Senate Legislation

//Senate Legislation
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Families First Child Welfare Bill Passes Committee, Goal To Move Quickly

The Bill Passes On Wednesday, June 15 the House Ways and Means Committee passed the Family First Prevention Services Act, (HR 5456). The legislation was adopted by a voice vote but only after more than an hour of debate that outlined some of the challenges regarding the proposal and the process. Most members, both Republicans and Democrats, praised the legislation [...]

Homeless Youth Talk About Their School Challenges

On Monday, June 13 a group of advocates and organizations led by the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY)  hosted a forum to discuss the challenges of homeless students in America’s public schools. Under the federal McKinney-Vento Education Act there is a small amount of money in the federal budget designated to provide some support [...]

Those Adoption Reinvestment Number Are Here

Part of the delay in the final two years of phase-out of the adoption delink from the 1996 AFDC eligibility standard as included in Family First Prevention Services Act, is that it has been challenging to get data on how states are reinvesting state dollars saved as the federal adoption assistance funding expands due to the 2008 Fostering Connections to [...]

HHS Adjusts Adoption-Incentive Funds From Last Year

HHS has revised and increased the amount given to states under the Adoption and Subsidized Guardianships Incentives Fund. The new revised figures make up for a shortfall paid out of federal fiscal year 2015 funds by taking from federal fiscal year 2016 funds. The awards, recently expanded by Congress to both adoptions and kinship placement increases, provided just under $18 [...]

Families First Child Welfare Bill Released, Goal To Move Quickly

Late Friday afternoon a group of House and Senate Republicans and Democrats released the, Family First Prevention Act along with a summary.  The legislation includes three overarching pieces: a reauthorization of the Title IV-B programs (Promoting Safe and Stable Families, Child Welfare Services), new definitions of foster care including greater oversight and limitations of residential/institutional care, and opening up Title [...]

Senate Committee Acts on Labor-HHS Bill

On Tuesday June 7 and Thursday June 9, the Senate Appropriations moved a Labor-HHS-Education bill through Subcommittee and full Committee respectively.  Leadership from both sides proclaimed a bipartisan victory of what was passed with little controversy. The big winner, if there can be in tight budgets, is the National Institutes of Health (NIH) which received a $2 billion boost for [...]

Appropriations Will Be Front And Center, But CR More Likely

With Congress returning and approximately 27 to 24 potential days in session for the House and Senate before their summer break, appropriations bills are likely to be the prime focus. That leaves little space for addressing the Families first draft legislation unless there is some strong consensus between the two houses.  There are also some other items that might need [...]

Murray Weighs-In On GAO, Calls on Ed to Respond

After the GAO report was released Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the ranking member on HELP Committee, sent a letter urging the Department of Education to address obstacles unaccompanied homeless students face in applying for and receiving financial aid. The Senator asked the Department to exclude burdensome parental information requirements and to clarify the definition of “youth” from the FAFSA form [...]

GAO Report Highlights Ed Problems For Foster Homeless Youth

The resource kit released by the Education Department follows a report by the GAO earlier this month, Actions Needed to Improve Access to Federal Financial Assistance for Homeless and Foster Youth (GAO-16-343: May 19, 2016) that program rules can make it more difficult for unaccompanied homeless youth (those not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian) and older [...]

Senators Examine Child Welfare-Juvenile Justice Link

On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee, as part of National Foster Care Month held a hearing, Supporting Youth in the Foster Care and Juvenile Justice Systems. In opening the hearing Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) said that he hoped the hearing would result in some new information and strategies to better coordinate services between the child welfare system and the juvenile [...]