CWLA Members Discuss Substance Use With Hill, States and Programs

After the Tuesday evening dinner with Commissioner Lopez and reporter Christopher Walker, on Wednesday, April 20, CWLA members wrapped-up with a morning session focused on the substance use issue. With Congress continuing its focus on the prescription drug and opioids addiction issue (see following story) and a number of bills introduced in various committees including Senate Finance, HELP and Appropriations [...]

Senate Foster Youth Caucus Discusses Substance Abuse

On Tuesday, April 5 the Senate Caucus on Foster Youth held a briefing on Capitol Hill. The briefing is part of a series focused on why children are coming into foster care, this briefing highlighted, “The Impact of Substance Use and Mental Disorders on Child Welfare Involvement.” The panel presentations included comments by Dr Nancy K Young, Executive Director, Children [...]

House Members Introduce Safe Care-CAPTA Bill

 Last week a bipartisan group of House Members joined in on the effort to address the substance abuse-child welfare issue when they introduced a bill to amend CAPTA. The bill address the safe care plans that are required under CAPTA but it focuses its attention on HHS and information and data collection. The bill, the Improving Safe Care for the [...]

…Same Committee Votes To Eliminate SSBG In Partisan Move

After the ICPC vote, the House Ways and Means Committee approved a bill HR 4724 that would eliminate the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG). The vote and the bill was part of a strategy to get a budget resolution adopted (see below). Members of the Republican conservative caucus (Freedom Caucus) have told Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WS) that they will not [...]

Senate Finishes Debate on Drug Bill, The CARA Act  

The Senate finished its work on S 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act  (CARA), when it approved the legislation on Thursday by a vote of 94 to 1.   The bill was introduced by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) with the bipartisan co-sponsorship of Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Senator Kelley Ayotte (R-NH), Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and [...]

How One State’s Child Welfare Gets Devastated By SSBG Elimination

The criticism of SSBG leveled by some members of Congress and even a few advocates in recent years has been that it lacks accountability and outcomes.  One legislative committee report described it as “no-strings-attached slush fund for states with no accountability…Ending this program …continues efforts to focus limited taxpayers’ dollars on outcomes, not inputs, of welfare programs to ensure they [...]

Court Upholds Requirement To Recognize Another State’s Adoption Laws

On Monday, March 7, the United States Supreme Court in E.L v E.L. upheld the requirement that one state has to recognize the adoption of a child under another state’s law.  In a somewhat unusual move the Court issued the ruling without signature and without an oral argument before the Court. The case involved two women who had formed a [...]

Senate Bill Matches House Legislation To Improve Interstate Placements

Last week CWLA endorsed legislation that will improve the interstate placement of children in child welfare. The legislation called The Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act was introduced in both houses in recent weeks. The first bill HR 4472 was sponsored by Congressman Todd Young (R-IN) and the second bill S 2574 was just introduced by [...]

Senate Committee Hold Hearing on Substance Abuse Issues

On Tuesday, February 23 the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on the prescription drug to heroin addiction issue.  The hearing highlights the continued intense interest within Congress on the issue of heroin and opioids use. With sixteen senators in attendance at one time or another there was a great deal of interest on a topic that included the drug [...]

Separate Legislation Introduced To Extend PSSF/Substance Abuse Grants

While the Finance Committee was holding a hearing on opioids and heroin, two key senators, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), were introducing a bill to reauthorize the $20 million in funding for Regional Partnership Grants (RPGs) to address substance abuse.  The grants have been a part of the Promotion Safe and Stable Families (PSSF) [...]