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The Secretary shall, in consultation with other Federal agencies and recognized experts in the field, carry out a continuing interdisciplinary program of research, including longitudinal research, that is designed to provide information needed to better protect children from child abuse or neglect and to improve the well-being of victims of child abuse or neglect, with at least a portion of such research being field initiated. Such research program may focus on--
(A) the nature and scope of child abuse and neglect;
(B) causes, prevention, assessment, identification, treatment, cultural and socio-economic distinctions, and the consequences of child abuse and neglect, including the effects of child abuse and neglect on a child's development and the identification of successful early intervention services or other services that are needed;
(C) effective approaches to improving the relationship and attachment of infants and toddlers who experience child abuse or neglect with their parents or primary caregivers in circumstances where reunification is appropriate;
(D) appropriate, effective and culturally sensitive investigative, administrative, and judicial systems, including multidisciplinary, coordinated decisionmaking procedures with respect to cases of child abuse and neglect;
(E) the evaluation and dissemination of best practices, including best practices to meet the needs of special populations, consistent with the goals of achieving improvements in the child protective services systems of the States in accordance with paragraphs (1) through (14) of section 5106a(a) of this title;
(F) effective approaches to interagency collaboration between the child protection system and the juvenile justice system that improve the delivery of services and treatment, including methods for continuity of treatment plan and services as children transition between systems;
(G) effective practices and programs to improve activities such as identification, screening, medical diagnosis, forensic diagnosis, health evaluations, and services, including activities that promote collaboration between--
(i) the child protective service system; and
(ii)(I) the medical community, including providers of mental health and developmental disability services; and
(II) providers of early childhood intervention services and special education for children who have been victims of child abuse or neglect;
(H) an evaluation of the redundancies and gaps in the services in the field of child abuse and neglect prevention in order to make better use of resources;
(I) effective collaborations, between the child protective system and domestic violence service providers, that provide for the safety of children exposed to domestic violence and their nonabusing parents and that improve the investigations, interventions, delivery of services, and treatments provided for such children and families;
(J) the nature, scope, and practice of voluntary relinquishment for foster care or State guardianship of low-income children who need health services, including mental health services;
(K) the impact of child abuse and neglect on the incidence and progression of disabilities;
(L) the nature and scope of effective practices relating to differential response, including an analysis of best practices conducted by the States;
(M) child abuse and neglect issues facing Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians, including providing recommendations for improving the collection of child abuse and neglect data from Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian communities;
(N) the information on the national incidence of child abuse and neglect specified in clauses (i) through (x) 1 of subparagraph (O); and
(O) the national incidence of child abuse and neglect, including--
(i) the extent to which incidents of child abuse and neglect are increasing or decreasing in number and severity;
(ii) the incidence of substantiated and unsubstantiated reported child abuse and neglect cases;
(iii) the number of substantiated cases that result in a judicial finding of child abuse or neglect or related criminal court convictions;
(iv) the extent to which the number of unsubstantiated, unfounded and false reported cases of child abuse or neglect have contributed to the inability of a State to respond effectively to serious cases of child abuse or neglect;
(v) the extent to which the lack of adequate resources and the lack of adequate training of individuals required by law to report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect have contributed to the inability of a State to respond effectively to serious cases of child abuse and neglect;
(vi) the number of unsubstantiated, false, or unfounded reports that have resulted in a child being placed in substitute care, and the duration of such placement;
(vii) the extent to which unsubstantiated reports return as more serious cases of child abuse or neglect;
(viii) the incidence and prevalence of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and physical and emotional neglect in substitute care;
(ix) the incidence and prevalence of child maltreatment by a wide array of demographic characteristics such as age, sex, race, family structure, household relationship (including the living arrangement of the resident parent and family size), school enrollment and education attainment, disability, grandparents as caregivers, labor force status, work status in previous year, and income in previous year;
(x) the extent to which reports of suspected or known instances of child abuse or neglect involving a potential combination of jurisdictions, such as intrastate, interstate, Federal-State, and State-Tribal, are being screened out solely on the basis of the cross-jurisdictional complications; and
(xi) the incidence and outcomes of child abuse and neglect allegations reported within the context of divorce, custody, or other family court proceedings, and the interaction between this venue and the child protective services system.
The Secretary shall conduct research on the national incidence of child abuse and neglect, including the information on the national incidence on child abuse and neglect specified in clauses (i) through (xi) of paragraph (1)(O).
Not later than 4 years after December 20, 2010, the Secretary shall prepare and submit to the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions of the Senate a report that contains the results of the research conducted under paragraph (2).
(4) [FN2] Priorities
(A) In general
The Secretary shall establish research priorities for making grants or contracts for purposes of carrying out paragraph (1).
(B) Public comment
Not later than 1 years 3 after December 20, 2010, and every 2 years thereafter, the Secretary shall provide an opportunity for public comment concerning the priorities proposed under subparagraph (A) and maintain an official record of such public comment.
(4) [FN2] Study on shaken baby syndrome
The Secretary shall conduct a study that--
(A) identifies data collected on shaken baby syndrome;
(B) determines the feasibility of collecting uniform, accurate data from all States regarding--
(i) incidence rates of shaken baby syndrome;
(ii) characteristics of perpetrators of shaken baby syndrome, including age, gender, relation to victim, access to prevention materials and resources, and history of substance abuse, domestic violence, and mental illness; and
(iii) characteristics of victims of shaken baby syndrome, including gender, date of birth, date of injury, date of death (if applicable), and short- and long-term injuries sustained.
(b) Provision of technical assistance
(1) In general
The Secretary shall provide technical assistance to State and local public and private agencies and community-based organizations, including disability organizations and persons who work with children with disabilities and providers of mental health, substance abuse treatment, and domestic violence prevention services, to assist such agencies and organizations in planning, improving, developing, and carrying out programs and activities, including replicating successful program models, relating to the prevention, assessment, identification, and treatment of child abuse and neglect.
Such technical assistance may include an evaluation or identification of--
(A) various methods and procedures for the investigation, assessment, and prosecution of child physical and sexual abuse cases;
(B) ways to mitigate psychological trauma to the child victim;
(C) effective programs carried out by the States under this subchapter and subchapter III of this chapter; and
(D) effective approaches being utilized to link child protective service agencies with health care, mental health care, and developmental services to improve forensic diagnosis and health evaluations, and barriers and shortages to such linkages.
The Secretary may provide for and disseminate information relating to various training resources available at the State and local level to--
(A) individuals who are engaged, or who intend to engage, in the prevention, identification, and treatment of child abuse and neglect; and
(B) appropriate State and local officials to assist in training law enforcement, legal, judicial, medical, mental health, education, child welfare, substance abuse, and domestic violence services personnel in appropriate methods of interacting during investigative, administrative, and judicial proceedings with children who have been subjected to, or whom the personnel suspect have been subjected to, child abuse or neglect.
(c) Authority to make grants or enter into contracts
(1) In general
The functions of the Secretary under this section may be carried out either directly or through grant or contract.
Grants under this section shall be made for periods of not more than 5 years.
(3) Preference for long-term studies
In making grants for purposes of conducting research under subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall give special consideration to applications for long-term projects.
(d) Peer review for grants
(1) Establishment of peer review process
(A) In general
To enhance the quality and usefulness of research in the field of child abuse and neglect, the Secretary shall, in consultation with experts in the field and other Federal agencies, establish a formal, rigorous, and meritorious peer review process for purposes of evaluating and reviewing applications for assistance through a grant or contract under this section and determining the relative merits of the project for which such assistance is requested.
In establishing the process required by subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall only appoint to the peer review panels members who--
(i) are experts in the field of child abuse and neglect or related disciplines, with appropriate expertise related to the applications to be reviewed; and
(ii) are not individuals who are officers or employees of the Administration for Children and Families.
The peer review panels shall meet as often as is necessary to facilitate the expeditious review of applications for grants and contracts under this section, but shall meet not less often than once a year.
(D) Criteria and guidelines
The Secretary shall ensure that the peer review panel utilizes scientifically valid review criteria and scoring guidelines in the review of the applications for grants and contracts.
(2) Review of applications for assistance
Each peer review panel established under paragraph (1)(A) that reviews any application for a grant shall--
(A) determine and evaluate the merit of each project described in such application;
(B) rank such application with respect to all other applications it reviews in the same priority area for the fiscal year involved, according to the relative merit of all of the projects that are described in such application and for which financial assistance is requested; and
(C) make recommendations to the Secretary concerning whether the application for the project shall be approved.
The Secretary shall award grants under this section on the basis of competitive review.
(3) Notice of approval
(A) Meritorious projects
The Secretary shall provide grants and contracts under this section from among the projects which the peer review panels established under paragraph (1)(A) have determined to have merit.
In the instance in which the Secretary approves an application for a program without having approved all applications ranked above such application (as determined under paragraph (2)(B)), the Secretary shall append to the approved application a detailed explanation of the reasons relied on for approving the application and for failing to approve each pending application that is superior in merit, as indicated on the list under paragraph (2)(B).
(e) Demonstration programs and projects
The Secretary may award grants to, and enter into contracts with, entities that are States, Indian tribes or tribal organizations, or public or private agencies or organizations (or combinations of such entities) for time-limited, demonstration projects for the following:
(1) Promotion of safe, family-friendly physical environments for visitation and exchange
The Secretary may award grants under this subsection to entities to assist such entities in establishing and operating safe, family-friendly physical environments--
(A) for court-ordered, supervised visitation between children and abusing parents; and
(B) to facilitate the safe exchange of children for visits with noncustodial parents in cases of domestic violence.
(2) Education identification, prevention, and treatment
The Secretary may award grants under this subsection to entities for projects that provide educational identification, prevention, and treatment services in cooperation with child care and early childhood education and care providers, preschools, and elementary and secondary schools.
(3) Risk and safety assessment tools
The Secretary may award grants under this subsection to entities for projects that provide for the development of research-based strategies for risk and safety assessments relating to child abuse and neglect.
The Secretary may award grants under this subsection to entities for projects that involve research-based strategies for innovative training for mandated child abuse and neglect reporters.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - 42 U.S.C. § 5105 - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 42. The Public Health and Welfare § 5105. Research and assistance activities - last updated January 01, 2018 | https://codes.findlaw.com/us/title-42-the-public-health-and-welfare/42-usc-sect-5105/
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