Child Abuse and Neglect:

Progress of the National Center Since May 1991

T-HRD-92-14: Published: Feb 27, 1992. Publicly Released: Feb 27, 1992.

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GAO discussed the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect's (NCCAN): (1) progress in fulfilling its mission of identifying, preventing, and treating child abuse and neglect; and (2) potential role in implementing proposed legislation relating to child abuse, domestic violence, adoption, and family services. GAO noted that: (1) a reorganization of NCCAN within the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Administration for Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) improved NCCAN ability to exercise control over its budget and policy issues and to compete with other components for ACYF resources; (2) NCCAN made progress in implementing legislative requirements relating to child abuse grant visits and clearinghouse operations, but it has not evaluated its technical assistance or issued required reports to Congress; (3) the NCCAN grant work load increased substantially between 1990 and 1991; (4) shortages in NCCAN staff and resources hinder its grant administration activities and prevent it from complying with related HHS policies; (5) the clearinghouse may not be able to meet requirements to identify successful prevention and treatment programs; and (6) NCCAN has almost completed collecting standardized data from states for its National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. GAO believes that: (1) limited resources continue to hinder NCCAN ability to become a leader in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect; and (2) the assignment of additional duties under the proposed legislation would further limit NCCAN effectiveness.

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