In preparation for Thursday afternoon Capitol Hill visits, CWLA members and state advocates came together on Wednesday afternoon to hear from a series of Washington D.C. speakers who addressed some of the latest issues and policies including the Family First Act.

Associate Commissioner, Children’s Bureau, Jerry Milner offered the group some initial comments and engaged in a question and answer period. Key concerns included his focus on the prevention of child abuse. Commissioner Milner has made the prevention of child abuse and neglect the key priority in his first days in office. He highlighted some of his recent discussions and forums on the topic and discussed a recent visit to the state of Nebraska and his engagement with a range of local and community agencies and partners and how they are developing programs that can strengthen families in a way that can prevent child abuse and neglect.

Mr. Milner also tied his prevention focus to the Administration’s 2019 budget proposal for a new waiver that would allow states to draw their foster care funding through a waiver, in effect a block grant. That money could then be used more flexibly to invest in front end child abuse prevention.

Waivers are set to expire next year and some states like Florida and localities like Los Angeles County have been pushing for extensions arguing they have made significant progress in child welfare policy—even in those locations where foster care numbers maybe be increasing. Commissioner Milner was headed to a discussion on waivers with states in Chicago sponsored by Casey Family Programs.

The Children’s Bureau is also holding a Monday call (today) on “Making Every Month Prevention Month, from 10:00 to 12:30 (EST). People can call listen in through:

Or for audio only Dial: 877-918-2312 / Pass Code: 8420930