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About John Sciamanna

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

(SAMHSA) Grant Program Opens

These reports are being released while Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is beginning to accept applications for Services Grant Program for Residential Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women. This $10 million grant program will provide pregnant and postpartum women and their children with comprehensive substance use treatment and recovery support services across

Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Implemented

On January 24, 2022, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published it’s notice of Implementation of the Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities (FSHO) Amendments in the Federal Register. FSHO, signed by the President on December 27, 2020, made changes to the assistance provided to youth eligible for the Family Unification Program (FUP). FUP provides

Call to Action: ACF Releases Racial Equity Information Memorandum

On Thursday, February 4, 2022, HHS held a session on their new Racial Equity initiative. Debra Johnson the Deputy Assistant Secretary for External Affairs at HHS started the call by advocating for the nation to build a more just system that promotes fairness. She also outlines her agency's commitment to advancing racial equity. The next

FY 2022 Appropriations Update: Still Working on It

Discussions and negotiations continued between the top four appropriators on an agreement to complete action on the current federal fiscal year 2022.  Public comments were reserved but positive.  The one item that seemed certain is that there will be at least one more CR once the current one expires on February 18.  If a deal

Child Maltreatment 2020 Show Decreases

On January 21, 2022, the Children’s Bureau released the annual child abuse and neglect report: Child Maltreatment 2020. This year’s report based on data and reports in the first year of the pandemic, shows an overall decrease in abuse and neglect reports and fatalities, but the numbers also highlight some troubling trends or questions: A

Two Programs Added to Families First Approved List

On January 25, 2022, three new programs were rated and two were approved for federal funding under by the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse Youth Villages’ Intercept® becomes one of only 12 programs to earn the well-supported distinction from the Clearinghouse, the top category out of three allowing states to spend without bumping into any spending

ABA Releases National Education-Child Welfare Data Sheet for 2022

The American Bar Association’s (ABA) Center on Children and the Law has released their National Datasheet for 2022. The 2022 National Datasheet includes resources that summarize key research findings on foster care youth in education, provide a national summary of student outcome data, and summarize federal laws that address the disparate educational outcomes that foster

Child Tax Credit (CTC) IRS Website Goes Live

On Monday, January 24, 2022, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) updated their live sight designed to help families get the remaining part of their 2021 CTC. There are two important live tabs: the Get Your Child Tax Credit and Check Your Eligibility. The CTC has been federal law since the mid-1990s, but last year’s expansion

Cash Assistance: Impacts on Infant Brain Activity

A newly-released study “The impact of a poverty reduction intervention on infant brain activity” by Toller-Renfree et. al., shows an important connection between cash assistance and brain development. A group of university-based researchers ere, attempted to estimate of the causal impact of a poverty reduction intervention on brain activity in the first year of life.

Three Congressional Committee Focusing on Mental Health/Substance Use

Two Senate Committees and one House Committee are focusing on the challenges of access to mental health and substance use services in the next few weeks.  The Senate HELP Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the full House Ways and Means Committee are all focused on the subject and what can be done. The HELP

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