Know Thine Enemy:
  Quick Overview for Our Perspective on Goliath

Authored & Edited by

See Federal Timeline


A.             Watch Out!  Our enemy is a common one for all Parents.  It does not matter if you are Parents, Legal Guardians, Relatives, Adoptive Parents or Foster Parents.  Here are some different names that we, as Parents, unfortunately became familiar with:


1.           It is called different things, depending on the State, County and its setup .  The State has various levels and so does the County.

a.           DSS                   Department of Social Services

b.           DFPS                 Department of Family & Protective Services (TX)

c.           WCDSS:           Washoe County Department of Social Services (NV)

d.           CPS:                  Child Protection Services

e.           DCFS:               Department of Child & Family Services

f.             DFS:                  Department of Family Services

g.           DFCS:               Division of Family & Children Services

h.          DCBS:               Department for Community Based Services

i.             DHHS:               Department  of Health and Human Services


2.           For a complete US map that shows what it is called in your State with contact information, please see:


3.           A simple hierarchy for this Goliath of a System looks like this:

                        Social Security Act (Title IV-E + other Titles)

                        Child Abuse Prevention & Treatment Act 1974  (CAPTA)

                                    US Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS)

                                                Administration for Children & Families (ACF)

                                                            Children’s Bureau

                                                                        Programs & Funding

                                                                        Child Welfare Monitoring

                                                                        AFCARS, NCANDS, SACWIS

                                                            Upcoming Events

                                                            Current Initiatives & Issues

                                                            New On Site

                                                            Children’s Bureau Express (Online Digest)



The history and where it begins is with Federal Laws enacted in 1974 with CAPTA (Child Abuse Prevention & Treatment Act) and the Social Security Act.  They are intertwined and act together with yet more Federal Acts that have been passed.  The following is an easily-understood explanation from Child Welfare Information Gateway at


Major Federal Legislation Concerned with Child Protection,

Child Welfare, and Adoption


 Author(s):  Child Welfare Information Gateway  Year Published: 2003



Beginning with the passage of the Child Abuse and Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) in 19741, the U.S. Congress implemented a number of laws that have had a significant impact on child protection and child welfare services. State-level responses to these laws included enacting State legislation, developing or revising State agency policy and regulations, and implementing new programs. Federal legislation also frequently requires Federal government departments and agencies to promulgate and/or amend policy and regulation. For information on policy of the Children's Bureau, visit their Web site at


The primary responsibility for child welfare services rest with the States. Each State has its own legal and administrative structures and programs that address the needs of children. In addition, States frequently must comply with specific Federal requirements and guidelines in order to be eligible for Federal funding under certain programs. The Social Security Act contains the primary sources of Federal funds available to States for child welfare, foster care, and adoption activities. The programs include the Title IV-B Child Welfare Services and Promoting Safe and Stable Families (formerly known as Family Preservation) programs, the Title IV-E Foster Care Program, the Title IV-E Adoption Assistance Program, the Title IV-E Foster Care Independence Program, and the Title XX Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) Program.


To provide a framework for understanding the Federal legislation that has shaped the delivery of child welfare services, the chart inside presents a summary of the major Federal legislation since 1974 that have had significant impact on the field. The chart provides an overview of each legislative act, including reasons a particular bill was initiated, the objectives and goals of the legislation, and the major provisions of each act. Acts and their related amendments are grouped together and, therefore, do not follow the chronological layout of the timeline on this page. In addition, a notation has been made when a particular piece of legislation has amended the Social Security Act. The chart also provides Web addresses to a summary or the full text of each Act, as well as links to other online resources.




A Timeline of Major Federal Legislation Concerned with Child Protection, Child Welfare, and Adoption includes a list of dates and events beginning with 1974 on the far left and moving toward 2001 on the right.

The contents of the list are as follows:

1974: Original Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) enacted, P.L. 93-247.

1978: CAPTA amended, P.L. 95-266; and Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)

enacted, P.L. 95-608.

1980: Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act enacted, P.L. 96-272.

1984: CAPTA amended, P.L. 98-457.

1988: CAPTA amended, P.L. 100-294.

1992: CAPTA amended, P.L. 102-295.

1993: Family Preservation and Family Support Services Program established as part of the Omnibus Reconciliation Act, P.L. 103-66.

1994: Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) enacted, P.L. 103-382.

1996: Multiethnic Placement Act-Interethnic Placement Provision amends MEPA,

          P.L. 104-188; and CAPTA amended, P.L. 104-235.

1997: Adoption and Safe Families Act enacted, P.L. 105-89.

1999: Foster Care Independence Act enacted, P.L. 106-169.

2000: Intercountry Adoption Act enacted, P.L. 106-279; and Child Abuse Prevention and Enforcement Act enacted, P.L. 106-177.

2002: Promoting Safe and Stable Families amended, P.L. 107-133.

2003: Keeping Children and Families Safe Act enacted, P.L. 108-36.


Since 2001, there have been more laws enacted.  The following includes what is on the previous Timeline diagram, in addition to legislation passed up until 2006.  


This is simply information to give a perspective with what we are involved with.  Until one is pursuing a lawsuit against the System, the history of the origin of CPS  in Acts and Laws  does not apply to our individual cases,  right now.




The public law (PL) numbers link to bill summaries and status provided by, a service of the Library of Congress. In some cases Information Gateway has provided relevant portions of legislation for easy access. Laws are listed in chronological order.


P.L. 109-288—Child and Family Services Act of 2006

Reauthorizes the Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF) program through FY2011, and increases set-asides for Indian tribes. The Act reserves funds for States to develop activities designed to improve caseworker retention, recruitment, training, and ability to access the benefits of technology, as well as to support monthly caseworker visits to children in foster care.

Summary as of 7/25/2006.


P.L. 109-248—Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006

Acts to protect children from sexual exploitation and violent crime, to prevent child abuse and child pornography, and to promote Internet safety. Title I, Subtitle C requires national criminal background and child abuse registry checks before approval of any foster or adoptive placement. Title VI, Subtitle C requires the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a national registry of substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect.

Relevant text from Title I and Title VI.


P.L. 109-239—Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act of 2006

Requires each State plan for foster care and adoption assistance to provide that the State shall have procedures for orderly and timely interstate placement of children; complete home studies requested by another State within a specified period; and accept home studies received from another State.

Summary as of 5/24/2006.


 P.L. 109-171—Deficit Reduction Act of 2005

Title VII, Subtitle D provides for new court improvement grants for improved data collection and training for judges, attorneys, and other legal personnel in child welfare cases; requires collaboration between courts and agencies; provides for the use of child welfare records in State court proceedings; authorizes appropriations for FY2006 for safe and stable families programs; and revises eligibility requirements for foster care maintenance payments and adoption assistance.

Relevant text from Title VII, Subtitle D.


P.L. 109-113—Fair Access Foster Care Act of 2005

Amends title IV-E of the Social Security Act to provide for the making of foster care maintenance payments to private for-profit agencies.

Summary as of 11/22/2005.


P.L. 108-145—Adoption Promotion Act of 2003

Reauthorizes the adoption incentive program under Title IV-E; provides additional incentives for adoption of older children (age 9 and older) from foster care.

Summary as of 11/14/2003.


P.L. 108-36—Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003

Extends and amends the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act; the Adoption Opportunities Act; the Abandoned Infants Assistance Act; and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act.

Summary as of 3/26/2003.


PL 108-21 — PROTECT Act (Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today Act of 2003)

Creates a national Amber alert system, and provides for enhanced penalties for child sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, and child pornography.

Summary as of 4/30/2003.


PL 107-133 — Promoting Safe and Stable Families Amendments of 2001

Extends and amends the Promoting Safe and Stable Families program; amends the Foster Care Independent Living program.

Summary as of 11/13/2001.


PL 107-16 — Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001

Title II includes provisions to extend permanently the adoption credit; increase the maximum credit to $10,000 per eligible child; and increase to $150,000 the beginning of point of the income phase-out range.

Relevant text from Title II.


PL 106-395 — Child Citizenship Act of 2000

Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to confer United States citizenship automatically and retroactively to certain foreign-born children adopted by citizens of the United States.

Full text of the legislation.


PL 106-314 — Strengthening Abuse and Neglect Courts Act of 2000

Seeks to improve the administrative efficiency and effectiveness of the Nation's abuse and neglect courts and for other purposes consistent with the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997.

Relevant text from Section 1.


PL 106-310 — Children's Health Act of 2000

Title XII of this Act authorizes funding for adoption awareness activities and public awareness campaigns for adoption of infants and children with special needs.

Text of Title XII.


PL 106-279 — Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000

Provides for implementation of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption by the United States.

Summary as of 9/18/2000.


PL 106-177 — Child Abuse Prevention and Enforcement Act

Seeks to reduce the incidence of child abuse and neglect through law enforcement initiatives and prevention activities.

Full text of the legislation.


PL 106-169 — Foster Care Independence Act

Amends title IV-E of the Social Security Act to provide States with more funding and greater flexibility in carrying out programs designed to help children make the transition from foster care to self-sufficiency.

Summary as of 11/18/1999.


PL 105-200 — Child Support Performance and Incentive Act

Title III of the Act amends title IV-E of the Social Security Act (Adoption and Foster Care Assistance).

Full text of Title III.


PL 105-89 — Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997

Seeks to promote the safety, permanency and well-being of children in foster care; accelerate the permanent placement of children in care; and increase the accountability of the child welfare system.

Full text of legislation.


PL 105-73 — Immigration Vaccine Act

Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to exempt from specified vaccination requirements a child, ten years old or younger, who is seeking U.S. admission as an orphan being adopted (or already adopted) by U.S. parents, subject to the parents' affidavit that the child will be vaccinated within 30 days after admission or at the earliest medically appropriate time.

Full text of legislation.


PL 105-17 — Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Reauthorizes and amends the Act.

Summary as of 5/13/1997.


PL 104-235 — Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act Amendments of 1996

Reauthorized and amended the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act; The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act; and the Abandoned Infants Assistance Act.

Summary as of 9/25/1996.


PL 104-193 — Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996

Limits eligibility for Federal foster care and adoption assistance payments to children in families that would have been eligible for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). Requires States to consider giving preference to adult relatives over non-relative caregivers when choosing a placement for a child.

Full text of relevant portions of the Act.

(Note: The AFDC program was replaced by Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The Office of Family Assistance offers more information on the TANF program.)


PL 104-191 — Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996

Seeks to improve portability and continuity of health insurance coverage; includes adopted children as covered persons.

Summary as of 7/31/1996.


PL 104-188 — Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996

Title I, Subtitle H, amends the tax code to provide for adoption assistance through tax credits. Section 1808 of this subtitle contains the Removal of Barriers to Interethnic Adoption (IEP) provisions, which amends the Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994.

Text of Title I.


PL 103-382 — Improving America's Schools Act of 1994

Title V (Miscellaneous Provisions) of the Act contains the provisions of the Multiethnic Placement Act.

Full text of Title V.


PL 103-66 — Omnibus Budget and Reconciliation Act of 1993

Title XIII, Chapter 2, Subchapter C, Part 1 authorized funding for the family preservation and support services program through fiscal year 1998.

Title XIII, Chapter 2, Subchapter C, Part 1.


PL 103-3 — Family and Medical Leave Act

Grants family and temporary medical leave for employees, including civil service employees, under certain circumstances, including the birth or adoption of a child.

Summary as of 2/4/1993.


PL 102-295 — Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, Adoption and Family Services Act of 1992

Reauthorized through fiscal year 1995 and amended the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act; the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act; and the Adoption Opportunities program.

Summary as of 4/7/1992.


PL 102-190 — National Defense Authorization Act for FY 1992 and 1993

Title VI, Part E, of the Act made provision for reimbursement of adoption expenses for military personnel.

Title VI, Part E.


PL 101-508 — Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990

Title V, Subtitle A, Chapter 4 and 5 excludes foster care or adoption assistance payments when determining a family's eligibility for AFDC assistance; requires State agencies to report known or suspected abuse or neglect of a child receiving aid; and allows States to receive reimbursement for child placement services.

Title V, Subtitle A, Chapter 4 and 5.


PL 101-381 — Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act

Provides grants to improve the quality and availability of care for individuals and families with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) or Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Summary as of 7/31/1990.


PL 101-336 — Americans with Disabilities Act

Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.

Summary as of 7/12/1990.


For the Acts listed below, only the summary is available.


PL 100-505 — Abandoned Infants Assistance Act

Funded for fiscal years 1989 through 1991 demonstration projects to provide respite home and other assistance for infants abandoned in hospitals.

Summary as of 9/13/1988.


PL 100-485 — Family Support Act of 1988

Amended the AFDC program with a new Family Support Program to provide for enhanced enforcement of child support orders.

Summary as of 9/28/1988.


PL 100-294 — Child Abuse Prevention, Adoption and Family Services Act of 1988

Reauthorized through fiscal year 1991 and amended the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment and Adoption Reform Act of 1978, and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act.

Summary as of 3/30/1988.


PL 99-509 — Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act

Title IX, Subtitle E, Part 5 of this Act mandated the establishment of National Adoption Information Clearinghouse.

Summary of Title IX, Subtitle E, Part 5.


PL 99-457 — Education of the Handicapped Amendments of 1986

Reauthorized for fiscal year 1987 through 1991 certain programs under the Education of the Handicapped Act. Authorized an early intervention program for handicapped infants.

Summary as of 9/22/1986.


PL 98-473 — A joint resolution making continuing appropriations for the fiscal year 1985, and for other purposes.

Title II, Division II of this Act makes provision for coordination of all Federally funded missing children programs.

Summary as of 10/10/1984.


PL 98-457 — Child Abuse Amendments of 1984

Reauthorized through fiscal year 1987 the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act.

Summary as of 9/19/1984.


PL 96-272 — Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980

Authorized appropriations for adoption and foster care assistance to the States. Required States to provide adoption assistance to parents who adopt a child who is AFDC-eligible and is a child with special needs. For foster care assistance, States are required to make reasonable efforts were made to prevent placement or to reunify children with their families.

Summary as of 4/23/1980.


PL 95-608 — Indian Child Welfare Act

Established standards for the placement of Indian child in foster or adoptive homes.

Summary as of 10/14/1978.

The National Indian Child Welfare Association offers full text and other resources.


PL 95-266 — Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment and Adoption Reform Act of 1978

Reauthorized through fiscal year 1981 and amended the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act; funded the Adoption Opportunities program to facilitate the adoption of children with special needs.

Summary as of 4/10/1978.


PL 94-142— Education for All Handicapped Children Act

Reauthorized, through fiscal year 1977, and extended the provisions of the program.

Summary as of 11/14/1975.


PL 93-247 — Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act

Established the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect; authorized funding for fiscal years 1974 through 1977 for demonstration projects on the prevention, identification, and treatment of child abuse and neglect.




The following publication is from Child Welfare Information Gateway (online catalog)

Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Reviews and Child and Family Services State Plan Reviews: Final Rule


Administration on Children


View Publication
Download Publication (PDF - 427 KB)
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Year Published:

2000 - 74 pages


This final rule amends existing regulations concerning Child and Family Services by adding new requirements governing the review of a State's conformity with its State plan under titles IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act and implements the provisions of the Social Security Act Amendments of 1994, the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) as amended by Public Law 104-188, and certain provisions of the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) of 1997. It also sets forth regulations that clarify certain eligibility criteria that govern the title IV-E foster care eligibility reviews which the Administration on Children, Youth and Families conducts ...


Out of all the above Legislation, Acts & Laws, it works down to where it has to do with “us” as Parents.  There is the Children’s Bureau under the Administration of Children & Families (ACF).  The Children’s Bureau consists of many vast departments.  The States act separately in passing code & statutes to accommodate Federal legislation, but do so under Children’s Bureau.


To help in gaining the scope of the Goliath we are dealing with, one department of the Children’s Bureau is provided here from www.childwelfare.govThis department  of “Child Welfare Monitoring” includes what has touched us all – State Central Registry (or CentraI Index in CA) of child abusers.  It’s real name is SACWIS: State Automated Child Welfare Information System.


Yep, as you have probably

gathered by now –

it’s the big boys all right…

Presenedt by:

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Suggestions in Know Thy Enemy to have the entire picture (if possible?).  Use the material in eReference Know Thine Enemy & in the book --

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