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About John Sciamanna

John Sciamanna is CWLA's Vice President of Public Policy.

Danny Davis Heads Up House Worker and Family Support Subcommittee

The House Democrats and Republicans announced appointments to various subcommittees last week. Friend and advocate for children’s issues, Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL)—past recipient of a CWLA Congressional Advocate of the Year—has been named the chair of the re-named Worker and Family Support Subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee. The Subcommittee (formerly the Human Resources

CWLA Joins Many Others in Support of Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)

On Tuesday, January 16, an impressive array of state and national organizations joined in support of Tribal nations and representatives in defense of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). The briefs were filed with the Fifth Circuit in response to a ruling by a judge late last year. The Amicus Brief by national organizations was

TANF Extension Passes House, Next Senate?

Last week the House of Representatives passed a short term extension of the Temporary assistance for Needy Families (TANF), HR 430. The bill would extend the block grant through June 30, 2019. It is unclear if Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) will let it pass. TANF block grant has run out despite the full funding

Fresh Tracks Program for Young People

Tessa Buttram and Kylie Hunter On Thursday, January 17, 2019, the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute held a forum on Youth-Led Organizing and Civic Engagement in the Outdoors. The Fresh Tracks program convened leaders to share their experience using the outdoors as a platform to build leadership skills, learn about and

Brookings Event Highlights CHAMPS-Foster Parent Recruitment

Last week the Brookings Institution hosted a convening of the CHAMPS campaign to discuss strategies to increase the number of foster families across the country. CHAMPS is a project funded by several foundations led by Annie E Casey. The effort is intended as a national campaign to increase the number of foster parents through state

House Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth Discusses 2019 Agenda

On Thursday, January 17, 2019, the chairs of Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth held a welcome back event with the staff on Capitol Hill and advocates to discuss issues affecting youth in the child welfare system. The National Foster Youth Institute (NFYI) shared the success of 2018 work and efforts planned for 2019 with the

Human Service Impact Climbs

The ongoing government shutdown is a mixed bag in terms of human services funding and which programs, and, by extension, people are most vulnerable. As part of the five appropriations bills that were signed on time last fall, the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education and Department of Labor are all funded.

House Democrats Begin to Fill In the Blanks

Last week House Democrats announced appointments to various committees including some of the most coveted on the House Ways and Means Committee. Democrats have nothing but additions because of turnover and especially because they go from minority to majority. The ten new members to the Ways and Means Committee are: Don Beyer (VA), Gwen Moore

Senate Legislation Introduced to Extend Title IV-E Waivers

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have introduced the State Flexibility for Family First Transitions Act. It would allow current Title IV-E waiver states to extend their child welfare waivers for two years although there is no provision that would stop another extension after the next two-year extension. As part of an

Home Visiting Organization Briefs New Congress

On Tuesday, January 8 at the Association of State and Tribal Home Visiting Initiatives (ASTHI) held one of the first briefings on Capitol Hill for the new Congress. The focus of the briefing was to explain to members of Congress—including many of the new members—what research demonstrates when it comes to home visiting program. The

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