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About John Sciamanna

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

Possible Loan Forgiveness for Some of Child Welfare Workforce

Last week’s news break by National Public Radio (NPR) that the U.S. Department of Education will offer a fix of the troubled public services loan forgiveness program proved to be true when the US Department of Education announced on Wednesday, October 6, new efforts that “Will Put Over 550,000 Public Service Workers Closer to Loan

GAO Reports on State Reinvestment of Adoption Assistance Savings

Last week the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a long-awaited report on whether states are reinvesting the significant savings they realized when the federal Adoption Assistance program was de-linked from the AFDC eligibility standards.   The GAO report: CHILD WELFARE: Better Data and Guidance Could Help States Reinvest Adoption Savings and Improve Federal Oversight indicated

Why Did the GAO Review State Reinvestment of Adoption Assistance Savings?

In 2008 when Congress enacted the Fostering Connections to Success Act, one of the most significant parts was a gradual “de-link” of Adoption Assistance from the old AFDC link. As is still the case with Title IV-E foster care and kinship care placements today, federal funding for children in care is only provided if a

Senate Committee Focuses on Violence Against Women Act

On October 5, 2021, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the reauthorization of Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco, the witness for the hearing. Prior to questioning, Chairman Durbin emphasized the importance of the reauthorization of the law as the pandemic has created an increase in

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence Awareness Month began as a “Day of Unity” in October of 1981 created by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). In 1987, “Day of Unity” evolved into the observation of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, created to “connect and unite individuals and organizations working on domestic violence issues while raising awareness for those issues.”   In 1989, a congressional resolution was passed to officially honor

Finance Committee Still Collecting Rec’s on Mental Health/Substance Use

If you missed access to a copy of the September 21,2021 the Senate Finance Committee asking for public comments on ways to address substance use and mental health services due to last week’s faulty link in the Children’s Monitor you can link to the full letter: here.  Committee is asking members of the behavior health

Health of Women and Children Report

America’s Health Rankins (United Health Foundation) has released their 2021 Health of Women and Children Report. The 5th edition of this report provides a comprehensive look at the health of children and women of reproductive age across the nation and on a state-by-state basis in the time leading up to, and the early part of,

MACPAC on Behavioral Health for Children in Foster Care

The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) has released an analysis: Access in Brief: Behavioral Health Services for Youth in Foster Care. The report is an analysis of the experience of adolescents aged 12–17 who reported staying overnight in foster care in the past 12 months. The report and research examine selected characteristics,

Funding For FY 2022 Extends Until December 3, 2021

Unable to get Senate Republicans to agree to a suspension or raising of the debt ceiling, Congressional Democrats took out the debt ceiling fix and were able to get Republican senators to adopt a continuing resolution sending it to the President’s desk before the start of the fiscal year on Friday, October 1, 2021.  The

Webinar On the Child Tax Credit and Child Welfare

On Monday, September 27th, CWLA hosted a Child Tax Credit (CTC) webinar that was sponsored by the Coalition on Human Needs (CHN). In the webinar Debbie Weinstein, the executive director of the Coalition of Human Needs, explored the benefits, logistics, challenges, and eligibility for the Child Tax Credit.   In March 2021, The American Rescue

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