House Passes Build Back Better Reconciliation

The House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act reconciliation bill (HR 5376) on Friday, November 19, 2021, after a week of waiting.  The waiting was driven by the need for a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) “score” or estimation of costs and savings. That score came back on Thursday at the expected $1.7 trillion.

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

CDC Confirms Continuing Trend of Increasing Drug Overdose Deaths

Data released by to CDC on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, confirmed earlier reports that drug overdoses continued to skyrocket with the country reaching 100,000 for the first time in U.S. history. The data measures overdose deaths from May 1, 2020, through April 30, 2021, a big heart of the pandemic. The total is even more

Full FY 2022 Appropriations in Doubt Along With Funding

Current funding for federal fiscal year ends on December 3, 2021, and while it appears likely Congress will pass another CR for a matter of weeks, a full year long appropriation adding new funds now seem much in doubt. A CR that extended for the rest of FY 2022 means that there would be a

HHS Pulls Back Discrimination Waiver, Earns House Praise

On Thursday, November 18, 2021, HHS announced it was rolling back a controversial Trump Administration waiver that allowed some child welfare agencies to discriminate in their placement decisions. The Biden action quickly gained the praise of key House Democrats who are backing the anti-discrimination-in-placement-decisions legislation. Early in the Trump Administration, HHS had issued a waiver

CLASP Releases New Study on Family Use of CTC

On November 17, 2021,  CLASP released a new national CTC survey findings.  According to the research parents reported reduced financial stress, help in affording necessities and, for about one-quarter of respondents receiving monthly payments, working more hours outside of the home. The survey included 1,012 eligible families with children ages 0-17 living at home. It

Congress Returns for Intense Six Weeks

Congress returns this week with a long list of issues that need some form of resolution before the end of the year—or maybe not. The House will take up the reconciliation bill now that the infrastructure bill has been sent to the President. There was a commitment in some form on the part of more

Voice for Adoption’s Portrait Project

In celebration of National Adoption Month, Voice for Adoption (VFA) hosted its 17th annual Adoptive Family Portrait Project on November 10th, 2021. This year's theme: 2021: Unresolved ACES - Access to mental health services and impacts it has on permanency. With a special thanks to VFA Communications Policy Associate intern, Derya Ozcan, and in collaboration

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Human Service Part

When Congress completed work on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act they passed a major highway and road construction bill but there are important ‘human service” components that go beyond just the potential jobs created. The most significant human service need are the new provisions on drinking water, particularly with the removal of lead but

The Lead Problem in Drinking Water

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will provide some relief for an important human service need, reducing children’s exposure to dangerous lead in our drinking water.   In the middle of the last decade, the country saw close-up the havoc lead contamination can mean to a city and more importantly the families that live there.

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