The new Social Services Block Grant annual report once again documents the significance of SSBG to child welfare services. The SSBG Annual Report 2019 was posted in mid-January, and it complements information provided by the new Child Maltreatment 2019 report, also released this past January.


According to the 2019 Child Maltreatment report and its analysis of prevention services, SSBG is the second biggest funding source for child abuse prevention services behind Title IV-B, the Promoting Safe and Stable Families funding. Based on data from 47 states, the 2019 estimated total child recipients of prevention services is 1,902,429. Twenty states were providing services to an estimated total of 390,633 children through SSBG.  


According to the SSBG report, states spent a total of $138 million in child protective services. States also transferred $293 million of TANF into SSBG for CPS. The SSBG report indicates that $104 million was spent on prevention services (with an additional $194 million transferred from TANF to SSBG for the same).  


Other significant SSBG funds for child welfare include: Adoption Services at $26 million (plus $5.8 million TANF), Counseling at $19 million (plus $4.2 million TANF), Foster Care Children at $118 million (plus $$346 million TANF), Housing Services at $9.2 million (plus $134 million TANF), Independent Living at $8.5 million (plus $822,000), Residential Services at $44 million (plus $21 million TANF), Special Services Youth at $71 million (plus $1.4 million TANF).


The biggest number of children served was 2.3 million through CPS. 2 million through case management, and 600,000 children through foster care services. The SSBG numbers (like the child maltreatment numbers) are duplicated numbers meaning a child could be counted more than once for more services.


The states with the biggest total of children served through SSBG (including the TANF funds transferred into SSBG): California 3.3 million children, Pennsylvania 1.4 million children, Florida at 1 million children, and Texas 964,000 children. According to past state surveys of child welfare spending by Child Trends, Florida pulls almost as much of their child welfare spending from SSBG as they received from their now-expired Title IV-E waiver. When TANF is added in the Florida IV-E waiver was only 31 percent of the state’s total child welfare spending, according to the 2016 Child Trends report.


SSBG spending in recent years has been reduced to $1.6 billion due to the ten-year budget caps that caused some mandatory programs to absorb across-the-board cuts. Those caps and the ten-year budget deal have expired, and SSBG should be restored to $1.7 billion in FY 2022.