[115th Congress Public Law 424]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



[[Page 5464]]

         VICTIMS OF CHILD ABUSE ACT REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2018

[[Page 132 STAT. 5465]]

Public Law 115-424
115th Congress

                                 An Act


 
     To reauthorize subtitle A of the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 
               1990. <<NOTE: Jan. 7, 2019 -  [S. 2961]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Victims of Child 
Abuse Act Reauthorization Act of 2018. 34 USC 10101 note.>> 
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Victims of Child Abuse Act 
Reauthorization Act of 2018''.
SEC. 2. REAUTHORIZATION.

    (a) Findings.--Section 211 of the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 
(34 U.S.C. 20301) is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``2,000,000'' and 
        inserting ``3,300,000'';
            (2) in paragraph (6)--
                    (A) by inserting ``improve positive outcomes for the 
                child,'' before ``and increase''; and
                    (B) by striking ``; and'' and inserting a semicolon;
            (3) in paragraph (7), by striking ``could be duplicated in 
        many jurisdictions throughout the country.'' and inserting 
        ``have expanded dramatically throughout the United States; 
        and''; and
            (4) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(8) State chapters of children's advocacy center networks 
        are needed to--
                    ``(A) assist local communities in coordinating their 
                multidisciplinary child abuse investigation, 
                prosecution, and intervention services; and
                    ``(B) provide oversight of, and training and 
                technical assistance in, the effective delivery of 
                evidence-informed programming.''.

    (b) Definitions.--Section 212 of the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 
1990 (34 U.S.C. 20302) is amended--
            (1) by striking paragraphs (3) and (6);
            (2) by redesignating paragraphs (4), (5), (7), (8), and (9) 
        as paragraphs (3), (4), (5), (6), and (7), respectively;
            (3) in paragraph (6), as so redesignated, by striking 
        ``and'' at the end;
            (4) in paragraph (7), as so redesignated, by striking the 
        period at the end and inserting ``; and''; and
            (5) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(8) the term `State chapter' means a membership 
        organization that provides technical assistance, training, 
        coordination, grant administration, oversight, and support to 
        local children's advocacy centers, multidisciplinary teams, and 
        communities

[[Page 132 STAT. 5466]]

        working to implement a multidisciplinary response to child abuse 
        in the provision of evidence-informed initiatives, including 
        mental health counseling, forensic interviewing, 
        multidisciplinary team coordination, and victim advocacy.''.

    (c) Regional Children's Advocacy Centers.--Section 213 of the 
Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 (34 U.S.C. 20303) is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)--
                    (A) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by 
                striking ``with the Director and''
                    (B) by striking paragraph (2);
                    (C) by redesignating paragraphs (3) and (4) as 
                paragraphs (2) and (3), respectively;
                    (D) in paragraph (2), as so redesignated, by 
                striking ``and'' at the end;
                    (E) in paragraph (3), as so redesignated--
                          (i) by inserting after ``mental health care 
                      professionals'' the following: ``, law enforcement 
                      officers, child protective service workers, 
                      forensic interviewers, prosecutors, and victim 
                      advocates,'';
                          (ii) by striking ``medical'' each place that 
                      term appears; and
                          (iii) by striking the period at the end and 
                      inserting ``; and''; and
                    (F) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(4) collaborate with State chapters to provide training, 
        technical assistance, coordination, and oversight to--
                    ``(A) local children's advocacy centers; and
                    ``(B) communities that want to develop local 
                children's advocacy centers.'';
            (2) in subsection (b)--
                    (A) in paragraph (1)--
                          (i) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), 
                      by striking ``, in coordination with the 
                      Director,'';
                          (ii) in subparagraph (A), by inserting ``and'' 
                      at the end;
                          (iii) in subparagraph (B), by striking ``the 
                      prevention, judicial handling, and treatment of 
                      child abuse and neglect; and'' and inserting 
                      ``multidisciplinary team investigation, trauma-
                      informed interventions, and evidence-informed 
                      treatment,''; and
                          (iv) by striking subparagraph (C); and
                    (B) in paragraph (2)--
                          (i) in subparagraph (A)--
                                    (I) in the matter preceding clause 
                                (i), by striking ``communities'' and 
                                inserting ``communities, local 
                                children's advocacy centers, 
                                multidisciplinary teams, and State 
                                chapters'';
                                    (II) in clause (i), by inserting 
                                ``and expanding'' after ``developing'';
                                    (III) by redesignating clauses (ii) 
                                through (x) as clauses (iii) through 
                                (xi), respectively;
                                    (IV) by inserting after clause (i) 
                                the following:
                          ``(ii) in promoting the effective delivery of 
                      the evidence-informed Children's Advocacy Model 
                      and the multidisciplinary response to child abuse, 
                      including best practices in--

[[Page 132 STAT. 5467]]

                                    ``(I) organizational support and 
                                development;
                                    ``(II) programmatic evaluation; and
                                    ``(III) financial oversight of 
                                Federal funding;'';
                                    (V) in clause (iii), as so 
                                redesignated, by striking ``a 
                                freestanding facility where interviews 
                                of and services for abused children can 
                                be provided'' and inserting ``child-
                                friendly facilities for the 
                                investigation of, assessment of, and 
                                intervention in abuse''; and
                                    (VI) in clause (iv), as so 
                                redesignated, by striking ``multiple'' 
                                and inserting ``duplicative''; and
                          (ii) in subparagraph (B), by inserting ``and 
                      interested communities'' after ``advocacy 
                      centers'';
            (3) in subsection (c)--
                    (A) in paragraph (2)(C), by striking ``remedial 
                counseling to'' and inserting ``evidence-informed 
                services for'';
                    (B) in paragraph (3)(A)(ii), by striking 
                ``multidisciplinary child abuse program'' and inserting 
                ``children's advocacy center''; and
                    (C) in paragraph (4)(B)--
                          (i) in the matter preceding clause (i), by 
                      striking ``, in coordination with the Director,'';
                          (ii) by striking clause (iii); and
                          (iii) by redesignating clauses (iv) and (v) as 
                      clauses (iii) and (iv), respectively;
            (4) in subsection (d)--
                    (A) in paragraph (1), by striking ``, in 
                coordination with the Director,'';
                    (B) in paragraph (2), in the matter preceding 
                subparagraph (A), by striking ``and the Director''; and
                    (C) in paragraph (3), by striking ``Discontinuation 
                of funding.--'' and all that follows through ``Upon 
                discontinuation'' and inserting the following: 
                ``Discontinuation of funding.--Upon discontinuation''; 
                and
            (5) by striking subsections (e) and (f).

    (d) Local Children's Advocacy Centers.--Section 214 of the Victims 
of Child Abuse Act of 1990 (34 U.S.C. 20304) is amended--
            (1) by striking subsection (a) and inserting the following:

    ``(a) <<NOTE: Coordination. Grants.>>  In General.--The 
Administrator, in coordination with the Director of the Office of 
Victims of Crime, shall make grants to--
            ``(1) develop and enhance multidisciplinary child abuse 
        investigations, intervention, and prosecution; and
            ``(2) promote the effective delivery of the evidence-
        informed Children's Advocacy Model and the multidisciplinary 
        response to child abuse, including best practices in 
        programmatic evaluation and financial oversight of Federal 
        funding.'';
            (2) in subsection (b)--
                    (A) in the subsection heading, by inserting ``Human 
                Trafficking and'' before ``Child Pornography'';
                    (B) by striking ``with the Director and''; and
                    (C) by inserting ``human trafficking and'' before 
                ``child pornography'';
            (3) in subsection (c)--
                    (A) in paragraph (1)--
                          (i) by striking ``Director'' and inserting 
                      ``Administrator''; and

[[Page 132 STAT. 5468]]

                          (ii) by striking ``this section'' and 
                      inserting ``subsections (a) and (b)''; and
                    (B) in paragraph (2)--
                          (i) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``social 
                      service'' and inserting ``child protective 
                      service'';
                          (ii) in subparagraph (B), by striking ``the 
                      `counseling center' '' and inserting ``a 
                      `children's advocacy center' '';
                          (iii) in subparagraph (C), by striking 
                      ``sexual and serious physical abuse and neglect 
                      cases to the counseling center'' and inserting 
                      ``child abuse cases that meet designated referral 
                      criteria to the children's advocacy center'';
                          (iv) in subparagraph (D)--
                                    (I) by striking ``investigative'' 
                                and inserting ``forensic''; and
                                    (II) by striking ``social service'' 
                                and inserting ``child protective 
                                service'';
                          (v) by striking subparagraph (E);
                          (vi) by redesignating subparagraphs (F) 
                      through (J) as subparagraphs (E) through (I), 
                      respectively;
                          (vii) in subparagraph (E), as so redesignated, 
                      by striking ``counseling center'' and inserting 
                      ``children's advocacy center or an agency with 
                      which there is a linkage agreement regarding the 
                      delivery of multidisciplinary child abuse 
                      investigation, prosecution, and intervention 
                      services'';
                          (viii) in subparagraph (F), as so 
                      redesignated, by striking ``minimize the number of 
                      interviews that a child victim must attend'' and 
                      inserting ``eliminate duplicative forensic 
                      interviews with a child victim'';
                          (ix) in subparagraph (G), as so redesignated, 
                      by striking ``multidisciplinary program'' and 
                      inserting ``children's advocacy center'';
                          (x) in subparagraph (H), as so redesignated, 
                      by inserting ``intervention and'' before 
                      ``judicial proceedings''; and
                          (xi) in subparagraph (I), as so redesignated, 
                      by striking ``Director'' and inserting 
                      ``Administrator'';
            (4) in subsection (d)--
                    (A) by striking ``the Director'' and inserting ``the 
                Administrator''; and
                    (B) by striking ``both large and small States'' and 
                inserting ``all States that are eligible for such 
                grants, including large and small States,''; and
            (5) by adding at the end the following:

    ``(f) Grants to State Chapters for Assistance to Local Children's 
Advocacy Centers.--In awarding grants under this section, the 
Administrator shall ensure that a portion of the grants is distributed 
to State chapters to enable State chapters to provide technical 
assistance, training, coordination, and oversight to other recipients of 
grants under this section in providing evidence-informed initiatives, 
including mental health counseling, forensic interviewing, 
multidisciplinary team coordination, and victim advocacy.''.

[[Page 132 STAT. 5469]]

    (e) Grants for Specialized Technical Assistance and Training 
Programs.--Section 214A of the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 (34 
U.S.C. 20305) is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a), by striking ``to attorneys'' and all 
        that follows and inserting the following: ``to--
            ``(1) attorneys and other allied professionals instrumental 
        to the criminal prosecution of child abuse cases in State or 
        Federal courts, for the purpose of improving the quality of 
        criminal prosecution of such cases; and
            ``(2) child abuse professionals instrumental to the 
        protection of children, intervention in child abuse cases, and 
        treatment of victims of child abuse, for the purpose of--
                    ``(A) improving the quality of such protection, 
                intervention, and treatment; and
                    ``(B) promoting the effective delivery of the 
                evidence-informed Children's Advocacy Model and the 
                multidisciplinary response to child abuse, including 
                best practices in programmatic evaluation and financial 
                oversight of Federal funding.'';
            (2) by striking subsection (b) and inserting the following:

    ``(b) Grantee Organizations.--
            ``(1) Prosecutors.--An organization to which a grant is made 
        for specific training and technical assistance for prosecutors 
        under subsection (a)(1) shall be one that has--
                    ``(A) a broad representation of attorneys who 
                prosecute criminal cases in State courts; and
                    ``(B) demonstrated experience in providing training 
                and technical assistance for prosecutors.
            ``(2) Child abuse professionals.--An organization to which a 
        grant is made for specific training and technical assistance for 
        child abuse professionals under subsection (a)(2) shall be one 
        that has--
                    ``(A) a diverse portfolio of training and technical 
                resources for the diverse professionals responding to 
                child abuse, including a digital library to promote 
                evidence-informed practice; and
                    ``(B) demonstrated experience in providing training 
                and technical assistance for child abuse professionals, 
                especially law enforcement officers, child protective 
                service workers, prosecutors, forensic interviewers, 
                medical professionals, victim advocates, and mental 
                health professionals.''; and
            (3) in subsection (c)(2), by inserting after ``shall 
        require'' the following: ``, in the case of a grant made under 
        subsection (a)(1),''.

    (f) Authorization of Appropriations.--Section 214B of the Victims of 
Child Abuse Act of 1990 (34 U.S.C. 20306) is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a), by striking ``sections 213 and 214'' 
        and all that follows and inserting the following: ``sections 213 
        and 214, $16,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 
        2023.''; and
            (2) in subsection (b), by striking ``section 214A'' and all 
        that follows and inserting the following: ``section 214A, 
        $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023.''.

    (g) Accountability.--Section 214C of the Victims of Child Abuse Act 
of 1990 (34 U.S.C. 20307) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``All grants awarded'' and inserting the 
        following:

[[Page 132 STAT. 5470]]

    ``(a) In General.--All grants awarded''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following:

    ``(b) Reporting.--Not later than March 1 of each year, the Attorney 
General shall submit to the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and 
the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives a report 
that--
            ``(1) summarizes the efforts of the Administrator to monitor 
        and evaluate the regional children's advocacy program activities 
        under section 213(d);
            ``(2) describes--
                    ``(A) the method by which amounts are allocated to 
                grantees and subgrantees under this subtitle, including 
                to local children's advocacy centers, State chapters, 
                and regional children's advocacy program centers; and
                    ``(B) steps the Attorney General has taken to 
                minimize duplication and overlap in the awarding of 
                amounts under this subtitle; and
            ``(3) analyzes the extent to which both rural and urban 
        populations are served under the regional children's advocacy 
        program.''.

    (h) Technical and Conforming Amendments Relating to Title 34, United 
States Code.--The Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 (34 U.S.C. 20301 et 
seq.) is amended--
            (1) in section 212(1) (34 U.S.C. 20302), by striking ``(42 
        U.S.C. 5611(b))'' and inserting ``(34 U.S.C. 11111(b))'';
            (2) in section 214(c)(1) (34 U.S.C. 20304(c)(1)), by 
        striking ``(42 U.S.C. 5665 et seq.)'' and inserting ``(34 U.S.C. 
        11183, 11186)'';
            (3) in section 214A(c)(1) (34 U.S.C. 20305(c)(1)), by 
        striking ``(42 U.S.C. 5665 et seq.)'' and inserting ``(34 U.S.C. 
        11183, 11186)'';
            (4) in section 217(c)(1) (34 U.S.C. 20323(c)(1)), by 
        striking ``(42 U.S.C. 5665 et seq.)'' and inserting ``(34 U.S.C. 
        11183, 11186)''; and
            (5) in section 223(c) (34 U.S.C. 20333(c)), by striking 
        ``(42 U.S.C. 5665 et seq.)'' and inserting ``(34 U.S.C. 11183, 
        11186)''.
SEC. 3. IMMUNITY PROTECTIONS FOR REPORTERS OF CHILD ABUSE.

    (a) State Plans.--Section 106(b)(2)(B)(vii) of the Child Abuse 
Prevention and Treatment Act (42 U.S.C. 5106a(b)(2)(B)(vii)) is amended 
to read as follows:
                          ``(vii) provisions for immunity from civil or 
                      criminal liability under State and local laws and 
                      regulations for individuals making good faith 
                      reports of suspected or known instances of child 
                      abuse or neglect, or who otherwise provide 
                      information or assistance, including medical 
                      evaluations or consultations, in connection with a 
                      report, investigation, or legal intervention 
                      pursuant to a good faith report of child abuse or 
                      neglect;''.

    (b) <<NOTE: 34 USC 20342.>>  Federal Immunity.--
            (1) In general.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, 
        any individual making a good faith report to appropriate 
        authorities of a suspected or known instance of child abuse or 
        neglect, or who otherwise, in good faith, provides information 
        or assistance, including medical evaluations or consultations, 
        in connection with a report, investigation, or legal 
        intervention

[[Page 132 STAT. 5471]]

        pursuant to a good faith report of child abuse or neglect shall 
        not be subject to civil liability or criminal prosecution, under 
        any Federal law, rising from making such report or providing 
        such information or assistance.
            (2) Presumption of good faith.--In a Federal civil action or 
        criminal prosecution brought against a person based on the 
        person's reporting a suspected or known instance of child abuse 
        or neglect, or providing information or assistance with respect 
        to such a report, as described in paragraph (1), there shall be 
        a presumption that the person acted in good faith.
            (3) Costs.--If the defendant prevails in a Federal civil 
        action described in paragraph (2), the court may award costs and 
        reasonable attorney's fees incurred by the defendant.

    Approved January 7, 2019.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 2961:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

SENATE REPORTS: No. 115-432 (Comm. on the Judiciary).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 164 (2018):
            Dec. 11, considered and passed Senate.
            Dec. 20, considered and passed House.

                                  <all>