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The Strengthening America’s Families Act

Transforming the lives of babies in child welfare.

Every year in the United States, nearly 200,000 infants and toddlers experience abuse or neglect.

The incidence of abuse and neglect of infants is two to four times the rate for other age groups, and a third of children entering foster care each year are under age three. Additionally, many experts believe that child abuse is a silent epidemic in the time of COVID-19, with many families under significant stress due to social isolation, economic uncertainty, mental health concerns, or fear of falling ill.

But the current structure of the child welfare system provides limited resources to address early childhood development and multi-generational trauma. In addition, an emphasis on crisis removal of children makes the system ill-suited to provide babies and toddlers with the stability and nurturing relationships they need for a strong start in life.

Infant-Toddler Court Teams can help.

Infant-Toddler Court Teams use the science of early childhood development and a deep understanding of trauma to offer a collaborative and cost-effective model to work with babies and toddlers in the child welfare system. They are proven to transform outcomes for the youngest children at risk for or affected by maltreatment by effectively supporting child health and well-being, building on families’ strengths to enable them to support their own children, and preventing recurrence of maltreatment.

Champions are establishing Infant-Toddler Court Teams in communities across the country, but these sites serving only a fraction of the children and families in need. The bipartisan Strengthening America’s Families Act (SAFA), re-introduced by Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) would support state efforts to develop Infant-Toddler Court Teams.

Learn More: The Strengthening America’s Families Act

Learn More: Infant-Toddler Court Teams

The Infant-Toddler Court Teams is based on the Safe Babies Court TeamTM Approach (SBCT).

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We need your support now more than ever to ensure all babies have access to the quality care, services and support they need to thrive.