CWLA Members Discuss Commission On Child Fatalities Findings

On Monday, April 18, CWLA members focused on the National Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities.  Dr. David Sanders Ph.D., Chairman of the Commission, Executive Vice President, Casey Family Programs, presented some of the key findings and recommendations of the recently-released commission report.  After Dr Sanders’ power-point presentation, discussion began with panel comments by Linda Spears, Commissioner, Children [...]

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 CAPTA Bill Urges Greater HHS Monitoring Absent New Enforcement

When House Education and the Workforce members introduced, the Improving Safe Care for the Prevention of Infant Abuse and Neglect Act  last month, after a recent action by the Senate HELP Committee, they took a more targeted approach.  Targeted toward HHS.  Both bills focus on the “safe care” plans for children born and identified as being affected by illegal substances [...]

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 [...]

Senate HELP Committee Adopts Amendments To CAPTA, Safe Care

As part of the Senate HELP Committee’s debate of a mental health reform measure (see below), senators also endorsed S 2687, the Plan of Safe Care Improvements Act. The legislation, introduced by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) would alter CAPTA and the current language around safe care plans and existing directives to states to have a plan of care for infants [...]

House Committee Questions Enforcement of CAPTA Assurances

While the Senate HELP Committee was debating mental health legislations and amendments to CAPTA, on Tuesday, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce used testimony from Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to raise questions in regard to enforcement of the same CAPTA provisions. In his opening remarks Chairman John Kelley (R-MN) said, “…the department is [...]

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 [...]

Senate Debates Drugs–CARA Act

Following up on last week’s Finance Committee hearing on the increasing prescription drug/heroin use, the United States Senate spent last week’s floor debate on consideration of S 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act or “CARA” for short.   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), [...]