The final appropriations for FY 2022 sharply reduced the significant increases in children’s and child welfare programs compared to what the House had adopted last July. Many of the House increases had adopted the Biden Administration request in their first budget request.
Within CAPTA, state grants receive $95 million which represents an increase of $5 million and maintains some of the recent momentum but the increase is well below the $125 million, adopted by the House. CAPTA state grants suffered cuts through most of the last decade when it was at less than $27 million. The Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CB-CAP) program is in the same situation with a $5 million increase to $65 million, progress but well below the $90 million approved by the House. Finally, discretionary funding increases from the current $35 million to $36 million, $6 million less than the House but with $2 million of that for support and expansion of a national child abuse hotline, to increase outreach efforts and provide additional resources and intervention through multiple modalities, including chat, text, and call, to youth and concerned adults facing child abuse and neglect.
Also dropped, support for Biden Administration budget to include a new $100 million to address racial inequity within child welfare through competitive grants. The funding had been included under Title IV-B, part 1. The increase of $9 million for the Family First Act Clearinghouse is, instead, increased by $2.7 million. The final deal also maintains what has become an annual appropriation of $20 million to develop, enhance, or evaluate Kinship Navigator programs which have had difficulty meeting the evaluation requirements under the Family First Prevention Clearinghouse.
The final budget also rejected the slight increase of $7 million for Child Welfare Services (IV-B, part 1) to $275 million and kept it at $269 million. The increase would have been the first in over a decade and is significant since many advocacy groups are preparing new proposals on spending through the block grant when it comes up for reauthorization.
The Adoption Opportunities Act increases by $4 million to a total of $48 million. Adoption Opportunities funds a number of programs to promote adoptions especially of older-child adoptions and adoptions of minority children. The Administration had proposed $2 million to enhance diligent recruitment for more diverse families for foster care and adoption.
Other items in the FY 2022 budget include a $8 million (a $5 million increase) for an initiative to address the social determinants of health (SDoH—the Administration had sought $100 million).
Early childhood education received increases but again lower than the House figures: Head Start $288 million (House had approved $1.4 billion), Child Care $255 million (House had approved $1.4 billion) and pre-kindergarten state grants $15 million (House had approved $175 million).
The Administration had proposed making the COVID-19 funding of $732 million permanent for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: Infants and Toddlers (IDEA Part C) but that was increased from $482 million to $496 million. The Maternal and Child Health Block Grant increased from 2021 level of $712 million to $736 million, below the House passed $868 million.
The House and Senate passed the appropriations bill last week, as well as a short-term Continuing Resolution to provide time for the bill to be enrolled and signed by President Biden, which is expected this week.
The CWLA Budget chart is available here.