Because Childhood Lasts a Lifetime.

We advocate for policies and services that strengthen families and communities, promote healthy child development, and prevent child abuse and neglect before it happens.

State Policy Priorities

Unlock the blueprint for a safer, brighter future and discover how legislative efforts can expand access to vital resources, opportunities, and relationships for families. Our State Policy Agenda offers a range of solutions aimed at reducing stress and supporting families to thrive, for generations to come.

Download our State Policy Agenda here.

Federal Policy Priorities

Explore our Federal Policy Agenda to learn how we advocate for evidence-informed, equitable, and family-centered policies, promoting healthy child development and providing essential resources to support families. With our nationwide network of chapters and widely implemented home visiting programs, we’re committed to preventing child abuse and neglect, because childhood lasts a lifetime.

Download our Federal Policy Agenda here.

We do this through our nationwide state chapter network and nearly 600 Healthy Families America (HFA) evidence-based home visiting program sites across the country.

The public policy program at Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA America) operates on the national level to mobilize support for federal policies and provide technical support to help facilitate effective advocacy at the state and local levels, too. When communities, policymakers, and resources are invested in prevention strategies, we can begin to envision a world where the negative impacts and outcomes from child maltreatment will be nonexistent.

PCA America has been fortunate to have continued widespread bipartisan support from Democrats, Republicans, and Independents for our policies and initiatives and are grateful for Congress’ actions to support children and families.

Issues We’re Focused On Now

Federal Fiscal Year 2025 Appropriations Priorities

PCA America advocates for policies and services that strengthen families and communities, promote healthy child development, and prevent child abuse and neglect before it occurs. This includes advocating for investments in children that sets them up thrive through the federal appropriation process. Each year the President submits a budget to Congress for the federal government for the fiscal year (October 1 through September 30). Congress must then pass appropriations bills to provide money to carry out government programs for that year. PCA America makes recommendations for increases in fiscal year 2025 (FY25) Appropriations that includes the highest funding possible to support investments which result in significant and positive outcomes and safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments for all children. These federal supports are proven to prevent child maltreatment and ensure children reach their full health and life potential.  Our FY25 priorities include increased investment for the Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) program, child sexual abuse prevention, and adverse childhood experiences.

Child Tax Credit (CTC)

The Child Tax Credit (CTC) in the American Rescue Plan provides the largest Child Tax Credit ever and historic relief to the most working families ever – and as of July 15th, most families are automatically receiving monthly payments. This tax cut for families will help ease the burden of rising costs, the impact of the current pandemic, and is helping all families succeed, from families struggling to cover basic needs like food, rent, and other bills, to middle-class families that need help with child care and college savings. Data from the Census Household Pulse survey shows that families mostly spent their recent Child Tax Credit payments on basic needs, including food, utilities, clothing, school supplies, paying down debt, and boosting savings. However, this critical support is set to expire. As the House and Senate are finalizing the reconciliation package–the annual federal budget process where Congress sets total spending, revenues, the surplus or deficit, and the public debt–decisions are being made on the Child Tax Credit now.

Child Abuse Prevention Treatment Act (CAPTA)

The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) is a federal law that provides grants to states to support the prevention, assessment, investigation, prosecution and treatment of child abuse and neglect. While the majority of federal dollars for child abuse and neglect support foster care services, CAPTA supports front-end services that prevent system involvement and keeps families together whenever safely possible. CAPTA is due to be reauthorized by Congress in 2022. PCA America supports a strong and comprehensive reauthorization bill that includes significantly higher funding levels, increases transparency and accountability in the program, increases the focus on primary prevention and family support services, and promotes race equity.

Government Affairs Initiative

The purpose of the Government Affairs Initiative (GAI) is to increase the public policy and government affairs capacity of Prevent Child Abuse (PCA) chapters. The initiative provides public policy support through direct technical assistance, guidance, and consultation, with the goal of growing internal capacity and expanding or leveraging PCA chapter presence at the state-policy level.

Policy Agendas & Resources

Select Public Policy Resources

  • Prevent Child Abuse America 2022 Election Guide  

    Elections present an opportunity to promote child abuse and neglect prevention policies and strategies, and to make investments to support these vital initiatives.

    Toolkits & Guides

  • Paid Family Medical & Sick Leave Toolkit  

    This toolkit is a product of the Prevent Child Abuse (PCA America) Chapter Network Policy Affinity Group’s work across the policy area of paid family leave as a strategy in the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

    Affinity Group Reports

  • Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) & HFA Home Visiting  

    Learn how the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) gives states, territories, and tribes the option to use child welfare programming funds (Title IV-E federal funds) for evidence-based preventive services.

    Stats & Factsheets

Our Public Policy Experts

Kelly Crane

Policy & Government Relations Manager

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