Military Child Advocacy Programs--Victims of Neglect

HRD-79-75: Published: May 23, 1979. Publicly Released: May 23, 1979.

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Each military service has established its own child advocacy program without any overall guidance from the Department of Defense (DOD). As a result, child advocacy programs for military families have inconsistent policies.

In addition, the services' programs receive no direct funding and, at most installations, suffer from a lack of adequate staff. Military child advocacy programs are usually staffed by individuals who have been assigned child advocacy responsibilities as a collateral duty. Also, the child maltreatment reporting systems currently maintained by the individual military services are inconsistent and ineffective for managing maltreatment cases. All of the military installations visited had efforts underway to deal with child maltreatment. Improving the child advocacy programs at the installation level will require DOD to place greater priority on and direct more resources to these programs. The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect has told DOD that it would seriously consider providing funds to help establish a small centralized child advocacy group that could perform activities to improve the child advocacy programs.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should establish a small centralized group to serve as a focal point for: (1) bringing consistency to the services' child advocacy regulations; (2) developing education and training materials for improving child advocacy programs at the installation level; (3) providing guidance to the services regarding how to handle the difficulties posed by exclusive jurisdiction installations when dealing with child maltreatment problems; and (4) communicating with military installations and the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect regarding child advocacy matters in general.

    Agency Affected:

 

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