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Home > Advocacy > CWLA 2006 Children's Legislative Agenda > Introduction


CWLA 2006 Children's Legislative Agenda


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February 28, 2006

Dear Friend of Children:

Recent actions by Congress and the Administration, along with new budget proposals that have come forward in early 2006, reflect a series of decisions that weaken our national commitment to care for abused and neglected children.

In February, Congress approved the Deficit Reduction Omnibus Reconciliation Act, which cut $577 million in federal supports for grandparents and other relatives caring for abused and neglected children.

The President's FY 2007 budget, also released in February, continued this devastating course by proposing to cut $500 million from the Title XX Social Services Block Grant (SSBG). SSBG represents 12% of all federal funding allocated for states to provide child abuse prevention, adoption, foster care, child protection, independent and transitional living, and residential services for children and youth.

Additionally, the President's budget again proposes removing the federal guarantee currently in place for abused and neglected children who need foster care by capping, or block granting, federal Title IV-E foster care funds provided to the states.

CWLA's top legislative priority in 2006 is to ensure that Congress stops this assault on supports for children, and reverses its course. We challenge Congress to support abused and neglected children by:
  • Rejecting the President's proposed cut to the Social Services Block Grant, which would reduce funding from $1.7 billion to $1.2 billion. Funding for SSBG has remained frozen since 1997. The lack of additional support has already resulted in fewer children receiving services. This trend cannot continue.

  • Rejecting the President's proposed cap, or block grant, of Title IV-E Foster Care funds. Maintaining the status quo is not sufficient, however. CWLA strongly urges Congress to pass legislation that improves outcomes for children and families by addressing the shortcomings in current federal funding patterns.

  • Improving supports for grandparents and other caregivers caring for millions of abused and neglected children by passing the Kinship Caregiver Act (S. 985) and the Guardianship Assistance Promotion and Kinship Support Act (H.R. 3380).
CWLA's 2006 Children's Legislative Agenda outlines what Congress can do this year to better the lives of children. Working together, we can reverse our nation's course and provide the necessary supports for children, youth, and families so that they are assured a safe, healthier, and brighter future.

Shay Bilchik
Child Welfare League of America

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