[Congressional Bills 103th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S. 870 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

103d CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                 S. 870

   To protect children from the trauma of witnessing or experiencing 
   violence, sexual abuse, neglect, abduction, rape or death during 
    parent/child visitations or visitation exchanges, and for other 
                               purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                May 4 (legislative day, April 19), 1993

 Mr. Wellstone introduced the following bill; which was read twice and 
         referred to the Committee on Labor and Human Resources

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
   To protect children from the trauma of witnessing or experiencing 
   violence, sexual abuse, neglect, abduction, rape or death during 
    parent/child visitations or visitation exchanges, and for other 
                               purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Child Safety Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) The problem of family violence does not necessarily 
        cease when the victimized family is legally separated, 
        divorced, or otherwise not sharing a household. During 
        separation and divorce, family violence often escalates, and 
        child custody and visitation become the new forum for the 
        continuation of abuse.
            (2) Current child custody and visitation laws are based on 
        incorrect assumptions that divorcing parents are in relatively 
        equal positions of power and that such parents always act in 
        the children's best interest. These laws often work against the 
        protection of the children and the abused spouse or intimate 
        partner in families with a history of family violence.
            (3) Some perpetrators use the children as pawns to control 
        the abused party after the couple is separated.
            (4) Every year an estimated 1,000 to 5,000 children are 
        killed by their parents in the United States.
            (5) In 1988, the Department of Justice reported that 
        354,100 children were abducted by family members who violated 
        custody agreements or decrees. Most victims were children from 
        ages 2 to 11 years.
            (6) Approximately 160,000 children are seriously injured or 
        impaired by abuse or neglect each year.
            (7) Studies by the American Humane Association indicate 
        that reports of child abuse and neglect have increased by over 
        200 percent from 1976 to 1986.
            (8) Approximately 90 percent of children in homes in which 
        their mothers are abused witness the abuse.
            (9) Data indicates that women and children are at elevated 
        risk for violence during the process of and after separation.
            (10) Fifty to 70 percent of men who abuse their spouses or 
        partners also abuse their children.
            (11) Up to 75 percent of all domestic assaults reported to 
        law enforcement agencies were inflicted after the separation of 
        the couples.
            (12) In one study of spousal homicide, over half of the 
        male defendants were separated from their victims.
            (13) Seventy-three percent of battered women seeking 
        emergency medical services do so after separation.

SEC. 3. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this Act is to authorize funding to enable 
supervised visitation centers to provide the following:
            (1) Supervised visitation in cases where there is 
        documented sexual, physical or emotional abuse as determined by 
        the appropriate court.
            (2) Supervised visitation in cases where there is suspected 
        or elevated risk of sexual, physical or emotional abuse, or 
        where there have been threats of parental abduction of the 
        child.
            (3) Supervised visitation for children who have been placed 
        in foster homes as a result of abuse.
            (4) An evaluation of visitation between parents and 
        children for child protection social services to assist such 
        service providers in making determinations of whether the 
        children should be returned to a previously abusive home.
            (5) A safe location for custodial parents to temporarily 
        transfer custody of their children with non-custodial parents, 
        or to provide a protected visitation environment, where there 
        has been a history of domestic violence or an order for 
        protection is involved.
            (6) An additional safeguard against the child witnessing 
        abuse or a safeguard against the injury or death of a child or 
        parent.
            (7) An environment for families to have healthy interaction 
        activities, quality time, non-violent memory building 
        experiences during visitation to help build the parent/child 
        relationship.
            (8) Parent and child education and support groups to help 
        parents heal and learn new skills, and to help children heal 
        from past abuse.

SEC. 4. DEMONSTRATION GRANTS FOR SUPERVISED VISITATION CENTERS.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Health and Human Services 
(hereafter referred to in this Act as the ``Secretary'') is authorized 
to award grants to and enter into contracts and cooperative agreements 
with public or nonprofit private entities to assist such entities in 
the establishment and operation of supervised visitation centers.
    (b) Considerations.--In awarding grants, contracts and agreements 
under subsection (a), the Secretary shall take into account--
            (1) the number of families to be served by the proposed 
        visitation center to be established under the grant, contract 
        or agreement;
            (2) the extent to which supervised visitation centers are 
        needed locally;
            (3) the relative need of the applicant; and
            (4) the capacity of the applicant to make rapid and 
        effective use of assistance provided under the grant, contract 
        or agreement.
    (c) Use of Funds.--
            (1) In general.--Amounts provided under a grant, contract 
        or cooperative agreement awarded under this section shall be 
        used to establish supervised visitation centers and for the 
        purposes described in section 3. In using such amounts, 
        grantees shall target the economically disadvantaged and those 
        individuals who could not otherwise afford such visitation 
        services. Other individuals may be permitted to utilize the 
        services provided by the center on a fee basis.
            (2) Costs.--To the extent practicable, the Secretary shall 
        ensure that, with respect to recipients of grants, contracts or 
        agreements under this section, the perpetrators of the family 
        violence, abuse or neglect will be responsible for any and all 
        costs associated with the supervised visitation undertaken at 
        the center.

SEC. 5. DEMONSTRATION GRANT APPLICATION.

    (a) In General.--A grant, contract or cooperative agreement may not 
be made or entered into under this Act unless an application for such 
grant, contract or cooperative agreement has been submitted to and 
approved by the Secretary.
    (b) Approval.--Grants, contracts and cooperative agreements under 
this Act shall be awarded in accordance with such regulations as the 
Secretary may promulgate. At a minimum, to be approved by the Secretary 
under this section an application shall--
            (1) demonstrate that the applicant has recognized expertise 
        in the area of family violence and a record of high quality 
        service to victims of family violence; and
            (2) be submitted from an entity located in a State where 
        State law requires the courts to consider evidence of violence 
        in custody decisions.

SEC. 6. EVALUATION OF DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS.

    (a) In General.--Not later than 30 days after the end of each 
fiscal year, a recipient of a grant, contract or cooperative agreement 
under this Act shall prepare and submit to the Secretary a report that 
contains information concerning--
            (1) the number of families served per year;
            (2) the number of families served per year categorized by--
                    (A) families who require that supervised visitation 
                because of child abuse only;
                    (B) families who require supervised visitation 
                because of a combination of child abuse and domestic 
                violence; and
                    (C) families who require supervised visitation 
                because of domestic violence only;
            (3) the number of visits per family in the report year 
        categorized by--
                    (A) supervised visitation required by the courts;
                    (B) supervised visitation based on suspected or 
                elevated risk of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse, 
                or threats of parental abduction of the child that is 
                not court mandated;
                    (C) supervised visitation that is part of a foster 
                care arrangement; and
                    (D) supervised visitation because of an order of 
                protection;
            (4) the number of supervised visitation arrangements 
        terminated because of violations of visitation terms, including 
        violence;
            (5) the number of protective temporary transfers of custody 
        during the report year;
            (6) the number of parental abduction cases in a judicial 
        district using supervised visitation services, both as 
        identified in criminal prosecution and custody violations;
            (7) the number of safety and security problems that occur 
        during the report year;
            (8) the number of families who are turned away because the 
        center cannot accommodate the demand for services;
            (9) the process by which children or abused partners will 
        be protected during visitations, temporary custody transfers 
        and other activities for which the supervised visitation 
        centers are created; and
            (10) any other information determined appropriate in 
        regulations promulgated by the Secretary.
    (b) Evaluation.--In addition to submitting the reports required 
under subsection (a), an entity receiving a grant, contract or 
cooperative agreement under this Act shall have a collateral agreement 
with the court, the child protection social services division of the 
State, and local domestic violence agencies or State and local domestic 
violence coalitions to evaluate the supervised visitation center 
operated under the grant, contract or agreement. The entities 
conducting such evaluations shall submit a narrative evaluation of the 
center to both the center and the grantee.
    (c) Demonstration of Need.--The recipient of a grant, contract or 
cooperative agreement under this Act shall demonstrate, during the 
first 3 years of the project operated under the grant, contract or 
agreement, the need for continued funding.

SEC. 7. SPECIAL GRANTS TO STUDY THE EFFECT OF SUPERVISED VISITATION ON 
              SEXUALLY ABUSED OR SEVERELY PHYSICALLY ABUSED CHILDREN.

    (a) Authorization.--The Secretary is authorized to award special 
grants to public or nonprofit private entities to assist such entities 
in collecting clinical data for supervised visitation centers 
established under this Act to determine--
            (1) the extent to which supervised visitation should be 
        allowed between children who are sexually abused or severely 
        physically abused by a parent, where the visitation is not 
        predicated on the abusive parent having successively completed 
        a specialized course of therapy for such abusers;
            (2) the effect of supervised visitation on child victims of 
        sexual abuse or severe physical abuse when the abusive parent 
        exercising visitation has not completed specialized therapy and 
        does not use the visitation to alleviate the child victim's 
        guilt, fear, or confusion;
            (3) the relationship between the type of abuse or neglect 
        experienced by the child and the use of supervised visitation 
        centers by the maltreating parent; and
            (4) in cases of spouse or partner abuse only, the extent to 
        which supervised visitation should be predicated on 
        participation by the abusive spouse in a specialized treatment 
        program.
    (b) Application.--To be eligible to receive a grant under this 
section an entity shall prepare and submit to the Secretary an 
application at such time, in such manner and containing such 
information as the Secretary may require, including documentary 
evidence to demonstrate that the entity possesses a high level of 
clinical expertise and experience in child abuse treatment and 
prevention as they relate to visitation. The level of clinical 
expertise and experience required will be determined by the Secretary.
    (c) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date on which a grant 
is received under this section, and each year thereafter for the 
duration of the grant, the grantee shall prepare and submit to the 
Secretary a report containing the clinical data collected under such 
grant.

SEC. 8. REPORTING.

    Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, 
and annually thereafter, the Secretary shall prepare and submit to the 
appropriate committees of Congress a report containing the information 
collected under the reports received under sections 6 and 7, including 
recommendations made by the Secretary concerning whether or not the 
supervised visitation center demonstration and clinical data programs 
should be reauthorized.

SEC. 9. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    (a) In General.--For the purpose of awarding grants, contracts and 
cooperative agreements under this Act, there are authorized to be 
appropriated $30,000,000 for fiscal year 1994, $40,000,000 for fiscal 
year 1995, and $50,000,000 for fiscal year 1996.
    (b) Distribution.--Of the amounts appropriated under subsection (a) 
for each fiscal year--
            (1) not less than 80 percent shall be used to award grants, 
        contracts, or cooperative agreements under section 5; and
            (2) not more than 20 percent shall be used to award grants 
        under section 7.
    (c) Disbursement.--Amounts appropriated under this section shall be 
disbursed as categorical grants through the 10 regional offices of the 
Department of Health and Human Services.

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