As noted both SSBG and TANF are targeted as major revenue raisers through the elimination of SSBG and a cut of $1.7 billion to TANF. There is a letter of support of SSBG that includes supporters at the national, state and local level. That letter is open for more sign-ons in support right here.
SSBG provided 11 percent of federal child welfare spending in 2014 (Child Trends Survey of states). At the same time, TANF provided 22 percent of federal child welfare spending, according to the same survey. The budget explanation indicates that since they will eliminate SSBG, the ten percent that is transferred from TANF to SSBG is the rationale for the ten-percent cut to TANF. The rational for the SSBG elimination is:
“The Budget proposes to eliminate the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) because it lacks strong performance measures, is not well targeted, and is not a core function of the Federal Government. States do not have to demonstrate that they are using funds effectively in order to continue receiving funding. In addition, SSBG funds services that are also funded through other Federal programs, such as early childhood education services funded through Head Start and child welfare services funded by Title IV-E programs.”
Despite this rationale, under this budget Head Start would be below 2016 funding levels. Child care would equal 2016 funding levels. Child care demands are increasing as a result of need and increased demand for funding and services an outcome of the 2014 reauthorization that expanded requirements regarding service and quality.
As far as TANF, despite the fact that the first purpose of the TANF law is “Provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or the homes of relatives.” (significant because much of the original guidance by the Clinton Administration in 1997-98 was driven by the four purposes of the act) the rational for the TANF cut is:
“reduce the TANF block grant by 10 percent, which aligns with the Budget proposal to eliminate the SSBG. â€¦the proposal also recognizes that TANF’s flexible spending rules have resulted in States using a large portion of TANF funds for benefits and services that do not directly serve the core intent of the program”
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.