August 04, 2006

Crapo Affirms Protections For Indian Children At Risk

Senate funds programs to help abused Native American children

WASHINGTON, D.C. â?? Idaho Senator Mike Crapo hailed the Senate passage of legislation that will expand reporting of child abuse allegations and convictions in Indian country and require increased mandated background investigations of those working with children. â??This legislation will help better track those who victimize children on Tribal lands and strengthen the law to better protect Indian children from the tragedy and terrible crime of physical, emotional and sexual abuse,â?? said Crapo.The Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act of 2006 (S.1899) amends the Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act to address the current lack of comprehensive data that is available on the extent of child abuse in Indian Country. This data, including numeric reporting data, is critical to understanding the scope of the problem and the degree of resources necessary to address it. S. 1899 encourages collaboration between the responsible agencies and governments in collecting this data on an annual basis. Additionally, it requires annual reporting of this data and success or failure of child abuse intervention and prevention programs to Congress.The bill also encourages inter-agency coordination between the Indian Health Service and public and private medical or treatment organizations in the treatment and examination of children through the use of telemedicine, an important priority for rural Idaho. The bill also recognizes the role of the Attorney General in documenting and addressing incidents of felony child abuse in Indian country. With todayâ??s Senate passage, the legislation now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.