Letter on Appropriations for Promoting Safe and Stable Families
September 6, 2006
The Honorable Thad Cochran
Senate Appropriations Committee
United States Senate
Washington DC 20510
Dear Chairman Cochran:
Earlier this year the Senate Appropriations Committee gave approval to S 3708, the FY 2007 appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. As you move forward in this process the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), with our 900 public and private child-serving member agencies across the country, requests that you restore cuts of $14 million for the Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF) program.
As you consider the FY 2007 funding for the Department of Health and Human Services appropriations bill I hope you will restore these funds and take a step toward strengthening services to the nearly 900,000 children who are abused and neglected each year.
- The Promoting Safe and Stable Families program funds four important services: adoption support, family reunification, family preservation and family support. Perhaps more significantly PSSF funds services to four different types of families in need of help. As an April 2006 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report 1 stated, child welfare agencies generally serve more families in home than through the foster care system. Promoting Safe and Stable Families is an important source of funding for some of these services.
As part of the Deficit Reduction Act the Congress enacted cuts of nearly $600 million to the foster care system. At the same time an additional $40 million in mandatory funding was added to PSSF in FY 2006. These funds, however, will be used for different purposes in both the Senate and House reauthorization bills and not used for the four core services now included in PSSF.
CWLA urges Congress to fund PSSF at its full appropriation, a commitment the Administration made in 2001. Unfortunately funding peaked in FY 2005 and now is in decline. Lasts year's reduction (FY 2006) along with the proposed Senate cuts for 2007 will have reduced funding by $25 million or twenty-five percent. As we have noted in the past and as the CRS document points out, forty-one percent of children who are substantiated as abused and neglected do not receive services 2. If you cannot fully fund PSSF then at a minimum members need to avoid further reductions.
CC: Members of Senate Appropriations Committee
- E Stoltzfus, Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress, CRS Report for Congress, The Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program: Reauthorization in the 109th Congress, April 7, 2006 back
- Administration on Children Youth and Families. (2006). Child Maltreatment 2004. Washington, DC:, US Government Printing Office. back
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