Key child welfare programs including those that are authorized or are a part of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) were all flat funded for 2017. State grants would remain at $25 million a year. Discretionary funding would receive an $11 million boost to $44 million but as just in last year’s budget that increase would be designated for sex trafficking some provisions implemented through the 2014 Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (PL 113-183) including the creation of a commission to study the issue.
The Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CB-CAP) would remain at $39.7 million. The Abandoned Infant program once funded at $11 million but zeroed out in the 2016 appropriations is eliminated. Last year the Administration had proposed reforms as part of a reauthorization but Congress used that as a rationale to eliminate funding altogether. The Adoption Opportunities Act remains at $39 million.
In other discretionary accounts the Administration does request $4 million, to continue the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) study. The funding is appropriated under the Title IV-B part 1 program. The study provides information over many years on the outcomes and well-being of children and families who come into contact with child welfare. Last year it was funded through an allocation under CAPTA. The Adoption and Kinship Incentive Fund is flat funded at $37.9 million. Over the past several years funding for the incentives has fallen short of the amount needed to award all states what they are eligible for. As a result, HHS rewards states for the previous year to address the shortfall. Last year, despite the $37.9 million appropriations only $19 million was available for the latest incentives. This year’s appropriations is likely to compound that shortfall.