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 […]

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 […]

ESEA To Get Early Action, Child Welfare Amendments Ready

One of the first human service issues to be taken up by Congress will be education.  The Senate HELP Committee has been in deep discussions with the Chairman, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) hoping to move quickly on a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in the next month.  The last time the law was reauthorized […]

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 […]

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 […]

New Report On Home Visiting Highlights State Progress

Last week CLASP and the Center for American Progress (CAP) released a new report on the federal home visiting program (MIECHV) called, An Investment in our Future: How Federal Home Visiting Funding Provides Critical Support for Parents and Children,

The report build on some of the research and information provided last week by HHS as mandated by Congress: The Mother […]

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 […]