Budget Resolutions Include Block Grants and Spending Cuts

The House of Representatives started the process last Tuesday when the Budget Committee unveiled its resolution.  It includes more than $5.5 trillion in cuts over 10 years.  It would do this by converting Medicaid into a block grant to states and reducing projected funding by $913 billion over that ten year period.  It would repeal the Affordable Care Act […]

Trafficking Continues in Crossfire

Last week the Senate cast more votes to overcome a filibuster on S 178, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. It ran into major problems over an abortion-related issue. That became even more complicated early last week when Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) tied a delay in a vote to confirm attorney general designee Loretta Lynch to a […]

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 […]

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 […]