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March 28, 2002
Congress has recessed for two weeks. This is an excellent time to meet with your U.S. Senators and Representatives at home to influence their decisions on important legislation that affects vulnerable children, youth, and their families.
When Congress returns to Washington on April 8, both the Senate and the House will begin consideration of proposals to reauthorize the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). Several bills have already been introduced in both the House and Senate and more will be introduced in early April. President Bush has also outlined his plans for TANF and CCDF that will be reflected in legislation to be introduced in April.
(1) CHILD CARE
- Increase funding for CCDF by $20 billion over five years to allow for expanded eligibility, improved quality, increased reimbursement rates for providers, and reduced turnover in the workforce. Reject President Bush's proposal that would provide no additional funding for childcare for the next five years. For more information on childcare go to http://www.cwla.org/advocacy/2002legagenda04.htm.
- Contact your Representative and Senators and ask them to support efforts to increase mandatory childcare funding. Provide examples of families who cannot afford care, waiting lists at local child care centers, providers who are struggling, or parents attempting to work despite their struggles to find good quality child care.
- Encourage your members of Congress to meet families in need of child care, talk to child care providers, or invite them to a child care facility.
(2) TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES (TANF)
- Increase TANF funding by the rate of inflation over the next five years. TANF funds are a significant source of funding for child welfare services.
- Provide additional resources for comprehensive services to address the barriers to work that many families face including substance abuse, childcare, mental health, domestic violence, education, and training.
- Support TANF reauthorization legislation that has as one of its goals assisting families in their efforts to move to work and out of poverty and protects the well-being of children.
- Oppose additional work requirements as currently outlined in President Bush's TANF proposal. Current law already requires strict work requirements. If work requirements are increased, we need to focus on helping the remaining families on TANF overcome current barriers to work and focus on the well-being of their children. We must also ensure that additional supports for these families are provided.
For more information, call CWLA Government Affairs at 202/942-0278 or contact Liz Meitner, Vice President of Government Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Contact your Senators and Representative and ask them to support TANF legislation that strengthens families and promotes the well-being of children. President Bush's proposal will require all single adult parents to work 40 hours a week (or a combination of 24 hours plus 16 hours of non-work activities- the same 40 hours applies to married couples). These new requirements are imposed without an increase in TANF funds or an increase in childcare services. Reject the portions of President Bush's proposal and other TANF legislation that makes it harder for families to get the support they need, jeopardize the well-being of children, and does not provide the additional resources to adequately address the needs of children. For more information on the President's TANF plan go to http://www.cwla.org/advocacy/tanf020226.htm and http://www.cwla.org/advocacy/2002legagenda11.htm.
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