This study responds to a requirement in the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services conduct a study on the feasibility of establishing and maintaining a national registry of child maltreatment perpetrators (often also referred to as a national child abuse registry).
The study found that current statutory limits to the information that could be contained in a national registry would prevent the accurate identification of child maltreatment perpetrators. While that problem could be addressed with a straightforward legislative change, a national registry of child maltreatment perpetrators would provide limited information for child maltreatment investigations beyond what is already available from existing single state registries. As authorized, the predominant use of a national registry would not be as a tool in child maltreatment investigations, but rather for employment background checks not explicitly mentioned in the statute rather than as a tool in child maltreatment investigations. However, if a national registry were used for employment background checks, due process requirements for a national registry will need to be stronger than those in place in a number of states. A lack of participation in a voluntary registry system could prevent a registry from fulfilling its intent.
Report Title: Report to the Congress on the Feasibility of a National Registry of Child Maltreatment Perpetrators, http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/12/childabuseregistryreport/congress.shtml
Agency Sponsor: OASPE, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Federal Contact: Laura Radel, 202-690-5938
Performer: Walter R. McDonald & Associates, Inc.
Record ID: 9537 (April 1, 2012)