This year the President’s budget was released on Monday, March 11, 2024. The fiscal year (FY) 2025 budget begins on October 1, 2024. This is the fourth budget for the Biden Administration. Due to the unusual FY 2024 budget situation, it was delayed by one month from the statutory first Monday in February outlined under budget law.

For possibly the first time, a budget was released while the current fiscal year has six of the 12 appropriations bills not yet approved by either house of Congress. The appropriations for the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Departments (Labor-HHS appropriations) is still being negotiated along with five other bills. As a result, the budget compares requests to the projected increases for FY 2024 (current year) or the final FY 2023 numbers in other instances.

Overall, the Administration’s budget document proposes increases of $130 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services which is a $2.2 billion increase over FY 2003. The HHS budget totals $1.843 trillion compared to a projected $1.701 trillion expected in 2024. The Budget proposes another roughly $3 trillion in savings over the next 10 years. Much of the deficit reduction is provided through a series of tax increases and changes on higher income tax filers and corporations. It also proposes a restoration of the Child Tax Credit expansion during the pandemic.

In child welfare, some key provisions are:

  • an increase in the federal match for IV-E eligible relative care in either foster care or kinship
  • additional funds for the substance abuse Regional Partnership Grants (RPGs)
  • a new $50 million for legal representation within child welfare
  • an increase of $100 million for the John Chafee Independent Living program.
  • prohibits agencies and contractors from discriminating on the basis of their religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex
  • $27 million for new competitive research and demonstration grants for child welfare workforce recruitment and retention
  • grants to support a “National Child Welfare Lived Experience Institute to engage individuals to address racial inequities in child welfare
  • $300 million more in mandatory Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF) funds
  • $59 million in discretionary funding (same as FY 2024) with additional funding for kinship navigators and the Clearinghouse
  • $19 million increase in CAPTA Title II, Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CB-CAP) program to $91 million
  • guaranteed housing voucher assistance for all youth transitioning from foster care to independence beginning in 2026.

Other key provisions in the budget outside of child welfare include:

  • a legislative proposal to add an additional $9.9 billion for affordable child care for families with low and middle incomes
  • $12.5 billion for Head Start, up from the estimated FY 2024 level of $12 billion
  • a legislative proposal for a universal preschool program
  • $1.235 billion for the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant, which is an increase from the projected FY 2024 total of 1.171 billion
  • $275 million over 10 years to increase the Department of Labor’s capacity to address mental and behavioral health parity
  • a $37 million investment in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)
  • an additional $652 million for unaccompanied children through the Office of Refugee Resettlement emergency contingency fund

The President’s Budget is a request for funding and does not obligate Congress to meet the funding levels as proposed.