12 Years of Leaving Foster Children Behind
In July 2006, CWLA released a report, Ten Years of Leaving Foster Children Behind: A Long Decline in Federal Support for Children in Foster Care. We updated the information July 2007. The reports are an analysis of the latest data on federal child welfare services and the eroding eligibility for Title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption Assistance.
The first report includes information from a survey of private, nonprofit member agencies that are direct-service providers. The results of the survey are compelling and clearly reflect that agencies that provide foster care services struggle to make up the shortfall in federal support for these children. The data indicates a significant decline in recent years of foster children who are eligible for IV-E. Eligibility dropped by approximately 18% from 1998 to 2005.
CWLA is alarmed that eligibility for Title IV-E assistance has not been adjusted in more than 12 years and that foster children are paying the price. In 2006, we held a press conference in Washington, DC, to draw attention to this issue and to show the results of the survey and report. (View photos from the press conference.)
We also conducted a forum in New York City to release the second report. Both events were timed to coincide with the anniversary of Congress's decision (July 16, 1996) to tie eligibility to the old, now nonexistent AFDC program. Over time, has inflation has increased, eligibility has continued to erode, and fewer and fewer children who are placed in foster care are receiving federal support.
We ask that you stand with CWLA in calling on Congress to update the eligibility requirements for IV-E, and that you alert your local media about this issue. Contacting your local media and encouraging them to cover this story will help maximize the coverage of these findings and draw as much attention to them as possible.
If we can be of assistance, contact John Sciamanna, Codirector, CWLA Government Affairs, at 703/412-3161 or email@example.com, or Cristina Fahrenthold, Government Affairs Associate, 703/412-2418 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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