Must the policies that are the subject of the CAPTA assurances, be embodied in State statutes?
There are only four assurances in the CAPTA amendments of 1996 that require provisions in State law. Those are: Provisions for immunity from prosecution under State and local laws and regulations for individuals making good faith reports of suspected or known instances of child abuse or neglect (section 106 (b)(2)(A)(iv)); Upon implementation of provisions, procedures or mechanisms to assure that the State does not require reunification of a surviving child with a parent who has committed certain felonies, that conviction of any one of those felonies constitute grounds under State law for the termination of parental rights of the convicted parent as to the surviving children (section 106 (b)(2)(xiii)); Authority under State law for the State CPS system to pursue any legal remedies, including the authority to initiate legal proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction, as may be necessary to prevent the withholding of medically indicated treatment from disabled infants with life-threatening conditions (section 106 (b)(2)(B)(iii)); and authority under State law to permit the CPS system of the State to pursue any legal remedies, including the authority to initiate legal proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction, to provide medical care or treatment for a child when such care or treatment is necessary to prevent or remedy serious harm to the child, or to prevent the withholding of medically indicated treatments from disabled infants with life-treatening conditions (section 113).
However, if a State has a law in effect which conflicts with the provisions in any assurance, or the State''s statutory definitions of "child abuse and neglect" and "sexual abuse" do not meet the minimum standards in sections 111 (2) and 111 (4) of CAPTA, it must modify its statute to correspond with the CAPTA requirements.
Legal and Related References
Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - sections 106, 111 and 113