GRANT PROGRAM:

The Children’s Justice Act (CJA) provides grants to states to improve the investigation, prosecutions, and judicial handling of cases of child abuse and neglect, particularly cases of child sexual abuse and exploitation.  


In May 2009, the CJA Task Force completed an assessment of the child-protection system in Texas and made recommendations regarding systemic improvements. The need for first responder training and protocol improvement arose several times during the assessment process. In particular, the task force identified the need to train professionals who may not be familiar with the multidisciplinary response to child abuse and neglect to recognize the signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect and to respond appropriately to the victim and family while protecting the integrity of the investigation. The task force appointed a working group charged with evaluating current protocols and available training for first responders of child abuse and neglect and making recommendations regarding training and protocol improvements. 


As a result of the working group discussion, the Texas Children’s Justice Act program partnered with the Texas Municipal Police Association (TMPA) IN 2010 to develop a Child Abuse & Neglect Training Program for Law Enforcement.  This training program, with input from a statewide curriculum development committee, created the Advanced Child Abuse Investigation training that covers three days of extensive training on child abuse, neglect, and exploitation.  This training was offered free of charge and will target currently under served and rural areas.


The Advanced Child Abuse Investigation Training Program is excited to announce a new project starting in 2016 entitled, Law Enforcement & CPS Joint Training.  The goal of this new project is to improve law enforcement and CPS response when jointly investigating crimes against children.  The joint training events will both provide a space for the disciplines to meet and discuss current crime trends, and to establish methods and measures to enhance their communication and collaboration moving forward.