Discussions continued between key appropriations leaders, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX).  Not much has been revealed but Chairperson DeLauro offered some broad positive comments about progress.  Like the reconciliation, Democratic leaders including the White House would like a final deal by March 1.

As a refresher here is what the House approved last summer which is still the basis for a Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations (since the Senate has not approved their own version:

In July the House OK’d overall approval of many of the Biden Administration requests in key children’s programs, including child welfare, and, in some areas, such as the Child Abuse Prevention Treatment Act (CAPTA), they received more funding.

Within CAPTA, state grants receive $125 million, which is $5 million more than the Administration request, and $35 million above the FY 2021 funding level for a program that suffered cuts through most of the last two decades when it was at less than $27 million. The House also increased the CB-CAP program to $90 million, which is $10 million more than the Administration request and $30 million more than FY 2021. CAPTA discretionary funding increases from the current $35 million to $42 million with $2 million of that for support and expansion of a national child abuse hotline, to increase outreach efforts and provide additional resources and intervention through multiple modalities, including chat, text, and call, to youth and concerned adults facing child abuse and neglect.

Other areas of increase and support for Biden Administration budget include a new $100 million to address racial inequity within child welfare through competitive grants; a significant increase of $9 million for the Family First Act Clearinghouse (up from $2 million) and $30 million for formula grants to states and tribal agencies to develop, enhance, or evaluate Kinship Navigator programs.

Also included was an increase in the Adoption Opportunities Act by $2 million, presumably for the Administration’s $2 million efforts in diligent recruitment for more diverse families for foster care and adoption.

Other items in the FY 2022 budget include a major $150 million initiative to address the social determinants of health (SDoH), building on a proposed expansion of early childhood education with major increases for Head Start ($1.4 billion)—which is $200 million above the Administration request, Child Care ($1.4 billion) and pre-kindergarten state grants ($175 million).

The Administration also gets its increase for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: Infants and Toddlers (IDEA Part C) at $732 million, well above the $482 million pre-pandemic level of funding and an even bigger increase for the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant going to $868 million which exceeds the 2021 level of $712 million.

The House designated $200 million through SSBG for a new diaper bank distribution grant program to provide much-needed resources to social service agencies or other non-profit organizations specifically for diaper and diapering supply needs. CWLA has lent its support to these diaper bank initiatives that had gained important attention during the pandemic.

For an overall chart of some key child welfare and children’s program spending levels, go here. For an early CWLA summary of the Administration request, go here.