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 […]

Home Visiting Funding Released

On Thursday, February 19, HHS released the FY 2015 funds of $386 million for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (Home Visiting Program/MIECHV). In releasing the funds HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said, “Home visits by a nurse, social worker, or early childhood educator during pregnancy and in the first years of life can make a tremendous […]

Bills to Strengthen Use of Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) Introduced

On Tuesday Capitol Hill was also the setting for a briefing on the reintroduction of the Family-based Foster Care Services Act of 2015. The legislation, S 429 and HR 835, would clarify in Medicaid policy the definition of therapeutic foster care that is consistent and could be applied through all the states.

TFC is an evidence-based clinical intervention delivered through […]

President‘s Budget Starts FY 2016 Debate

 

Last Monday, the President started the FY 2016 appropriations process when he sent to Congress his formal budget request.  Although many observers like to describe such budgets as “dead on arrival” or DOA whenever there are two different parties controlling the White House and Congress it none-theless starts a process and sets goals in some areas. One of the […]

Budget Includes Several Initiatives on Child Welfare

The Administration’s budget includes several proposed appropriations increases or changes in law to expand child welfare services, particularly for children and families involved with foster care. It is in fact a change for a budget area that rarely experiences any requested increases beyond what happens under the entitlement programs. Whether any action takes place will depend on Congress but […]

New England Journal: Increased Medicaid Payments Increased Access

An article in last month’s New England Journal of Medicine has found that the increased reimbursements to doctors through Medicaid as a result of the ACA had an impact on increasing access to health care services.  Under the Affordable Care Act some providers accepting Medicaid were to receive reimbursement rates that match those of Medicare.  The provision covered the years […]

President To Release Proposed Budget Today

The President will release his proposed budget this morning.  Some of the proposals have been leaked from the President and White House including his proposals to expand child care and the child care tax credit or the proposal to expand access to community colleges. Under the new proposal for child care, the President would provide significant increases to the […]

New Poverty Analysis and Recommendations By Children’s Defense Fund

On Tuesday, The Children’s Defense Fund released a new report called Ending Child Poverty Now  highlighting proposals they say could end child poverty, as defined by the Supplemental Poverty measure.  CDF argues that we can make this happen by investing another 2 percent of the federal budget to improve existing programs and policies that increase parental employment, make work […]

HHS Releases 2011 and 2012 Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) Reports

 

Last week the office of Community Services released two new annual reports on the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG).  The 2011 and 2012 reports show similar results as the 2010 report and reaffirms how the $1.7 billion in funding continues to support a range of child welfare services—especially as a prime funder of child protection.  In addition it continues […]