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Child abuse and neglect is a serious issue that affects millions of Americans annually. While the duty to protect children usually rests with parents and the state, many state programs must abide by federal law in order to receive federal funding. A major source of legislation that supports child welfare was passed in 1974 under the name Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act or CAPTA. According to the Child Information Gateway, CAPTA provides Federal funding to states in support of prevention, assessment, investigation, prosecution, and treatment activities and also provides grants to public agencies and nonprofit organizations for demonstration programs and projects. CAPTA also helped establish the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, and set forth a minimum definition of child abuse and neglect. CAPTA has been modified and amended several times over the years, but this hallmark legislation paved the way for many modern child abuse laws. If you suspect a child is being abused, you should notify your proper state authorities immediately. If you have been accused of child abuse or neglect, it’s important you speak with an attorney in your area.