Subcommittee Schedules Hearing on Prevention of Child Maltreatment Deaths

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Wednesday, the House Committee on Ways and Means’ Subcommittee on Human Resources will hold a hearing in Washington, D.C. regarding plans to create a commission that aspires to reduce child maltreatment deaths in the United States. 

The hearing is anchored around the Protect our Kids Act, a bipartisan proposal backed by Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas). The draft legislation would establish a commission that examines child deaths stemming from neglect and abuse, reviews policies and programs for effectiveness and recommends methods for decreasing the nation’s overall number of child maltreatment fatalities. 

At the hearing, members of the subcommittee will review the proposed legislation and receive suggestions from several child abuse experts, as well as address plans for piloting a full commission.

According to data from the Children’s Bureau -- a division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services -- an estimated 1,537 children died due to child abuse and neglect in the 2010 FY, with almost four-fifths of reported fatalities occurring to children ages four years old or younger.

“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,” said Acting Subcommittee Chairman and Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) in an announcement for the hearing released earlier this month. “Now we have a bipartisan proposal to investigate this issue further and produce real reforms.”