Senator Wyden is still seeking input on his discussion draft bill.  The discussion draft  would build on the Administration’s FY 2016 budget request that seeks to expand the use of the foster care “candidacy” category as a methodology to provide home and community based  services for children who have not yet been placed into foster care.  The proposal and legislation would also use this tool to provide services to those children and families that have been reunified. Senator Wyden is circulating the draft to solicit input before it is introduced as legislation.  The responses will be reviewed and, if appropriate, be incorporated into legislation that Wyden plans to introduce in the coming months. Please email comments on the proposal to by June 12, 2015.

Key input is being sought on how to define the expanded services that would now be allowed under Title IV-E foster care, how to evaluate those services (evidence based, evidence informed, etc.) and how to establish accountability on states that draw the expanded funding for services to prevent foster care placement and services to support children once they are placed or reunited with a family.

The legislation offers a critical opportunity for the child welfare community to stand up for the need to address the shortage of child welfare services and funding.