The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says child abuse, neglect and abuse are all serious, preventable diseases and disorders and that it will take action to prevent them.
That’s the gist of a new HHS document released today.
The guidance comes amid the ongoing child abuse crisis in the country and comes after President Donald Trump ordered a massive reduction in funding for public health efforts that focus on the disease.
A key provision of Trump’s budget request calls for a $1.5 billion reduction in CDC funding.
The new HHS guidance says that states must have at least 10 percent of the population in care for child abuse or neglect by 2020.
In Florida, that translates to nearly 6,000 children.
HHS recommends that state child abuse prevention and education programs, including the Department of Child Safety, provide training to at least 90 percent of child care providers, and that those programs provide education to at at least 60 percent of children.
The federal government has also recommended that states create new child abuse awareness and intervention programs.
The agency said in a statement that the guidance was meant to be an overview of the current state of child safety and prevention programs.
It said it is “not intended to be a comprehensive or complete list of all child abuse preventable conditions and that additional information may be necessary.”
The document also states that states should establish a statewide program to identify, provide, and provide support for children with physical or mental health problems, as well as mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse problems.
The HHS document also recommends that states improve their information systems, which can include developing a standardized system to gather and share information on children, family and other vulnerable populations, as part of a broader effort to address the disease, which is the leading cause of death among children in the United States.
In addition, the HHS document recommends that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should create an annual report on the number of children in care, the number in need of services, the type of services received, the effectiveness of child protection programs, and the effectiveness and costs of those programs.
“This report should serve as a guide to all states and to the American public on the extent to which states have implemented effective child safety programs, how well they have responded to their responsibilities under the law, and how they can achieve their goals,” HHS wrote.