ProPublica Article Raises Concerns on “Shadow Foster Care”

On December 1, 2021, ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine published an article titled, ‘They Took Us Away From Each Other’: Lost Inside America’s Shadow Foster System” by reporter Lizzie Presser.   The article details what some have labeled diversion from foster care by using informal kinship care placements. It doesn’t question kinship care, but

New AFCARS Data See Drop in Numbers, Maybe Freeze in Courts or Systems

November 29, 2021 New AFCARS data indicates foster care number down, but a closer examination may suggest a pandemic impact on entries and exits.  The new AFCARS report was released last week, and it shows a significant decrease in foster care placements decreasing from the 2019 figure of 426,566 children in care to 407, 493

Administration Nominates Oregon’s Gaston to ACYF

On Thursday, November 18, 2021, the President nominated Rebecca Jones Gaston to become the Commissioner for the Administration on Children Youth and Families (ACYF). The position has been vacant since Elizabeth Darling stepped down during the presidential transition. Currently Gaston is the Child Welfare Director for the State of Oregon’s Department of Human Services. Before

CWLA Comments to Senate on Mental Health and Substance Use Needs

On Monday, November 1, 2021, the Child Welfare League of America submitted its recommendations to the Senate Finance Committee on how the Committee and country can make critical changes to the nation’s mental health and substance use treatment systems. The Committee had asked the behavioral health community and other parties to submit recommendation to the

Bass Introduces 21st Century Children and Families Act

On Thursday, November 4, 2021, Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA) introduced 21st Century Children and Families Act (HR 5856). The bill bans discrimination in placement and recruitment of foster and adoptive parents and places added emphasis on kinship care. It requires states to substantiate with clear and convincing data and analysis that the child welfare agency

Family First Clearinghouse Reviews More Programs

The HHS Prevention Services Clearinghouse released more program evaluations last week. The clearinghouse identified Familias Unidas as a “well supported.” Familias Unidas is a “family centered intervention that aims to prevent substance use and risky sexual behavior among Hispanic adolescents” by empowering parents with adolescents aged 12-16. The program implements five steps: parent support network

MACPAC on Behavioral Health for Children in Foster Care

The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) has released an analysis: Access in Brief: Behavioral Health Services for Youth in Foster Care. The report is an analysis of the experience of adolescents aged 12–17 who reported staying overnight in foster care in the past 12 months. The report and research examine selected characteristics,

Webinar On the Child Tax Credit and Child Welfare

On Monday, September 27th, CWLA hosted a Child Tax Credit (CTC) webinar that was sponsored by the Coalition on Human Needs (CHN). In the webinar Debbie Weinstein, the executive director of the Coalition of Human Needs, explored the benefits, logistics, challenges, and eligibility for the Child Tax Credit.   In March 2021, The American Rescue

Congressperson Bass to Exit House for Mayor’s Race

On Monday, September 27, 2021, Congressperson Karen Bass (D-CA), co-chair of the House Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, announced she would be leaving Congress to run for Mayor of Los Angeles.  The primary for that office is scheduled for June 7, 2022, with a November 8, general election. Mayor Eric Garcetti has been nominated for

Ways and Means Committee Carries Biggest Parts of Reconciliation

Last week the House Ways and Means Committee released and then worked on perhaps the biggest parts of reconciliation and the Biden Administration’s “Build Back Better” agenda when they published the tax provisions. The tax pieces can be divided into two broad parts, tax deductions and incentives and tax increases to pay for the tax

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