March 15, 2021

Manchin Bill To Protect Children From Abuse, Support At-Risk Families During COVID-19 Pandemic

Senator Manchin’s legislation would bolster efforts by Child Protective Services and non-profits to help families under stress during COVID-19 pandemic

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) led eight Senators in introducing S.462, the Emergency Funding for Child Protection Act, which would provide $500 million in emergency funds for local child protective services and $1 billion for community-based child abuse prevention programs. Senator Manchin recently secured $350 million to support child abuse prevention and treatment in the American Rescue Plan.

“Every child in West Virginia and across the country deserves a safe place to learn and grow. As children continue to spend more time at home due to the pandemic and families face additional pressure from the economic and public health crises, many children are at a higher risk of experiencing abuse. The Emergency Funding for Child Protection Act will not only provide funds for local child protective services, it will also invest in community-based child abuse prevention programs to support families and protect at-risk children. I urge my fellow Senators on both sides of the aisle to join my legislation to protect children at a higher risk of abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Manchin.

“We are very pleased that Senator Manchin is helping lead this legislation, which will provide critical funding to support effective local programs that strengthen families, prevent child abuse, and help children thrive. We cannot afford to let children pay the price as West Virginians struggle, and this legislation will help ensure that they are protected. Across West Virginia, local programs have been assisting families since the pandemic began, but these programs often have waiting lists or may only be available in certain parts of a county. Passage of the American Rescue Plan is a strong downpayment towards what is needed to protect children in West Virginia. The Emergency Funding for Child Protection Act will further bolster and expand these efforts to strengthen families, protect children, and help at-risk and vulnerable children in every community in West Virginia. As families recover from the lingering effects of the pandemic, this legislation will ensure that every child has the happy, safe, healthy childhood that they deserve,” said Jim McKay, State Coordinator for Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia, a program of TEAM for West Virginia Children.

Bill text can be found here.