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Mixed Messages on COVID-19 Relief

On Tuesday, September 15, 2020, the House “Problem Solvers Caucus,” a collection of House Democrats and Republicans, released their compromise COVID-19 relief framework. The framework proposes a bill that would total approximately $1.5 trillion with the potential to go higher (or lower) depending on where the economy goes in the next months. Perhaps most significantly, the

More Report of Immigrant Abuse By Homeland Security

On Wednesday, September 16, 2020, several publications printed reports of immigrant detainee abuse at Homeland Security facilities including the possibility of unapproved hysterectomies on women being held at the facility. The reports and recent court actions highlight the difficulty many immigrant families are facing during the pandemic. Immigrants with proper documentation and status are being

Appeals Court Says Trump Administration Can Terminate Immigrant TPS

On Monday, September 14, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled by a 2-1 margin in favor of the Trump Administration to strip legal immigration status from some 400,000 people, rendering them deportable if they do not voluntarily leave the country.   The ruling deals specifically with Temporary Protected Status

Senate Votes on Slimmed-Down Relief Package

On Thursday, September 10, 2020, the Senate voted 52 to 47 on a slimmed-down coronavirus relief package that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had released earlier in the week. The Senate requires at least 60 votes to clear the filibuster hurdle but the vote fell short. The legislation, formally a substitute to S.178 (a previous bill dealing

CR Likely to Be Adopted Soon to Avoid Shut-Down

While putting a relief package aside, both sides, through the chief negotiators of Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have agreed there will not be a government shutdown when the fiscal year ends of September 30, 2020. Pelosi and Mnuchin have said they would agree to a “clean” continuing resolution (CR) that would include

House Ways and Means Staff Report on Placement Discrimination Released

Last month, on Wednesday, August 19, 2020, the House Ways and Means Committee Democrats released a report led by Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Chairman Danny K. Davis (D-IL) and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight, the late John Lewis (D-GA) on the issue of discrimination in placement decisions for foster care and adoption. The

Thirteen New Family First Clearinghouse Ratings Released

August 31, 2020 The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) released thirteen (13) more Title IV-E Prevention Services programs and services ratings for the Title IV-E Prevention Services in accordance with the Family First Prevention Services Act.   These practices include mental health services, substance abuse prevention and treatment services, and in-home parent skill-based programs.

Preliminary AFCARS Data Show Foster Care Decrease in 2019

The recently released AFCARS, Report Number 27, indicates that foster care numbers decreased in FY 2019. The report lists 423,997 children in foster care at the end of the federal fiscal year 2019 (September 30, 2019) compared to 435,031 for the same point in 2018. The report may be adjusted in the next few months, but

Child Care (CCDBG) and CAPTA Funding

On Thursday, June 4, 2020, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced a companion to Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) the Child Care is Essential Act that would provide $50 billion in child care funding as part of the fifth or next COVID-19 bill. They are part of various legislative efforts to address the serious long-term challenges facing the country’s

Increased Funding for Medicaid and Title IV-E

In the Families First COVID-19 emergency supplemental bill (COVID-19 bill # 2), Congress acted swiftly to provide a much-needed 6.2 percentage increase in the FMAP. The FMAP is the match level of funds the federal government provides to Medicaid.  Usually the federal government provides a match from 50 percent to 80 percent depending on the

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