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New Law Targets Child Abuse

President Clinton is scheduled to sign the Child Abuse Prevention and Enforcement Act into law Friday.

The bill, also known by its acronym "CAPE", gives states the authority to use federal law enforcement grants for child-abuse prevention programs.

It puts more money for victims of child abuse in a special fund for crime victims. The fund is financed through forfeited bail bonds and fines paid to the government.

The measure also allows states to use existing grant money to give child welfare organizations and groups that place children in foster care access to criminal conviction records.

The bill passed the Senate in November and was approved by the House last month.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Deborah Pryce, R-Ohio, says it will strengthen the nation's arsenal of resources for preventing and treating child abuse.

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