The Prohibiting Detention of Youth Status Offenders Act of 2022

Every year, thousands of kids are incarcerated for “status offenses” including truancy, breaking curfew or running away from home—acts that would not be considered crimes if they were committed by an adult. The Prohibiting Detention of Youth Status Offenders Act of 2022, introduced by Senator Casey (D-PA) and Representative Cardenas (D-CA), would phase out and

Hot Topic: Extend Foster Care to Age 21 in All States

The CLWA recommends Congress extend foster care to age 21 so that every young person in foster care will have an option to stay in care, resulting in improved education, housing, and employment outcomes. In 2008, Congress passed the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (PL 110-351). That law gave states the option

Senate Finance Committee Continues Hearings on Mental Health

On Tuesday, February 15th, 2022, the full Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on “Protecting Youth Mental Health: Part II- Identifying and Addressing Barriers to Care,” which continued the conversation and efforts of Congress to address the growing mental health crisis. CWLA previously reported on part one of this series. The witnesses called to testify

Ways and Means Committee Focuses on Mental Health Crisis

On Wednesday, February 2nd, the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on "America's Mental Health Crisis."  The full 42-member Committee heard testimony from: Dr. Wizdom Powell (Director of the Health Disparities Institute and Associate Professor of Psychiatry) focused on four main points, youth as a target population in the mental health crisis, the

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

HHS Releases Guidance and Awards on Mobile Response Units

In April of 2021, The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) reported findings on the effectiveness of mobile responses - “an alternative to using law enforcement to respond to mental health and social crisis.”  In December CLASP generated a letter (that CWLA joined onto) to CMS to support these efforts. On December 28, 2021 HHS issued guidance and announced

GAO on Student Bullying, Hate Speech, Crimes, and Victimization in Schools

Last week the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report: Students’ Experiences with Bullying, Hate Speech, Hate Crimes, and Victimization in Schools, indicating that about one in five students aged 12 to 18 were bullied annually in school and of students who were bullied in school about one in four students experienced bullying related

Legislation Would Suspend Fees for Youth in Foster Care/Homeless

Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced the Helping Foster and Homeless Youth Achieve Act last Thursday, December 9, 2021.  CWLA has endorsed the legislation. The bipartisan legislation seeks to improve access to educational opportunities by requiring that higher education institutions receiving federal assistance waive application fees for young people who are

Davis-Walorski Bill Extending 2021 Chafee Provisions Passes House

Last Tuesday, October 26, 2021, Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL) and Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-IN) introduced a new bill (HR 5661) to extend the temporary relief for youth exiting foster care. On Wednesday it passed the House by a fast-track voice vote. The December 2020 Covid-19 relief package included flexibility in certain programmatic services for Chafee-eligible

Children’s Bureau Advice on Youth in Foster Care

On October 12, 2021, Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau Aysha Schomburg, issued a letter to the child welfare community urging continued vigilance in assisting young people who exit foster care and to be proactive in reaching out and helping. The end of federal fiscal year 2021 on September 30, 2021, meant the expiration of

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