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PSY FPX 6020 Assessment 4 Policy Examination: The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act


Capella University

PSY FPX 6020 Advocacy in Child and Adolescent Development

Prof. Name


Policy Examination

Today, we will conduct an analysis of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), encompassing its inception, target demographic, objectives, and impacts on child development and society. Furthermore, we will explore its strengths, weaknesses, and potential enhancements.

Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act

CAPTA, a significant federal legislation addressing child abuse and neglect, has undergone various amendments since its enactment in 1974 (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2019). Initially labeled as CAPTA, it was rebranded as the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act (KCFSA) in 2003, indicating its adaptability to emerging issues (Samuel, 2013). One of its principal mandates is to provide screenings and developmental evaluations for children aged three and under who are victims of abuse or neglect (Samuel, 2013). Additionally, the Act was revised in 2016 to address the repercussions of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, demonstrating its responsiveness to contemporary challenges (Chasnoff et al., 2018).

Developmental Domains

Child abuse and neglect profoundly impact various domains of a child’s development, including social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and language aspects. The ramifications of maltreatment can manifest in withdrawal, depression, or behavioral challenges (Stoltzfus, 2009). CAPTA seeks to alleviate these adverse effects by offering support and intervention programs for affected children, thereby fostering healthy development.

Direct or Indirect Influence

CAPTA’s influence on child development is direct and far-reaching, encompassing social, emotional, physical, and cognitive dimensions. Research indicates a notable increase in reported cases of child maltreatment over the years, highlighting the pervasive nature of the issue (Stoltzfus, 2009). Children exposed to abuse or neglect face heightened risks of developmental delays and behavioral issues, underscoring the urgent need for intervention and support (Stoltzfus, 2009).

PSY FPX 6020 Assessment 4 Policy Examination: The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act

Impact on Society

Overall, CAPTA has positively impacted families and society by providing resources for reporting and intervention. Community-based initiatives have proven effective in preventing child abuse and neglect, emphasizing the significance of collaborative efforts in safeguarding children (Todahl et al., 2019).

Strengths and Weaknesses

CAPTA’s strengths include government funding, focus on child welfare, and adaptability to evolving challenges. However, challenges such as understaffing and parental involvement present obstacles to effective implementation (Samuel, 2013). Moreover, funding constraints and bureaucratic hurdles impede the efficacy of child protective services (CPS) (National et al., 2014).


To enhance CAPTA’s effectiveness, increased funding and personnel for CPS are essential, along with heightened advocacy and community engagement. Furthermore, interventions should be expanded to encompass schools, ensuring comprehensive support for children at risk of abuse or neglect.


In conclusion, CAPTA has played a pivotal role in addressing child abuse and neglect, though challenges persist in its execution. By prioritizing children’s well-being and fostering collaboration among stakeholders, we can continue to enhance policies and practices to create safer environments for our children.


Chasnoff, I. J., Barber, G., Brook, J., & Akin, B. A. (2018). The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act: Knowledge of Health Care and Legal Professionals. Child Welfare, 96(3), 41-58.

Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2019). About CAPTA: A legislative history.

National, R. C., Institute, O. M., Committee, O. L. A. J., Board, O. C. Y. A. F., & Committee, O. C. M. R. P. (2014). New directions in child abuse and neglect research.

Stoltzfus, E. (2009). The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA): Background, Programs, and Funding.

Samuel, D. (2013). Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003 and the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Reauthorization Act of 2010: A policy analysis.

PSY FPX 6020 Assessment 4 Policy Examination: The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act

Todahl, J. L., Brown, T., Barkhurst, P., Maxey, V., & Simone, A. (2019). Pathways to Child Abuse Prevention: Seeking and Embedding Public Opinion. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

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