmerica

Sample Facebook post:

I support the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (#CAPTA), which improves child health and development and helps to #StrengthenFamilies and empower communities across the country. Call your senator today and ask him/her to fully fund CAPTA at $1 billion to ensure #HealthyChildhoods and #PreventChildAbuse…follow the link to learn how: https://preventchildabuse.org/latest-activity/capta-action-alert/ @PCAAmerica

4. Stay tuned for updates and additional ways you can get involved.

 

United States Senate Committee on Appropriations
(Alphabetically by state)

Sen. Richard Shelby (Chairman, Majority Leader, R–Alabama)
202-224-5744
Legislative assistant: Andrew Burnett
andrew_burnett@shelby.senate.gov

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R–Alaska)
202-224-6665
Legislative aide: Anna Dietderich
anna_dietderich@murkowski.senate.gov

Sen. John Boozman (R–Arkansas)
202-224-4843
Chief of staff: Toni-Marie Higgins
toni-marie_higgins@boozman.senate.gov

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D–California)
202-224-2501
Legislative assistant: Elisabeth Fox
elisabeth_fox@feinstein.senate.gov

Sen. Chris Murphy (D–Connecticut)
202-224-4041
Legislative director: David Bonine
david_bonine@murphy.senate.gov

Sen. Chris Coons (D–Delaware)
202-224-5042
Policy advisor: David Brown
david_brown@coons.senate.gov

Sen. Marco Rubio (R–Florida)
202-224-3041
Legislative assistant: Thomas Boodry
thomas_boodry@rubio.senate.gov

Sen. Brian Schatz (D–Hawaii)
202-224-3934
Legislative counsel: Lenna Aoki
lenna_aoki@schatz.senate.gov

Sen. Richard Durbin (D–Illinois)
202-224-2152
Legislative director: Corey Tellez
corey_tellez@durbin.senate.gov

Sen. Jerry Moran (R–Kansas)
202-224-6521
Legislative assistant: Kyle Christian
kyle_christian@moran.senate.gov

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R–Kentucky)
202-224-2541
Legislative assistant: Max Richards
max_richards@mcconnell.senate.gov

Sen. John Kennedy (R–Louisiana)
202-224-4623
Legislative assistant: Marcie Smith
marcie_smith@kennedy.senate.gov

Sen. Susan Collins (R–Maine)
202-224-2523
Legislative assistant: Katie Brown
katie_brown@collins.senate.gov

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D–Maryland)
202-224-4654
Health policy advisor: Alyssa Penna
alyssa_penna@vanhollen.senate.gov

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R–Mississippi)
202-224-5054
Senior policy advisor: Tim Everett
tim_everett@hydesmith.senate.gov

Sen. Roy Blunt (R–Missouri)
202-224-5721
Chief of staff: Stacy Mcbride
stacy_mcbride@blunt.senate.gov

Sen. Steve Daines (R–Montana)
202-224-2651
Chief of staff: Jason Thielman
jason_thielman@daines.senate.gov

Sen. Jon Tester (D–Montana)
202-224-2644
Legislative assistant: Dylan Laslovich
dylan_laslovich@tester.senate.gov

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D–New Hampshire)
202-224-2841
Legislative assistant: Peter Fise
peter_fise@shaheen.senate.gov

Sen. Tom Udall (D–New Mexico)
202-224-6621
Legislative assistant: Lauren Arias
lauren_arias@tomudall.senate.gov

Sen. John Hoeven (R–North Dakota)
202-224-2551
Legislative aide: Caitlan Flis
caitlan_flis@hoeven.senate.gov

Sen. James Lankford (R–Oklahoma)
202-224-5754
Legislative director: Sarah Seitz
sarah_seitz@lankford.senate.gov

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D–Oregon)
202-224-3753
Legislative director: Louie Reckford
louie_reckford@merkley.senate.gov

Sen. Jack Reed (D–Rhode Island)
202-224-4642
Senior policy advisor: Moira Lenehan-Razzuri
moira_lenehan@reed.senate.gov

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–South Carolina)
202-224-5972
Senior advisor: Nick Myers
nick_myers@lgraham.senate.gov

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R–Tennessee)
202-224-4944
Legislative assistant: Nathan Thomas
nathan_thomas@alexander.senate.gov

Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vice Chairman, Minority Leader, D–Vermont)
202-224-4242
Senior health & education advisor: Kathryn Toomajian
kathryn_toomajian@leahy.senate.gov

Sen. Patty Murray (D–Washington)
202-224-2621
Education policy director: Kara Marchione
kara_marchione@help.senate.gov

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R–West Virginia)
202-224-6472
Senior policy advisor: Dana Richter
dana_richter@capito.senate.gov

Sen. Joe Manchin (D–West Virginia)
202-224-3954
Legislative assistant: TJ Lucas
thomas_lucas@manchin.senate.gov

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D–Wisconsin)
202-224-5653
Legislative assistant: Rachael Kauss
rachael_kauss@baldwin.senate.gov

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