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May is National Foster Care Month

The Children's Bureau's National Foster Care Month campaign recognizes the important role that members from all parts of child welfare play in supporting children, youth, and families. This year’s theme, “Strengthening Minds. Uplifting Families.” highlights the need to take a holistic and culturally responsive approach to supporting the mental health needs of those involved with

CDC Releases Survey Data on Teen Mental Health and More

On April 28th, 2023, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the 2021 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). This survey is the largest public health surveillance system in the United States, monitoring a broad range of health-related behaviors among high school students. The 2021 surveys were conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic and

New Guidance from the Department of Education for Homeless and Self-Supporting Youth

On Friday, April 14th, the U.S. Department of Education released new guidance on the 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) regarding youth who are self-supporting or at risk of homelessness. SchoolHouse Connection lauded the new guidance as a positive change and called on those assisting youth experiencing homelessness to review the guidance to

Separate Licensing Standards for Relative or Kinship Foster Family Homes

CWLA submitted a public comment in the Federal Register in support of the proposed rule that would allow Title IV-E agencies to adopt separate licensing requirements for kinship family caregivers. "The proposed changes will remove barriers for children to be cared for by their relatives and kin and will decrease burdens on the child welfare

Administration Plan to Prohibit Broad Transgender Sports Bans

On Thursday April 6th, 2023, Secretary Miguel Cardona of the Department of Education announced a proposed rule that would update Title IX to clarify guidelines for participation in school athletics. Title IX aims to protect students in schools that receive federal funding from sex-based discrimination and ensure fairness, and this rule aims to expand upon

Administration Announces ACA Coverage for DACA Recipients

On Thursday, April 13, 2023, President Biden announced that hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children will be eligible for Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges. This action will allow participants in the Obama-era’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to access government-funded health

Executive Order on the Care Economy

On April 18, 2023, the White House released a statement outlining a new executive order to expand and improve the care economy. The order includes directives to officials to increase the accessibility and affordability of child care, improve veteran care, support early educators and care staff, and much more. The Biden Administration, through the American

End Date for IV-B and IV-E COVID-19 Flexibilities: IM

On April 19th, 2023, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) issued an Information Memorandum (IM) informing title IV-B and IV-E agencies that the Stafford Act flexibilities offered by the Children’s Bureau in response to the COVID-19 pandemic disaster declarations will expire June 30, 2023. These flexibilities included meeting fingerprint-based background check requirements, caseworker visits

Secretary Becerra Testifies Before Appropriations Subcommittee

On Tuesday, March 28, Secretary Xavier Becerra of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education about the fiscal year 2024 budget. Chairman Aderholt (R-AL) opened the hearing with the goal of identifying the programs most critical to our population, creating

Ways and Means Committee Hears from Secretary Becerra

On Wednesday, March 28th, the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on President Biden’s FY24 Budget proposal with HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. Although Chairman Jason Smith [R-MO] and Ranking Member Richard Neal [D-MA] raised diverging criticisms, there was bipartisan agreement on preventing “surprise billing,” providing Alzheimer treatments, and holding corporations accountable for migrant

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