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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Panel Discusses Treatments and Medication for Children in Foster Care

A Tuesday, February 10 congressional briefing entitled, Reducing Overreliance on Psychotropics and Increasing Use of Psychosocial Treatments for Children and Youth in Foster Care focused attention on the need for stronger treatment options for children in foster care. The briefing was cosponsored by First Focus, Voice for Adoption and the State Policy Advocacy Reform Center. As part of the […]

New HHS Research On Foster Youth And Financial Literacy Finds Challenges

HHS has released a new report on youth in foster care focusing more specifically on their capacity to deal with the range of financial issues and barriers they will experience once they leave or “age-out” of foster care.

The research Supporting Youth in Foster Care by HHS and partners the Urban Institute and Chapin Hall focused on financial literacy and […]

House Takes First Move on ESEA

Last week, not too far off from the fiftieth anniversary of the creation of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the House Committee on Education and the Workforce approved HR 5. The vote followed party lines when it passed by a vote of 21 to 16. There were no hearings on the legislation with Committee Chairman John Kline […]

Pilot Speeds Up Child Welfare Placements Across State Lines

On Tuesday, February 3, the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) and Voice for Adoption sponsored a briefing on a current pilot project that is speeding up child welfare placements across state lines. The National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise (NEICE) pilot project, is being funded by the Children’s Bureau to test out a new data transfer system for the […]

Legislation Would Fix Homeless Youth Definition In Federal Housing

On Wednesday, January 28 members of congress and several advocacy groups came together to unveil the introduction of the Homeless Children and Youth. Act of 2015.  The legislation would amend federal housing law to change the definition of homeless youth to align with other federal programs such as the Runaway and Homeless youth Act, the McKinney-Vento Act and the […]

Amendment Would Address Medicaid Extended Access to Foster Youth

Last Wednesday Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) offered an amendment in a committee deliberation to assure Medicaid coverage for young people who had been in foster care.  Under the ACA a young person who exits foster care at 18 (or older) is covered by Medicaid to age 26.  There has been a complication with the provision because HHS has indicated […]

Senators Introduce Reauthorization of Homeless and Runaway Youth Act

On Tuesday, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced a bill to reauthorize the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA). The program provides three different grants to community-based organizations to reach out to homeless youth on the streets, provide crisis intervention housing, basic life necessities, family interventions and longer-term housing options when necessary. These programs include […]