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September 28, 2001
Proposed Child Welfare Funding Increases in Jeopardy
On September 25th, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee voted to reject President Bush's requests to increase funding for the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program by a total of $1 billion over five years (increasing from $305 million to $505 million a year) as well as to add a total of $300 million over five years ($60 million a year) to the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program for education and training vouchers for youth aging out of foster care.
The Subcommittee approved a dramatically scaled back substitute version of H.R. 2873, the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Amendments Act of 2001, that would continue funding for the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program only at the current level of $305 million per year for the next two years. The bill approved by the Subcommittee does not provide any increased funding for the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program.
Subcommittee Chairman Herger (R-CA) announced during the Subcommittee session, that while he introduced H.R. 2873 earlier in September that incorporated the President's requests, he was no longer "comfortable" with approving any new spending increases, even those supported by President Bush.
The full House Ways and Means Committee will likely vote on the Subcommittee-approved bill (H.R. 2873) within two weeks. Since Congress is still intending to increase federal spending in other areas not related to emergency efforts by billions of dollars, further amendments are likely to be offered to provide the funding proposed by the President for the Promoting Safe and Stable Families and Chafee Foster Care Independence Programs.
- Promoting Safe and Stable Families funds are an important resource for abused and neglected children and their families. These funds are used for family support, family preservation, adoption promotion and support, and time-limited reunification services. New funds for the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program will help support youth transitioning to independence.
- Providing additional funding for vulnerable children and youth through these programs are priorities of President Bush and should be priorities for Congress as well.
For more information, call CWLA's Government Affairs Department at 202/942-0278 or contact Liz Meitner, CWLA's Director of Public Policy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Contact your U.S. Representative. Urge Congress to support the President's proposed annual funding increase of $200 million a year for the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program and $60 million a year for the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program. Let them know that the President still supports these increases and that it is now up to Congress to make it happen.
To write your Representative: U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515. To call a congressional office in DC, dial 202/224-3121 and ask for your Member's office. You can access a draft letter online at CWLA Kids' Advocate Online:
- Contact the President. Thank him for his commitment to the more than 100,000 children who are waiting for adoptive families, the 20,000 youths who age out of foster care, and tens of thousands of other abused and neglected children and their families. Urge him to keep his commitment by helping to ensure that the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Amendments of 2001 (H.R. 2873) is approved this year with increased guaranteed funding for the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program and new funds for educational vouchers for youths aging out of foster care.
Send letters to the President to:
The White House
c/o Sarah J. Gesiriech, Associate Director for Child Welfare
Domestic Policy Council
Washington, DC 20500.
- Send a copy of your letter to the President/CEO of the Child Welfare League of America so it can be shared with other Congressional leaders. Send the letter to:
Child Welfare League of America
Government Affairs Department
440 First St NW, 3rd Floor
Washington, DC, 20001
Fax: (202) 638-4004.
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