Commissioner Chang Leaving As Head of Children’s Bureau

On August 7, Associate Commission Joo Yeung Chang, announced her departure from her position as head of the Children’s Bureau. She will be leaving on September 3. President Obama appointed Commissioner Chang to head the Children’s Bureau in September 2013 and she is the only person to hold that position in the Obama Administration.

The Children’s Bureau position and the […]

HHS Proposes Changes to SACWIS-Child Welfare Information Systems

On August 11, HHS issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) on state child welfare information systems. Under the NPRM, HHS proposes to revise the regulations for the Statewide and Tribal Automated Child Welfare Information System—sometimes referred to as SACWIS. SACWIS, extended in 2012 to cover tribes, is the information system and technology that states use to collect […]

Rafael Lopez New Head of Administration on Children, Youth and Families

Just before the Senate departed for their summer break they gave approval to Rafael J. Lopez as the new Commissioner for the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF).  Lopez was confirmed on August 5th, after having been formally nominated by President Obama in January 2015. Lopez will fill a position that has been vacant since Bryan Samuels left […]

Wyden Bill: S 1964 As Good For Child Welfare As It Was For Civil Rights?

On Wednesday, August 5, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), the Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee introduced the Family Stability and Kinship Care Act, S 1964 with 7 additional cosponsors for the Senate Finance Committee.

The legislation had been circulated as a draft in the late spring and Wyden received feedback from more than 60 organizations. At introduction the bill […]

Hatch Planning Fall Finance Committee Mark-up Of Child Welfare Bill

On Tuesday August 4, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on foster care and alternative to foster care placements. The hearing included testimony from five panelists representing state, kinship care, youth and parent perspectives.

Perhaps the most significant news made was when the Chairman, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), indicated in opening remarks that they hope to have a “markup” […]

GAO, Medicaid Expansion: More Access Mental/Substance Use Treatment

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has responded to a request by Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) to examine access to treatment for behavioral health needs. The GAO found greater availability for services in states that expanded their Medicaid program under the ACA then those states that have not expanded.

The report indicated that states with expanded Medicaid have been able to […]

Wyden To Introduce Child Welfare Bill, Finance Holds Tuesday Hearing

The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) is expected to introduce his child welfare reform proposal later this week.

The legislation, sponsored by Senator Wyden, Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, the Family Stability and Kinship Care Act, is the result of an earlier draft bill the Senator had released in […]

Congress Finishes Up This Week Until Labor Day

The House departed last Wednesday, a few days early and a week before the Senate. As they left they sent the Senate a three-month extension of the transportation law as their only option on that issue. That issue, the appropriations for 2016, a debt ceiling increase and a few other must-pass items will all be front and center when […]

CCAI Capitol Hill Interns Offer Child Welfare Recommendations

On Tuesday, July 28 Capitol Hill participants heard from a number of young people as they presented their ideas on how to reform child welfare. The event was a presentation by a dozen Capitol Hill interns who were sponsored by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI). The interns work the summer months in various Capitol Hill offices learning […]

State Department Releases 2015 Trafficking in Person Report

Last week the State Department released the 2015 Trafficking in Person Report. The report, that grades all countries under four levels, is a result of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). The report tracks human trafficking of all ages both through forced labor and sex trafficking. The United States assessed itself as a Tier I country which is the […]