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Proposal to Reduce Child Deaths Due to Maltreatment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

  December 5, 2012 

No. HR-16

(202) 225-1025 


Acting Chairman Paulsen Announces Hearing on Proposal to Reduce Child Deaths Due to Maltreatment

Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Acting Chairman of the Subcommittee on Human Resources of the Committee on Ways and Means, today announced that the Subcommittee will hold a hearing to discuss a bipartisan proposal to establish a commission tasked with developing recommendations for reducing child deaths due to maltreatment. The hearing will take place at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, December 12, 2012, in Room 1100 of the Longworth House Office Building.

In view of the limited time available to hear from witnesses, oral testimony at this hearing will be from invited witnesses only.  Witnesses will include experts on child abuse and neglect and child fatalities due to maltreatment.  However, any individual or organization not scheduled for an oral appearance may submit a written statement for consideration by the Committee and for inclusion in the printed record of the hearing.

BACKGROUND:

According to State reports, over 1,500 children in the U.S. died in FY 2010 due to maltreatment.  However, research has shown that these reports substantially understate the number of children who die due to maltreatment each year.  To gain a clearer understanding of this issue, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review what is known about the circumstances of child deaths and near deaths due to maltreatment, State approaches to gathering and reporting this information, and what the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has done to support the collection and accurate reporting of this information.  GAO testified about the findings of their review and released its report during an earlier Human Resources Subcommittee hearing held on Tuesday, July 12, 2011.

Since the earlier hearing, Members have continued bipartisan discussions on ways to reduce fatalities due to maltreatment.  Specifically, full Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) have developed a proposal, the Protect our Kids Act, to establish a commission that would examine the issue and recommend ways to improve current policy and practices.  The purpose of this hearing is to review that proposal and solicit input from key stakeholders and other experts on how such a commission might best undertake this work.  A draft of this proposal, on which witnesses will be asked to comment in their testimony, can be found at the following link: http://waysandmeans.house.gov/UploadedFiles/Commission_Draft.pdf.

In announcing the hearing, Acting Chairman Paulsen stated, “The death of any child is a tragedy, but there is nothing more heartbreaking than when a child dies at the hand of someone who should have cared for them most.  Our hearing last year highlighted this issue and what can be done to collect better information on the problem.  Now we have a bipartisan proposal to investigate this issue further and produce real reforms.  I look forward to hearing our witnesses’ thoughts on this proposal so we can ensure that more kids are protected from abuse and neglect.”

FOCUS OF THE HEARING:

The hearing will focus on the bipartisan proposal, the Protect our Kids Act.  The draft legislation establishes a commission to examine the issue of child fatalities from abuse and neglect, review the effectiveness of current programs and policies, and recommend ways to reduce child fatalities due to maltreatment.

DETAILS FOR SUBMISSION OF WRITTEN COMMENTS:

Please Note: Any person(s) and/or organization(s) wishing to submit for the hearing record must follow the appropriate link on the hearing page of the Committee website and complete the informational forms.  From the Committee homepage, http://waysandmeans.house.gov, select “Hearings.”  Select the hearing for which you would like to submit, and click on the link entitled, “Click here to provide a submission for the record.”  Once you have followed the online instructions, submit all requested information.  Attach your submission as a Word document, in compliance with the formatting requirements listed below, by Wednesday, December 26, 2012.  Finally, please note that due to the change in House mail policy, the U.S. Capitol Police will refuse sealed-package deliveries to all House Office Buildings.  For questions, or if you encounter technical problems, please call (202) 225-1721 or (202) 225-3625.

FORMATTING REQUIREMENTS:

The Committee relies on electronic submissions for printing the official hearing record.  As always, submissions will be included in the record according to the discretion of the Committee.  The Committee will not alter the content of your submission, but we reserve the right to format it according to our guidelines.  Any submission provided to the Committee by a witness, any supplementary materials submitted for the printed record, and any written comments in response to a request for written comments must conform to the guidelines listed below.  Any submission or supplementary item not in compliance with these guidelines will not be printed, but will be maintained in the Committee files for review and use by the Committee.

  1. All submissions and supplementary materials must be provided in Word format and MUST NOT exceed a total of 10 pages, including attachments.  Witnesses and submitters are advised that the Committee relies on electronic submissions for printing the official hearing record.
  2. Copies of whole documents submitted as exhibit material will not be accepted for printing.  Instead, exhibit material should be referenced and quoted or paraphrased.  All exhibit material not meeting these specifications will be maintained in the Committee files for review and use by the Committee.
  3. All submissions must include a list of all clients, persons, and/or organizations on whose behalf the witness appears.  A supplemental sheet must accompany each submission listing the name, company, address, telephone, and fax numbers of each witness.

The Committee seeks to make its facilities accessible to persons with disabilities.  If you are in need of special accommodations, please call 202-225-1721 or 202-226-3411 TTD/TTY in advance of the event (four business days notice is requested).  Questions with regard to special accommodation needs in general (including availability of Committee materials in alternative formats) may be directed to the Committee as noted above.

Note: All Committee advisories and news releases are available on the World Wide Web at http://www.waysandmeans.house.gov/.