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The term of the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities expired on March 18, 2016.


“We are aware that there are so many, many children across the country who lose their lives or are permanently scarred by abuse from a caretaker. We know that there are many reasons why this happens — our goal must be to improve our understanding of these causes and what we can do to prevent this kind of maltreatment of children. The Protect Our Kids Act will help provide thoughtful consideration of the steps we can take to better protect vulnerable children. Working together in a bipartisan way, we can make meaningful progress on this troubling issue.”
-Congressman Lloyd Doggett of Texas, Author of the Protect Our Kids Act

“Far too many children die each year as a result of abuse and neglect. As an attorney who formerly handled child welfare issues, I’ve worked throughout my time in Congress to reduce tragedies like this. Despite much progress, there is still more we can do to help children in need. That’s why I’m proud to have worked with Representative Doggett and others to pass the bipartisan Protect our Kids Act, which has brought together experts to develop a comprehensive national strategy to reduce these tragedies. I hope that by working together we can take important steps forward to prevent the tragic deaths of too many of our nation’s children.”

-Congressman Dave Camp of Michigan, Author of the Protect Our Kids Act

The Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF) was established by the Protect Our Kids Act of 2012, which garnered broad, bipartisan support in the House, passed the Senate unanimously, and was signed by President Barack Obama on January 14, 2013. Its mission was to develop a national strategy and recommendations for reducing fatalities across the country resulting from child abuse and neglect. Its tasks were to:

  • Raise visibility and build awareness about the problem.
  • Review data and best practices to determine what is and is not working.
  • Identify solutions.
  • Report on findings and make recommendations to drive future policy.

The Commission was composed of 12 members, six appointed by the president and six appointed by Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate. Members took a broad, multidisciplinary approach to studying and making recommendations about the following key issues:

  • The use and effectiveness of federally funded child protective and child welfare services
  • Best practices for and barriers to preventing child abuse and neglect fatalities
  • The effectiveness of federal, state, and local data collection systems, and how to improve them
  • Risk factors for child maltreatment
  • How to prioritize prevention services for families with the greatest needs

In the course of its work, the Commission sought to engage a broad community of stakeholders, including the administration; local, state, and federal legislators; state and county agencies; media representatives; nonprofit and advocacy organizations; think tanks and policy organizations; universities; foundations; corporations; and the general public.

The Commission issued its final report to the president and Congress on March 18, 2016. The report discussed what the Commission learned and outlined the challenges that still lay ahead. It proposed a comprehensive national strategy and recommendations for actions to address these challenges, including steps to be taken by the executive branch, Congress, and states and counties.

The Commission’s term expired on March 18, 2016.

Read the Commission’s final report.

Read the Protect Our Kids Act of 2012.

See the Commission’s Charter.