Due to the issues of child abuse in residential programs many members of Congress for years have been trying to put regulation in place. A bill is needed because data collected in 2005 by The National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System which found that "34 states reported 1503 incidents of youth maltreatment by residential facility staff."
Recently in The House, Bill H.R. 3126 The Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs Bill was introduced while in the Senate Bill S.1667. H.R 3126 was introduced by California Congressman George Miller, New York Congresswomen Carolyn MCCarthy while, Bill S 1667 was introduced by Senator Tom Harkins of Iowa.
Previously a Bill was introduced in 2009 to The House to regulate abusive behavior modification programs,in which all but 1 Democrat voted for the Bill along with 40% of Republicans. To view the vote count on the Bill of 2009 ... http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=h2009-72. The bill did not pass the senate.
To view the bill introduced by the House H.R 3126 http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h112-3126.
To view the bill introduced by the Senate Bill S 1667 http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s112-1667
To send a letter to your congress person to support H.R 3126 follow this link https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/112/hr3126.. it only takes a few clicks
Additional information found at http://democrats.edworkforce.house.gov/bill/hr-3126-stop-child-abuse-residential-programs-teens-act-2011#fact
The Bill would:
Prohibit programs from physically, mentally, or sexually abusing children in their care;
Prohibit programs from denying children essential water, food, clothing, shelter, or medical care – whether as a form of punishment or for any other reason;
Require programs to provide children with reasonable access to a telephone and inform children accordingly;
Require programs to train staff members in what constitutes child abuse and neglect and how to report it;
Require that programs only physically restrain children if it is necessary for their safety or the safety of others, and to do so in a way that is consistent with federal law already applicable in other contexts; and
Require programs to have plans in place to provide emergency medical care.
Require programs to disclose to parents the qualifications, roles, and responsibilities of staff members;
Require programs to notify parents of substantiated reports of child abuse or violations of health and safety laws; and
Require programs to include a link or web address for the website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which will carry information on residential programs.
Require states to inform the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of reports of child abuse and neglect at covered programs and require HHS to conduct investigations of such programs to determine if a violation of the national standards has occurred; and
Provide HHS the authority to assess civil penalties up to $50,000 for every violation of the law.
California Congressman George Miller and New York Congresswomen Carolyn MCCarthy explain what H.R 911 would have done. This is NOT the current bill that is being proposed in 2011, this is the bill from 2009 but the points they discuss apply to the current bill ( H.R 3126 AND S.1667)