HHS Releases 2011 and 2012 Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) Reports


Last week the office of Community Services released two new annual reports on the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG).  The 2011 and 2012 reports show similar results as the 2010 report and reaffirms how the $1.7 billion in funding continues to support a range of child welfare services—especially as a prime funder of child protection.  In addition it continues […]

President Announces Child Care Initiative To Build On Child Care Credit

On Thursday, January 22, the President’ released a child care expansion proposal to build on his support for an expanded child care tax credit first announced at the state of the Union Address on Tuesday of last week.

Under the new proposal the President would provide significant increases to the child care block grant, the CCDBG. As a result all […]

Senate HELP Committee Begins Serious Debate on Ed Law

One early indication of the level of bipartisanship may come this week as the Senate HELP Committee uses its first full committee hearing to focus on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The ESEA was last reauthorized in 2002 as the No Child Left Behind Act but it expired in 2007. HELP Chairman Senator Lamar […]

GAO : TANF Work Programs Effective But Limited By Funds & Incentives

 The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report, TANF Action Is Needed to Better Promote Employment-Focused Approaches that concludes there are effective strategies to move adults from public assistance (TANF) to work but that the current law and funding are limiting the use of these strategies by states.

The GAO looked at ten programs, nine which partner with other […]

Congress Returns

The 114th Congress began last week formalizing the leadership choices and committee assignments and setting in motion some early legislative actions in both houses.  This week the Senate is expected to begin debate on an approval of the Keystone pipeline.  The debate is expected to take up to two weeks.  On the House side members are expected to take […]

114th Congress Starts This Week

The new 114th Congress will begin this week on Tuesday.  Most of the week will be about conducting the formal start up actions.  That start up includes the selection of the various leaders, all returning from the last Congress with the Senate leaders swapping their majority/minority roles.  We will also see the formal selection of committee assignments with little […]

Potential Reauthorizations In This Congress

The next Congress will have the opportunity to reauthorize more than a dozen programs that have a significant impact on children but whether that happens seems less than likely.  Generally federal programs are reauthorized for periods of four to five years.  The reauthorization process is intended as a way to provide needed oversight but in recent years Congress has […]

Child Welfare Community Loses Friend in Senator Landrieu

On Saturday, December 6, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) lost her bid for re-election in a Senate run-off race in Louisiana. With her departure a long time advocate on child welfare issues will be leaving the Senate in a few days.

Although Landrieu was not on the two key committees that oversee child welfare programs, the Finance Committee and the HELP […]

Congress Finishes With Tight Appropriations Vote

After the House of Representatives narrowly passed HR 83 by a vote of 219 to 206 late on Thursday night December 11, the Senate acted late Saturday to approve the legislation (HR 83).  The package represents one of the last acts by a Congress that has been rated by some critics as one of the least productive in many […]

Congress Still Deliberating Budget Action

With the clock ticking toward the expiration of FY 2015 funding (December 11), Congress ended the week with an uncertain strategy toward an extension in funding. There seemed to be agreement on not shutting the government down but how that would be avoided is still not clear or final.

House Republicans, largely leading the strategy, have proposed to their own […]