Homeland Funding Extends For One Week, House Delays Education Bill

After a back in forth in strategy that saw the House reject a “clean Homeland Security funding bill” that would have provided funding through the end of the fiscal year without conditions regarding immigration, the Congress instead extended funding through this week.  It is unclear what will happen next but there is a potential deal that would allow some […]

Senate Committee Examines Human Trafficking Issues

On Tuesday February 24, the Senate Judiciary Committee considered the issue of human trafficking and two bills that approach the issue beyond what was debated within child welfare in 2014 through amendments to child welfare law.
Under the hearing title, Human Trafficking in the United States: Protecting the Victim, senators focused attention on providing services, criminalizing adult sex with minors […]

Interior Department Releases New Guidelines On ICWA

On February 25 the Bureau of Indian affairs in the Interior Department issued new guidelines and regulations regarding the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). The guidelines are the first update since 1979 shortly after the law was enacted by Congress.

These updated guidelines are intended to provide procedures and best practices for use in Indian child welfare proceedings in state […]

HHS Releases Guidance on Foster Care and Immigration Enforcement

On February 20, the Administration for Children and Families issues new guidance on the intersection between child welfare requirements and immigration enforcement.  The guidance (ACYF-CB-IM-15-02) comes via an Information Memorandum and offers resources and advice on case planning and service delivery for families and children with parents or legal guardians who are either detained or deported by Immigration and […]

Congress Returns With Budget Fight and Then FY ‘16

Congress returns this week through the end of next month.  Front and center will be the expiration of funding for the Department of Homeland Security.  Funding will expire at the end of this month if the Congress can’t come up with a deal to extend it.  The House bill would tie any funding to provisions that would overrule the […]

Why SSBG Elimination Is Not Best Option To Expand Child Welfare Funding

Some in Washington are advocating the elimination of SSBG as a way to fund child welfare services.  The theory is that eliminating the $1.7 billion in SSBG dollars might free up some funds for child welfare and perhaps also cut federal spending at the same time.  Such calculations however ignore the fact that SSBG funds a range of vital […]

ESEA To Get Early Action, Child Welfare Amendments Ready

One of the first human service issues to be taken up by Congress will be education.  The Senate HELP Committee has been in deep discussions with the Chairman, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) hoping to move quickly on a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in the next month.  The last time the law was reauthorized […]

Senator Stabenow Becomes New Co-Chair Foster Youth Caucus

The Senate Caucus on Foster Youth has a new co-chair, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).  She replaces Senator Mary Landrieu who is an original co-chair along with Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) when the caucus was formed in 2009. Senator Landrieu did not win her re-election race.

Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) made the announcement and welcomed Stabenow last week.   “Senator Stabenow is […]

Commission On Child Fatalities Convenes This Week

The Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities has released a list of the upcoming hearings with the next one being this week on February 27 and 28.  It will be held at the Marriott City Center, 520 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205, To attend in person or via webinar/teleconference and receive a copy of the agenda and […]

Data Requirements On AFCARS Due Soon

HHS is receiving comments on a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) on the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) was published in the Federal Register on Monday, February 9, 2015.  The text of the NPRM can be found here in the Federal Register.

The NPRM includes changes made as a result of the enactment of the […]