A coalition group including CWLA has sent Capitol Hill an updated letter of support of SSBG on Thursday. The letter includes more than 75 national organizations and organizations and agencies from all fifty states.
CWLA has created a new resource on the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG). The new resource are state-by-state fact sheets found on the advocacy site as a separate tab. Each state there is a sheet that provides a simple description of how much a state receives in SSBG-human services funding and gives a broad view of some of that state’s uses. SSBG is a prime target for elimination, especially in the House of Representatives. The $1.7 billion (now temporarily reduced below $1.6 billion due to the sequestration across the board cuts) is critical to child welfare and other human services including victims of domestic violence, individual with disability and many elderly citizens.
SSBG funds a variety of human services that have a very difficult time getting priority funding at both the federal and state level. Its elimination—even if traded off for limited increases in other areas—will likely result in cuts at the state level. That is especially true for states with budget shortfalls and crisis. SSBG is a consistent funder of a range of child welfare services with some states relying heavily to supplement the other federal funds including foster care, adoption, prevention, and intervention services but it is especially vital to child protective services.
Eliminating SSBG, the number one federal funding source for child protection would be especially ironic. In 2013 Congress created a Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities that was an attempt to study child fatalities. Some of the Commission recommendations included a cal for more flexibility in federal funding.
SSBG is also has been a prime source for adult protective services funding elder abuse efforts and the other domestic violence initiatives. The defense of SSBG will be a prime talking point for a CWLA members when they go to Capitol Hill at the end of this month for the National Conference.