Children’s Bureau Offers Guidance on TPR and Adoption Assistance

In a June 23, 2020 letter from Children’s Bureau, Associate Commissioner Jerry Milner addressed state leaders offering guidance on addressing the termination of a parent’s rights (TPR) and on how to reach out to adoptive families during this COVID-19 pandemic. The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) requires termination of parental rights if a child has been

President Issues Executive Order on Child Welfare

On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, the President issued an Executive Order (EO) on “Strengthening the Child Welfare System for America’s Children.”  The EO includes a number of directives to HHS regarding future data collection reports to the White House Domestic Policy Council (DPC) and some future adjustments to the Child and Families Services Reviews (CFSR) over

Administration Weighs-In With Brief on LGBTQ Discrimination

The Trump Justice Department filed a brief with the Supreme Court on the upcoming FULTON, ET AL. v. CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, ET AL.in support of plaintiffs and in opposition to the City of Philadelphia and that City’s ban on discrimination in children’s placement through their child welfare system. The brief offers little in terms of

Recognizing National Foster Care Month

As National Foster Care Month, May 2020, comes to a close, we look ahead to what comes next for children, youth, families, and the child welfare workforce. During these unprecedented times, we acknowledge everyone whose lives have been impacted by family foster care programs and services because of historical policy, program, and practice achievements. The

State Relief by Increasing FMAP for Medicaid and Title IV-E

Last week, CWLA’s members urged Congress to pass another emergency supplemental bill that expands the current level of federal support for state and territorial Medicaid and child welfare programs. In the Families First COVID-19 emergency supplemental bill, Congress acted swiftly to provide a much-needed 6.2 percentage increase in the FMAP. As the pandemic increases the

Senate Caucus on Foster Youth Briefing on COVID-19 and its Impact on Child Welfare

On Thursday, May 28, 2020, the Senate Caucus on Foster Youth hosted a briefing on COVID-19 and its impact on child welfare to explore the effects of the pandemic on these vulnerable young people and their families. The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-sweeping impacts on all Americans, and the impacts on children and families in

House Bill Provides FMAP Increase, SSBG Funding

Two areas addressed in the House bill and supported by CWLA include the FMAP increase for state Medicaid and Title IV-E programs and an increase in funding of $9.6 billion for the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG). The second COVID-19 bill increased each state’s Medicaid matching rate (FMAP—the federal medical assistance percentage) by 6.2 percent,

Capitol Region Discusses Pandemic Impact on Foster Care

On Tuesday, May 12, 2020, child welfare leaders from Washington D.C. and Virginia discussed how the region’s foster care and child welfare services are being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic during the nationally syndicated public radio Kojo Nnamdi Show. The guests included Brenda Donald, District of Columbia, Director, DC Child, and Family Services Agency, Sharra

AAICAMA and CWLA Request Children’s Bureau Guidance on Adoption Assistance

On Monday, May 11, 2020, the Association of Administrators of the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (AAICAMA) and CWLA sent a joint letter to Elizabeth Darling, Associate Commissioner Administration on Children, Youth and Families and Jerry Milner, Commissioner, Children’s Bureau asking for guidance to states encouraging them to review assistance agreements that, unlike

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

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