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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Appropriations, Congressional Update

The House is attempting to wrap-up this week with the Senate in session into the first week of August. Appropriation action has stalled out and that means Congress will have less than 15 days to act to prevent a government shutdown when they return after Labor Day. It is almost certain that a continuing resolution (CR) will be enacted […]

Budget Picture Muddle: Appropriations, Reconciliation & Transportation

Last week appropriations stalled out, reconciliation remained suspended and the transportation reauthorization moved toward an uncertain possible short term extension.   The House has passed all 12 appropriations out of the Appropriation Committee but they suspended action over controversy in the Interior Department bill and amendments that would restrict the placement of the confederate flag on certain federal properties. As […]

Bipartisan Drive on Prison Reform Could Benefit JJ and Children

The growing demand to make significant reforms and changes to federal criminal justice laws gathered a powerful head of steam last week after a major effort by President Obama and a number of bipartisan congressional comments. There is a growing consensus starting with the President and including Republicans, Democrats, liberals and conservatives to address the mandatory minimums sentences and […]

Education Bill Next Crucial Step

On Thursday, July 16, the Senate approved a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secretary Education Act, S 1177 (ESEA/No Child Left behind Act) by a vote of 81 to 17 sending it on to the next phase of the process and maybe the most difficult phase. The House passed their education bill, HR 5, and approved it by a […]