Children’s Bureau Modifies Some Requirements in Light of COVID-19

On Wednesday, March 18, 2020 the Children’s Bureau issued new guidance on certain key practices. Dear Child Welfare Leaders: “In light of the extraordinary circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide public health emergency, we are writing to advise you of some adjustments that we hope will allow you to continue to serve the

DC Child Welfare Agency Responds to COVID-19

The Child and Family Service Agencies (CFSA) in Washington, D.C. has made changes to services in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. While the government agency is still providing services, the front-line staff and supervisors of Program Operations are under partial telework status. While the building is closed to the public, supervisors are still required to

Children’s Bureau Guidance on Family First Transition Act Funds

The Children's Bureau released guidance on implementing funds appropriated by the Family First Transition Act, passed in December 2019 by Congress. The Program Instruction, ACYF-CB-PI-20-04, provides guidance States, Territories, and Indian Tribes about what they must do to receive the one-time Family First Prevention Services Act Transition Grant. The $500 million are available to all

New Family First Clearinghouse Ratings Released

On Friday, March 6, 2020, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) released six 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, in-home parent skill-based programs, and

Maryland’s Family First Plan Approved

Last week Maryland became the fourth child welfare agency to receive federal approval of their Family First plan. They join Arkansas, Utah, and the District of Columbia as child welfare systems with approved plans. “I’m so proud of the work we continue to do to prevent child abuse and neglect and ensure Maryland’s children grow

U.S. Supreme Court to Take up Philadelphia Case on Foster Care Placements

On Monday, February 24, 2020, the Supreme Court announced it will take up a case pursued by Catholic Charities of Philadelphia claiming the City of Philadelphia was engaged in religious discrimination when it pulled a child welfare contract because of the charity’s policy of not recognizing same sex couples for placements involving foster and adoptive

Administration Budget Sets Up Cuts And Debates for 2020

The Administration released its FY 2021 budget on Monday, February 10, 2020. This year’s budget, A Budget for America’s Future, proposes a number of human service cuts and human service funding increases but overall includes reductions in non-defense spending despite last year’s budget agreement. The President’s FY 2021 budget should be based on last summer’s

Administration Proposes Changes to Family First Act

The Administration’s budget proposes a clarification under the Family First Act, the relationship between al Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTP), and the definition of Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMD) under the Medicaid program. Additionally, the Administration would allow ACF to better align the ratings of child welfare programs under the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse, the HHS

CAPTA and Adoption Programs Not Targeted For Reductions

The Administration proposes the same level of funding for the two CAPTA-related grants for FY 2021 with an increase in one of the grants. State Grants would be funded at $90 million, Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CB-CAP) grants would be funded at $55 million, and CAPTA Discretionary Grants would be increased by $16 million to

Children’s Bureau Released Family First Transition Act IM

On Wednesday, January 22, the Children’s Bureau released an Information Memorandum, ACYF-CB-IM-20-01, regarding new legislation passed in the Further Consolidated Appropriations Bill of 2020 in December 2019: Public Law (P.L.) 116-94 Family First Transition Act. CWLA had endorsed the legislation. The IM provides basic information on the new law provisions including: 1. The $500 million

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