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Home > Advocacy > Financing Child Welfare Services > Summary of Child Welfare Financing Policy Recommendations

 
 

Summary of Child Welfare Financing Policy Recommendations

For this country to achieve CWLA's vision for children, the commitment from the federal government to protect and care for abused and neglected children must be revived. Policy changes will need to be implemented, and sustained, that lead to an improved and well-supported child welfare system capable of protecting children and supporting families.

CWLA continues to lead the call for change, demanding that our federal leaders take action and make the necessary reforms to child welfare financing to gurantee the highest level of care is provided for the abused and neglected children. These improvements will require a reconfigured and enhanced system of shared financing responsibilities among federal, state, local, and tribal governments.

To support CWLA's vision for the well-being of children, CWLA offers policy recommendations that outline specific legislative changes needed to make progress toward reaching our goals for children and families. These policy recommendations ensure that states have increased flexibility, investment, and accountability to improve child welfare services.

Preventing Abuse and Neglect
  • Provide new supports to help children and families who are at increased risk of entering the child welfare system. (Expand the uses of increased guaranteed funding for Title IV-B).

  • Expand opportunities for children to receive post-permanency services that maintain their safety at home, with relatives, or with adoptive families to prevent their return to foster care. (Expand the uses of and increase guaranteed funding for Title IV-B).

  • Preserve and strengthen Medicaid services for children, both those children at risk of abuse and neglect, and those children already involved with the child welfare system. (Maintain access to and guaranteed levels of federal support for targeted case management and rehabilitation services for children. Ensure that state child welfare agencies have a lead role in how Medicaid services are provided to children in child welfare system and that these services are readily available to all children in the child welfare system).
Preventing Unnecessary Separation of Children From their Homes
  • Provide intensive services to families in crisis to reduce safety risks so that children are not unnecessarily removed from their homes. (Increase guaranteed funding for Title IV-B).

  • Provide a broad range of services to children who have been abused and neglected that ensures stability and safety for them while they remain with caregivers or while they are in foster care. (Expand the uses of increased guaranteed funding for Title IV-B).

  • Provide a broad range of services to children who have been abused and neglected that ensures stability and safety after they leave foster care and are reunited with their families, or permanently placed with relatives, or adopted. (Expand the uses of increased guaranteed funding for Title IV-B).

  • Promote better coordination betweent the courts and the child welfare system. (Conven a White House Conference on the Courts and Child Welfare to engage in a state planning process in each state.)
Minimizing How Long Children Remain in Foster Care
  • Expand permanency options for children who cannot live safely at home by providing federal support for kinship guardianship placements. (Expand Title IV-E to provide federal support for guardianship placements).

  • Ensure that guaranteed federal foster care assistance remains available for abused and neglected children. (Maintain Title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption Assistance as an entitlement program, allowing eligible children to receive federal assistance).

  • Expand eligibility for federal foster care assistance so that the basic federal safety net for abused and neglected children is extended to all in need. (Remove or update the current income eligibility link to AFDC for Title IV-E Foster Care Assistance).

  • Remove all income eligibility criteria for children in need of federal adoption assistance. (Remove the income eligibility link to AFDC for Title IV-E Adoption Assistance).

  • Maintain the federal commitment to provide guaranteed support for training to build a competent, skilled, and professional child welfare workforce. Expand access to these funds for private agency staff and others working with any child in the child welfare system. (Expand access and continue to guarantee funding for the Title IV-E training program. Allow funds to be used to support training and education on all relevant topics).

  • Preserve federal support for case planning and case review activities that help support abused and neglected children. (Maintain guaranteed support for Title IV-E administrative funding).
Sustaining Permanent Placements
  • Provide services to children in foster care and their families that promote reunification or if safe reunification in not appropriate, other planned permanent arrangements. (Expand the uses of increased guaranteed funding for Title IV-B).

  • Provide services that ensure that once children are returned home from foster care or when children are adopted, that children and their families receive the supports needed to ensure a child's safety and permanence. (Expand the uses of increased guaranteed funding for Title IV-B).

  • Create a penalty structure that does not remove funds from states who have corrected past deficiencies, and instead allows states to re-invest penalty funds into additional supports for children and families. (Restructure Title IV-E penalty structure so that any fines imposed will require states to reinvest penalty funds back into the child welfare system).
Ensuring No Disproportionate Effect on Children or Families of Any Culture
  • Increase opportunities for Indian children to find permanency. (Allow Tribes to directly administer Title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption Assistance and to have greater access to Title IV-B funds).

  • Improve the cultural and ethnic diversity of the child welfare workforce and foster families through greater recruitment and training. (Continue to guarantee funding for the Title IV-E training program. Allow funds to be used to support training and education on all relevant topics).

  • Ensure that information and data collection measures collect data on disproportionate representation of children various cultural or ethnic backgrounds. (Maintain federal funding for the State Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS).

CWLA Child Welfare Financing Policy Recommendations

Title IV-B

  • Title IV-B, Subparts 1 and 2 should be combined into an expanded IV-B grant that could be used to provide an array of services to children/families for family support, family preservation, and permanency.

  • Funding for this new grant program should be guaranteed or mandatory.

  • Federal funding should be increased by no less than $700 million, for an annual total of $1.4 billion. States would continue to match these funds for a total amount of $1.7 billion in federal and state-matching funds.

  • To more fully address the needs of children through prevention and support services, CWLA projects that at least $1.786 billion is needed under this new IV-B grant. Based on data from recent years, we assume that 896,000 children are substantiated each year as abused or neglected, and 200,000 are removed from their homes. A conservative estimate indicates that at least 696,000 children need services. If the average number of children per case is 1.5, then at mini-mum an estimated 464,000 families need services. Based on family preservation service models, the service costs for each of these families would be at least $3,850. 1

  • With the federal government providing approximately $693 million in Title IV-B funding, and the states matching these dollars with an additional $174 million (a 25% state match is required), total spending is now $871 million in federal and state dollars. To achieve the conservative spending increase of $1.786 billion in combined federal and state matching funds, federal funding for the Title IV-B program must be increased by just under $700 million. This will leverage more than $215 million in state funds.

  • Since annual information is not readily available on how states allocate funding under Title IV-B, an annual report on Title IV-B spending should be required. This detailed information will provide data and better information on services delivered on how many children and adults these funds assist.
Background

Child welfare agencies must be able to offer a flexible array of services-including prevention, family support, postreunification, and postadoption services-to meet the needs of children and families. Federal Title IV-B funds are the most flexible available for these services, but the funding is too limited and significantly lower compared with funding for foster care, adoption assistance, and other human service programs.

The most recent data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANS) shows that 42% of children who are reported as substantiated cases of child abuse or child neglect do not receive needed services. Some states are better able to address this population than are other, yet expansion of services is essential across the board. Unfortunately, since funding has been limited, available funding is targeted for those children who are in the greatest need. As a result, many children who could benefit from services do not receive them.

Title IV-B funds are provided under two subparts-an annually appropriated amount and a second mandatory fund. Title IV-B Subpart 1 is the Child Welfare Services program, authorized at $325 million a year, but Congress has yet to provide that level of funding. States are allowed to use these funds for a range of child welfare services intended to prevent the removal of children from their homes when pos-sible. The reporting procedure on the use of these funds is not very detailed. A recent report from the Government Accountability Office found that significant portions of Title IV-B funds were actually spent on foster care placements and services.

Title IV-B Subpart 2 is the Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF) program. This program was created in 1993 and, since then, has been reauthorized twice. In 1997, the authorized funding level was increased to $305 million. All funding for this program was guaranteed, or mandatory, at that time. Since 1997, states have been able to spend these funds on family support, adoption support, family preservation and family reunification. Through regulations, states are required to spend at least 20% in each of these categories of services.

In 2001, Congress reauthorized the program again and expanded funding to $505 million, but the entire $200 million increase was only authorized and not guaranteed. As a result, these new funds have never been fully realized. Total funding for the program was $404 million in FY 2005. The President's FY 2006 budget request did not include full funding for PSSF.

In FY 2005, combined funding for Title IV-B Subparts 1 and 2 was $791 million in mandatory and appropriated funds.

Title IV-E Foster Care

  • Maintain the Title IV-E open-ended entitlement to provide guaranteed federal support for eligible children who need out-of-home care.

  • The financial eligibility criteria for Title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption Assistance must be eliminated. Current outdated income eligibility criteria represent a carryover from when federal foster care funding was part of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).

  • CWLA appreciates, however, that incremental change may be necessary to address this concern; therefore, CWLA recommends, as an interim step, that the Title IV-E Foster Care eligibility link to AFDC be replaced with a link to the Medicaid program. Medicaid has many standards of eligibility depending on the age groups and whether people are eligible for other federal programs, including Title IV-E Foster Care. CWLA proposes that states should decide how to link the eligibility of these two programs. This would allow discretion to states, allow states to streamline some of their eligibility rules, and allow Title IV-E Foster Care eligibility to be updated on an annual basis.

  • Once the income eligibility criteria for Title IV-E are replaced with an appropriate alternative, the use of other federal funding sources currently used for out-of-home care, such as the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG), could be restricted to other child welfare services, including prevention and support.
Background

Title IV-E funding is an entitlement source of federal funds for children in out-of-home care. Title IV-E funds are provided to states in four categories: maintenance payments to subsidize room and board of children in out-of-home care, state data collection, training funds to help in the initial and ongoing training of workers, and administration costs, which include overhead, services, and casework activities.

Federal law specifies a formula that calculates the federal matching rate for each state. This is known as FMAP, or the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage, and it varies among states. States receive at least a dollar-for-dollar match if their state matching rate is set at 50%. Some states may receive a match over 80% (meaning one state dollar results in the federal government providing four dollars).

Although Title IV-E is an entitlement, not all children in foster care are supported with this federal assistance due to the strict eligibility criteria. Criteria for Title IV-E eligibility include an assurance that the eligible child was removed from his or her home either through a voluntary placement, signed by the parent or legal guardian, or a judicial determination that remaining in the home would be contrary to the child's welfare. Other criteria include a requirement that states make reasonable efforts to eliminate the need for removal and that the care and placement of the child are the responsibility of the state.

In addition to these basic protections for the child, an income and asset criteria is applied for Title IV-E eligibility. A child is eligible if his or her family would have been eligible for the AFDC program, as it existed on July 16, 1996. AFDC is the income assistance program that preceded the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance block grant. Regardless of changes that may have taken place over the past 10 years, this continues to be the income eligibility criteria used today for children who might be eligible for federal foster care assistance.

This continued outdated criteria has resulted in the current complexity in determining eligibility. Due to inflation, this standard has also eroded; as a result, fewer children are eligible for federal assistance. Although foster care caseloads have increased in certain states, the number of children eligible for federal assistance has decreased. This has resulted in states carrying more of the financial burden. The rate of Title IV-E eligibility, sometimes called the penetration rate, is going down nationwide. Meaning, the percentage of children in foster care eligible for federal support is now smaller.

Historically, CWLA has supported elimination of an income eligibility link for Title IV-E assistance. All children who are abused and neglected and who need out-of-home care should be supported by federal assistance. CWLA has advocated for the removal of the current income link to the AFDC eligibility standard. Another reason to remove this eligibility link is the complexity of administering this criterion, as well as the erosion of the 1996 income standard. AFDC income eligibility was based on a complex array of state-calculated "need standards," "gross income limits," and "payment levels." No family was eligible if their income exceeded the state's monthly grant (the payment level). In January 1996, the median AFDC state grant was 36% of the national poverty level.

Congress has resisted eliminating this link due to fiscal concerns about how the change could lead to increased costs to the federal government. Congress has also expressed concerns that, in times of tight fiscal constraints, any additional funding for child welfare should be allocated toward providing prevention, family support, and reunification services, rather than expanding eligibility for Title IV-E.

Streamlining Medicaid and Foster Care Eligibility


Current Eligibility

Eligible for AFDC (July 1996)  Eligible for Title IV-E Foster Care  Eligible for Medicaid




New Eligibility

Eligible for Medicaid  Eligible for Title IV-E Foster Care

Title IV-E Training

  • Maintain the federal commitment to provide guaranteed support for training child welfare workers through the Title IV-E training program.

  • Expand access to these federal training funds to support training of private agency staff, related child-serving agency workers, and court staff working with any children in the child welfare system.

  • Allow Title IV-E training funds to also be used for training on all subjects relevant to achieving positive outcomes for children. This includes training related to cultural and ethnic diversity both in the workforce and in the way services are provided by the workforce.
Background

A quality child welfare workforce is essential to ensure positive outcomes for children in the child welfare system. No issue has a greater effect on the capacity of the child welfare system to serve at-risk and vulnerable children and families than the shortage of a competent, stable workforce.

This shortage affects agencies in every service field, including foster care, adoption, child protective services, child and youth care, social work, and support and supervision. The timely review of child abuse complaints, the monitoring and case management of children in foster care, the recruitment of qualified adoptive and foster families, and the management and updating of a modern, effective data collection system all depend on a fully staffed, diverse and qualified child welfare workforce.

Child welfare work is labor intensive. Workers must be able to engage families through face-to-face contact, assess children's safety and well-being through physical visits, monitor progress, ensure that families receive essential services and supports, help with problems that develop, and fulfill data collection and reporting requirements.

A comprehensive child welfare system cannot be maintained if the foundation of the workforce is crumbling. Workers frequently have caseloads that are two, three, or even four times what good practice demands. The result is little time for training new hires and no time for ongoing training. Moreover, supervision is often limited. These factors and others, including concerns about worker safety, create a workplace with high turnover and limited appeal when recruiting.

Results of the 2001 and 2002 Child and Family Service Reviews demonstrated a significant relationship between caseworker visits and improved outcomes for children. When caseworkers were able to visit frequently with children and families in the child welfare system, children were reunified with their families or placed into other permanent living arrangements in a more timely manner. Caseworker visits also were linked with providing services to protect children in the home, thus preventing removal; man-aging the risk of harm to children; establishing permanency goals for children; achieving reunification, guardianship, and permanent placement with relatives; preserving sibling connections while in foster care; maintaining children's relationships with their parents; successfully assessing needs and providing services to children and families; involving children and parents in case planning; and meeting children's educational, physical, and mental health needs.

One way to improve the child welfare workforce is through increased training resources and opportunities. The major federal child welfare programs include training supports; training under Title IV-E is the largest and most important of these. An entitlement program, Title IV-E Training allows states to claim a 75% federal match for training of state and local agency staff and current and prospective foster and adoptive parents.

Title IV-E Administration

  • Maintain Title IV-E administrative funding as a separate source of funding.

  • Strengthen current annual reporting requirements to better describe expenditures that are considered administrative expenses and those that are case planning and management, preplacement services, eligibility determination, and other activities. For Title IV-E Administration reporting purposes, create separate categories for "administration" and "activities." The administration category would include such items as the cost of furniture, equipment, clerical and secretarial support, recruitment and licensure of foster and adoptive parents, rate setting, and a proportional share of related agency overhead, such as human resources. The activities category would report the cost of worker staff time, travel expenses of staff associated with child-specific cases, cost of supervisory staff associated with child-specific cases, and cost of recruiting foster and adoptive families for specific children.
Background

Although many people envision Title IV-E Administration costs as paying for office space and utilities, it is in fact much more. Title IV-E Administration provides funding for the time caseworkers spend preparing for and attending court hearings related to children in foster care; meeting with families and children to discuss what needs to be done to achieve permanency for the children; helping foster parents cope with the problems of children in their care; advocating for children in other systems, such as the local schools; and referring children to needed services not provided by the child welfare agency.

In reporting annual administrative costs, states currently break funding into four general subcategories: case planning and management, preplacement services, eligibility determination, and other. Even when using this detailed breakdown, spending allocations can still be unclear since nearly one-third of spending is listed as "other."

Title IV-E Adoption Assistance

  • Remove the income eligibility for children in need of adoption assistance.
Background

Title IV-E provides funds to support families who have adopted a child with special needs. Each state separately defines special needs. Not all children who are considered as having special needs receive a subsidy. An agreement is made between the state and the parents concerning the need for a subsidy, as well as the amount and type of support. Eligibility for federal adoption assistance is currently based on income eligibility standards tied to outdated 1996 AFDC standards. This standard for eligibility is applied to the birth parent(s) and not to the adoptive family. In fact, no means test can be applied to adoptive parents in determining eligibility. Means tests can be used, however, to determine the level of subsidy provided. Adoption assistance payments cannot exceed a state's foster care payment. Assistance can continue until a child is 18, or, at state discretion, age 21.

Title IV-E Kinship Guardianship

  • Title IV-E funding should be extended to kinship/guardianship placements for children in state custody.

  • Grants should also be provided to states to facilitate the development of kinship navigator programs.
Background

Guardianship
Subsidized guardianship is an important permanency option for relatives who care for children. These guardianship arrangements frequently are in place when adoption is not an appropriate option. States use a variety of approaches to fund kinship arrangements and subsidized guardianship placements. Most recently, some states have received federal funding through use of a IV-E child welfare waiver. States have also relied on other sources of federal funding, such as TANF or SSBG. Other states, however, have relied exclusively on state and local funds.

The use of subsidized guardianships is relatively new; Massachusetts established the first such program in 1983. By 2004, 35 states and the District of Columbia had subsidized guardianship programs.

Kinship care and subsidized guardianship programs allow a qualified relative to step in and provide care-care they may not otherwise be able to give because of the financial burdens this role requires. Additionally, relative placements often offer an emotional and cultural benefit to children who cannot return safely to their parents and for whom adoption is not an appropriate option.

Kinship Navigator
The use of subsidized kinship and guardianship arrangements touches on only a portion of the families caring for a relative's child. Many relative caregivers, in and out of the child welfare system, face challenges in accessing some of the most basic services for the children in their care. Grandparents who may have raised their own children years ago may not be familiar with the latest school, child care, and health care services and requirements. Access to legal services and support groups may also represent a new challenge. For many of these families, getting help in finding and applying for such services can be a critical support. Some states, such as New Jersey and Ohio, have responded to these concerns by establishing "navigator" programs that help all kin obtain services in their communities and get answers to their questions.

Title IV-E Penalties

  • Current penalty provisions under Title IV-E should be structured similar to other human service programs so that any fines imposed will require states to reinvest such penalty funds back into the child welfare system instead of simply returning funds to the federal government. 2
Background

Current law can result in penalties for states' failures detected during Title IV-E audits. These audit failures may result from a record keeping problem or a failure to follow a specified process. Under the Title IV-E audit process, state child welfare systems can be held accountable for failures that may have taken place years earlier in a system that now has undergone dramatic reforms and improvements.

These penalties are assessed against a state's Title IV-E federal allotment. Unfortunately, these penalties may come at a time when the state is making major progress in reforms and has significantly increased spending and investments. The penalty can require the state to spend more state dollars, resulting in an actual reduction in total child welfare spending as state funds are diverted back to the federal government. This is not the intent of policymakers, but it may be the result.

States can also incur Title IV-E penalties based on their failure to reach particular outcomes in the federal Child and Family Service Reviews. This penalty process, however, has not yet been applied.

Medicaid

  • Medicaid targeted case management (TCM) and rehabilitative services should be available for children in the child welfare system.

  • The federal matching rate TCM and rehabilitative services should not be reduced.

  • State child welfare systems should have a lead role in how Medicaid services are provided to children in the child welfare system to ensure that therapeutic and rehabilitative services are readily available to this population.
Background

A comprehensive strategy to fully address and help children, youth, and families involved in the child welfare system must include medical, therapeutic, and treatment services. Children and youth in the child welfare system are more likely than others to have significant mental health and rehabilitative needs. Federal funding through the Title IV-E and IV-B child welfare programs cannot be used to provide medical, therapeutic, or treatment services, yet the child welfare system has a mandated obligation to provide necessary services for the child welfare population, regardless of federal funding.

Medicaid provides basic health insurance coverage for many children in the child welfare system. States also use Medicaid to fund some critical medical services not always provided by the child welfare agency, its contracted providers, or other providers of services to children and families in the child welfare system. These services include TCM, rehabilitative services, and therapeutic and psychiatric services provided in residential facilities.

Such services can be critical. Children in foster care may have been exposed to domestic violence, abuse, substance abuse, homelessness, and other traumas-plus, the loss of family is a significant pressure that can harm a foster child's mental health and hinder his or her ability to obtain permanency and stability. Anywhere from 40% to 85% of children in foster care have mental health disorders. Medicaid plays an important role in meeting these needs.

TCM helps beneficiaries gain and coordinate necessary medical and other services. TCM is the assessment and facilitation of service needs, not the actual services themselves. Through TCM, some states have targeted a portion of their eligible Medicaid population-such as child welfare, foster care, and adoption-to receive assistance in accessing necessary medical, social, educational, and other services. TCM may include assessing the child's needs, arranging for the delivery of needed services, tracking the child's progress, following up on services rendered, and periodically reassessing the child's status. It may also include arranging for crisis assistance, such as making emergency referrals, and coordinating other needed emergency services.

Medicaid rehabilitative services are medical or remedial services provided to reduce a physical or mental disability, helping recipients reach their optimal functioning level. These services include behavioral management services, day treatment services, family functioning interventions, and other similar services.

States' reliance on Medicaid as a percentage of all federal funds used to support child welfare services varies widely, ranging from 0% in five states to 55% in one state. This variation exists because some states do not have TCM or rehabilitative services for child welfare clients as an option in their state's Medicaid plan; therefore child welfare agencies cannot claim Medicaid for these costs. Interpretation of federal policy on TCM for child welfare clients also varies by regional office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

In recent months, HHS's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have attempted to stop some states from using Medicaid funding to support services for children in the child welfare system. Since states vary in their use of Medicaid to address the needs of children in the child welfare system, different federal regional offices may issue different rulings on the use of Medicaid funding for child welfare services. Whether HHS will issue a federal restrictive ruling on this issue in 2005 is unclear. The President's FY 2006 budget includes restrictions on the use of Medicaid TCM funds.

Since Medicaid represents 11% of total federal funding supporting child welfare, any action to restrict its use for children in the child welfare system could have a severe effect on states' ability to care for these children.

Child Welfare Workforce

  • Provide new federal resources to state and private child welfare agencies to help seed the expansion of the child welfare workforce, similar to the federal COPS program. 3

  • Provide federal loan forgiveness to students who become child welfare workers.
Background

The shortage of qualified, well-trained child welfare workers has been well documented. In states as diverse as Indiana, Florida, New Jersey, and Texas, court action or adverse publicity has focused attention on improving child welfare systems. One of the first steps these states and others have included in reform initiatives is an increase in the number of child welfare workers. This allows each worker to have a more manageable caseload. Too often that when child tragedies occur within the child welfare system, the worker involved was assigned a caseload of 50 or 60 cases, when best practice dictates caseloads closer to 12 or 15 per worker.

To address this issue, we need a national strategy that will involve the labor market, education systems and the child welfare system in a process of long-term planning. An initial step would be for the federal government to help states and community providers with grants that would help develop strategies to recruit, train, and maintain a qualified and culturally diverse workforce. Another step would be to create federal loan forgiveness for education loans to students who become child welfare workers.

Tribal Child Welfare

  • Provide Native American tribes with direct access to federal funding for foster care and adoption through the Title IV-E program, and greater access to funding provided by Title IV-B programs.
Background

Although federal law has established procedures and protections for placing Native American children in out-of-home care, adequate funding for these services has not followed. Tribal nations do not have the option of receiving Title IV-E federal foster care and adoption assistance funds directly. As a result, most Native American children placed in out-of-home and adoptive settings through tribal courts are not eligible for federal foster care maintenance or adoption assistance payments. In a few instances, some tribes have negotiated agreements with states that allow them to access Title IV-E funds.

Child Welfare and the Courts

  • The President and Congress should call for a White House Conference on State Courts and Child Welfare. Modeled after conferences such as past White House Conferences on Aging, this conference should have several key elements, beginning with a call by the President to the state courts. Participants would include the chief judicial officers of each of the states and the District of Columbia, as well as other key partners. As a lead-up to such an effort, state participants, including other key partners in the legal and child welfare systems, would engage in a state planning process in each state. The Secretary of f Health and Human Services and the U.S. Attorney General would work with the states to plan an agenda and establish appropriate committees of state officials.
Background

State courts are critical partners in determining permanency for children in the child welfare system. Success in addressing the safety and permanency of children requires coordination between child welfare agencies and the courts. Too often, a lack of coordination may exist between the legal system, which has ultimate authority over the child, and the child welfare system. Efforts are under way to bring these partners together. These efforts can only be successful with an ongoing commitment to resources and communication between the legal and child welfare systems. This issue requires attention from the top officials in each state's court system.

For more information, please contact John Sciamanna, 202/639-4919, or Tim Briceland Betts, 202/942-0256.

Notes

  1. This estimate does not address the 28% of children who received prevention services but were categorized as "not substantiated" as a victim of neglect or abuse.
  2. For example, under the federal Food Stamp Program, states that are penalized by the federal government are required to reinvest up to half of such penalties to address error rates. The federal government holds half the penalty amount while states spend the other half as a reinvestment above their annual funding for food stamp administration. If they correct the error rate, the remaining fine is not taken from the state.
  3. In the 1990s, policymakers in Washington decided that a key step in addressing rising crime rates was to address the imbalance between the number of law enforcement officials and crime rates. As a result, the federal government established and funded a "COPS" program that provided an infusion of funds to states and localities to hire more law enforcement officials in communities. In those communities, crime decreased.

Child Welfare League of America
2005




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