The budget proposes an optional block grant of Title IV-E foster care funding that could be spent for any services now funded under foster care, adoption assistance or Child Welfare Services and Promoting Safe and Stable Families. As pointed out in earlier CWLA analysis, Child Welfare & Block Grants, the 1995 child welfare block grant passed by the House of Representatives would have left states with $3 billion less by 2016, that is $5 billion instead of the approximate $8 billion states drew down during the current opioid epidemic.
In other parts of the child welfare budget, the appropriated child welfare spending is left intact at levels equal to FY 2017 and maybe 2018, pending a final 2018 appropriations. That includes level funding for the Child Abuse Prevention Treatment Act (CAPTA) state grants at $25 million, Discretionary funds at $33 million and Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CB-CAP) at $40 million. Adoption Opportunities is at the same level at $39 million and Adoption-Kinship Incentives fund at $38 million (see below).
The same is true of Promoting Safe and Stable Families and Child Welfare Services. The Administration does propose an increase in the Regional Partnership Grants for substance abuse. The RPGs were just reauthorized (under the Families First Act) to $20 million but the budget proposes an increase to $60 million that would cover the entire country (similar to the last request of the Obama Administration).
Foster Care, Adoption Assistance and Kinship Care are not actual requests by the Administration because they are entitlements. The budget offers projections which show increases: Foster Care from $5.302 billion (in 2017) to $5.329 billion in 2019, Adoption Assistance from $2.706 billion (in 2017) to $3.063 in 2019, and for Kinship Care $145 million (in 2017) to $203 million in 2019.
The adoption totals will likely be adjusted down because the 2018 and 2019 projections would have been based on the pre-Families First re-linking of Adoption Assistance for infants and toddlers (under two years) to AFDC until 2025.