Taking Stock: The Plan to End Child Abuse Deaths, Five Years On, with Amy Harfeld, Caitlin Andrews, and Lia Russell
Nearly a decade ago, a coalition of national organizations including National Children’s Alliance began strategizing about what could be done to reduce and eliminate child abuse fatalities in the U.S. Eventually we were successful in getting a bill passed—one that would establish a national congressional commission to end child abuse fatalities.
The commission issued their report five years ago. Now, we’re looking back at what have been the successes and challenges of that work. We wanted to see what’s changed, and sadly not changed in some cases, amid our national efforts to reduce child abuse fatalities. And we wanted to examine how efforts to reform have played out at the state level. We have two interviews in this episode. First with Amy Harfeld, who coordinates the National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths. And then we speak with two investigative reporters, Lia Russell and Caitlin Andrews of the Bangor Daily News.
Topics in this episode:
- 2016-2021: Trying to end fatalities (1:45)
- Maine—are reforms working? (11:58)
- Good examples of transparency (18:05)
- Public policy (23:56)
- Advice for CACs (28:00)
- Maine fatalities and reform (32:15)
- A cluster of child fatality cases (34:42)
- Were Maine reforms effective? (39:40)
- Will there be another wave of reform? (48:09)
- Next episode: Dr. Stephen Cozza (51:58)
Amy C. Harfeld, JD, is national policy advocate and senior staff attorney for the Children’s Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego and coordinates the National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths
Within Our Reach: A National Strategy to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities, final report from the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities, March 17, 2016
State- and local-level implementation of the commission’s recommendations
Reauthorization of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (S. 1927)
Warmlines are peer-run listening services staffed by people themselves in mental health recovery
Los Angeles’ ESCARS (Electronic Suspected Child Abuse Report System)
“After a series of deaths, scrutiny starts again for Maine’s child welfare system,” by Lia Russell, Bangor Daily News, June 26, 2021, includes links to more information about the cases and the state reforms mentioned in this interview. The newspaper offers limited access to non-subscribers.
“Legislative watchdog to probe issues raised by Maine child welfare ombudsman,” by Caitlin Andrews, Bangor Daily News, August 11, 2021
American Rescue Plan includes temporary changes to the Earned-Income Tax Credit (EITC)
For more information about National Children’s Alliance and the work of Children’s Advocacy Centers, visit our website at NationalChildrensAlliance.org
Transcript to come.