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Child Welfare League Of America Denounces House Budget Reconciliation Bill

For more information, contact
Joyce Johnson
Phone: 804/492-4519
Cell: 703/980-7641

November 18, 2005, Washington, DC -- The Child Welfare League of America denounced the actions of the U.S. House of Representatives today in passing a budget reconciliation bill that will cut at least $600 million in federal funding for foster care for abused and neglected children. The House bill cuts a total of $50 billion, with much of that coming through reductions in supports for children including Medicaid, food stamps and child support. The measure passed the House by a vote of 217 to 215.

"It's another sad day for abused, neglected and poor children in America. The members of Congress who supported this budget have turned their backs on millions of children in need. While some in Congress claim that the cuts to federal foster care funding will not affect children, these cuts in fact will limit the ability of grandparents and other relatives caring for abused and neglected children. It will impede efforts to reunify children with their parents and make it more difficult for abused and neglected children to get the services they need," stated Shay Bilchik, President and CEO of the Child Welfare League of America.

"These abused and neglected children are removed from their parents and placed in foster care through no fault of their own. They did not create the federal deficit, but they are being asked to pay for it twice; now when their foster families experience the impact of these cuts and again when they transition into adulthood as taxpayers and are asked to pay for the deficits created by a Congress choosing the wrong priorities and making the wrong choices," said Bilchik.

The 2006 budget reconciliation bill decreases federal funding for foster care services by overturning a judicial decision (Rosales v. Thompson) that extended Title IV-E foster care support to some abused and neglected children who live with grandparents or other relatives. In addition, the House bill would weaken efforts to provide case management services for children living with relatives and for children entering foster care.

Since 1920, The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) has been the nation's pre-eminent membership-based organization dedicated to ensuring that disadvantaged and vulnerable children are protected from harm and have the tools and resources they need to grow into the healthy and happy adults we want them to become. CWLA is the trusted authority for professionals who work with children and the only national organization with 900 public and private member agencies working across all sectors of the children's services field.

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