Protecting Youth & Families

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Educational Stability for Foster Students During COVID-19

The ABA Legal Center for Foster Care and Education, the Center, and CWLA held a special member call on Wednesday, September 9, 2020, to discuss the education needs of children and families involved with child welfare during COVID-19. In normal circumstances, foster students experience unique challenges in the education system, but now given the nature

Senate Votes on Slimmed-Down Relief Package

On Thursday, September 10, 2020, the Senate voted 52 to 47 on a slimmed-down coronavirus relief package that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had released earlier in the week. The Senate requires at least 60 votes to clear the filibuster hurdle but the vote fell short. The legislation, formally a substitute to S.178 (a previous bill dealing

Bass Bill Expands Dental Access for Youth in Foster Care

Earlier this month, Congressmember Karen Bass (D-CA) introduced the Foster Youth Dental Act of 2020. The legislation attempts to strengthen dental coverage under the Medicaid program for young people in foster care by expanding eligibility, providing incentives for dental providers, enhancing outreach efforts for enrollment, and protecting existing coverage for foster youth.   Youth enrolled

House Ways and Means Staff Report on Placement Discrimination Released

Last month, on Wednesday, August 19, 2020, the House Ways and Means Committee Democrats released a report led by Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Chairman Danny K. Davis (D-IL) and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight, the late John Lewis (D-GA) on the issue of discrimination in placement decisions for foster care and adoption. The

Foundation Offers Guidance to Address Mental Health Issues During the Coronavirus

Last week the de Beaumont Foundation released a 34-page guide, Solutions for Local Leaders to Improve Mental Health and Well-Being During and Post-COVID-19. The authors state, “Researchers estimate that this pandemic could lead to an additional 75,000 deaths related to alcohol and drug misuse and suicide. One-third of Americans are now showing signs of clinical anxiety or

Thirteen New Family First Clearinghouse Ratings Released

August 31, 2020 The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) released thirteen (13) 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, and in-home parent skill-based programs.

GAO Looks At Kinship Care and Federal Supports Across Country

A July 2020 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report examines relative caregivers’ issues in Child Welfare and Aging Programs. The report drew on data from child welfare (AFCARS) as well as two Census Bureau surveys.     The GAO found that in 2018 there were an estimated 2.7 million children that lived with kin caregivers— grandparents, other relatives,

One Quarter of Young Adults in the U.S. Seriously Considered Suicide During the Pandemic

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, new report found that during June 24-30, 2020, 11 percent of young adults seriously considered suicide. 40 percent of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use during the pandemic, including anxiety/depression systems or trauma or stressor-related disorder symptoms.   The CDC's new data included self-reported

How Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) Could Help Local Governments

The House-passed HEROES Act adopted by the House on May 15, 2020, includes significant funding under the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) that would help state and local governments address current budgetary shortfalls.    SSBG has always been a significant funder of a range of child welfare services, including foster care, youth services, child protection, prevention

Child Care (CCDBG) and CAPTA Funding

On Thursday, June 4, 2020, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced a companion to Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) the Child Care is Essential Act that would provide $50 billion in child care funding as part of the fifth or next COVID-19 bill. They are part of various legislative efforts to address the serious long-term challenges facing the country’s

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