LGBTQ & ICWA Data Removed from AFCARS

On Tuesday, May 12, HHS published final rule for the updated Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) regulations and requirements. AFCARS data reported by states annually helps to build a profile of the “child welfare” population by producing annual numbers on children in out-of-home (foster) care, adoptions and youth aging out to

Virtual Congressional Briefing: COVID-19 Impact on Young People from Foster Care

On Wednesday, May 13, 2020, Members of Congress and Congressional staff were invited to attend a short virtual briefing hosted by Youth Villages, Juvenile Law Center, and FosterClub on how COVID-19 is affecting older youth from foster care. FosterClub revealed results from their new survey where over 600 transition-age youth from foster care between 18

Briefs on ACA Constitutionality Pile Up

Last Wednesday, May 13, 2020, was the deadline to file amici briefs at the U.S. Supreme Court on the case of The State of California, ET AL. v. The State of Texas, ET AL., a Supreme Court case that could strike down the entire ACA before this year’s election. Several dozen briefs were filed led

Government Releases Some Tribal COVID-19 Funds After Weeks of Delay

On Tuesday, May 5, the Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and the Secretary of Interior David L. Bernhardt announced how billions of dollars in Coronavirus Relief Fund money will be distributed to Native American tribal governments throughout the country. The CARES Act, which passed on March 25, included a set aside of $8 billion for tribal governments

Wyden Introduces Legislation To Address Online Child Sexual Abuse

On Wednesday, May 6, 2020, Senator Ron Wyden introduced the Invest in Child Safety Act.  The legislation, which CWLA has endorsed, attempts to deal with the child sexual abuse problem that has exploded as the use of the internet and related social media have expanded over the past decade. It creates an office to enforce and protect

Senators Urge OJJDP to Provide Coronavirus Guidance for Juvenile Facilities

On Wednesday, May 6, 2020, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Joni Ernst (R-IA) urged the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to issue best practices and guidelines to prevent infections in juvenile detention facilities. The Senators reported that as of May 5, there were “at least 204 juvenile offenders and

Medicaid Budget Problems Starting to Emerge

When CWLA sent its recommendations for the next COVID-19 relief legislation last month (CWLA’s letter and this descriptive letter of child welfare needs) to Congressional leaders, one of its first and prominent asks was for an increase to the federal matching rates for state Medicaid health care programs, usually called the FMAP. Now trends are emerging across states

The CDC Guidance On Reopening

According to an Associated Press (AP) report, the CDC guidance that had a scheduled release on Friday, May 1, 2020, has been blocked by the Administration. According to a Thursday AP report: “The Trump administration shelved a document created by the nation’s top disease investigators with step-by-step advice to local authorities on how and when

Children’s Bureau Guidance on Title IV-E Flexibility for Extended Foster Care

On Monday, April 27, 2020, Associate Commissioner for the Children’s Bureau Jerry Milner, after receiving several inquiries related to the Title IV-E program on addressing the needs of children and youth during the COVID-19 pandemic, announced a series of actions states can take to help this population. Title IV-E agencies have the flexibility to allow

Supreme Court Upholds Provision in the Affordable Care Act

On Monday, April 27, 2020, the US Supreme Court upheld a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that Congress had blocked. The issue involved the “Risk Corridors” provisions of the ACA and whether or not Congress could renege on a provision that sought to level health insurance financing in the first years of the

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