Legislation

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In order to establish federal laws, legislation must be enacted by Congress. Various pieces of legislation form the foundation for federal child welfare law, such as titles IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act.

The following resources provide information about federal child welfare legislation, including the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA):

  • Index of Federal Child Welfare Laws - Since 1974, many laws have been passed by the U.S. Congress that impact children and families and the agencies that serve them. A list of selected laws is included.
  • About CAPTA: A Legislative History - This document summarizes the legislative history and purpose of CAPTA, the key federal legislation addressing child abuse and neglect.

This is a list of recently passed child welfare legislation. The Government Printing Office and Congress.gov provides access to the official public laws.

  • P.L. 115-271 - Substance Use–Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act or the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act
  • P.L. 115-123 - Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (also Family First Prevention Services Act)
  • P.L. 115-119 - RAISE Family Caregivers Act
  • P.L. 114-198 - Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016
  • P.L. 114-22 - Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015
  • P.L. 113-183 - Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act
  • P.L. 112-34 - Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act of 2011
  • P.L. 111-320 - CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010
  • P.L. 111-148 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
  • P.L. 110-351 - Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008
  • P.L. 109-432 - Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006
  • P.L. 109-288 - Child and Family Services Improvement Act of 2006
  • P.L. 109-248 - Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006
  • P.L. 109-239 - Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act of 2006
  • P.L. 109-171 - Deficit Reduction Act of 2005
  • P.L. 109-113 - Fair Access Foster Care Act of 2005
  • P.L. 108-145 - Adoption Promotion Act of 2003
  • P.L. 108-36 - Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003
  • P.L. 107-133 - Promoting Safe and Stable Families Amendments of 2001
  • P.L. 106-279 - Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000
  • P.L. 106-177 - Child Abuse Prevention and Enforcement Act of 2000
  • P.L. 106-169 - Foster Care Independence Act of 1999
  • P.L. 105-89 - Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997
  • P.L. 104-235 - Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Amendments of 1996
  • P.L. 104-188 - Interethnic Adoption Provisions (IEPA) of the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996
Last Reviewed: December 20, 2018