Policy Updates


Rafael J. Lopez Confirmed as Commissioner on Children, Youth and Families

Rafael J. Lopez was confirmed on August 5 as Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, after having been formally nominated by President Obama in January 2015. Commissioner Lopez was most recently a Senior Policy Advisor at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and, prior to that role, Associate DirectorRead More


September 11th Forum on Creating Local Dedicated Funding for Children and Youth

Policymakers, advocates and community leaders across the country are working to close the opportunity gap that leaves many children behind. It is difficult to see new federal or state dollars in sight. Solutions though, require investment. Join the Forum for Youth Investment, Funding the Next Generation, National AfterSchool Association, National Association for the Education ofRead More


Senator Wyden Finalizes Child Welfare Reform Proposal

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) announced that he will introduce next week the “Family Stability and Kinship Care Act,” an updated version of the discussion draft he released in May. Click here for the new bill language, and here for a summary of the changes that were made to the original discussion draft based on stakeholder feedback.


Senator Casey Introduces Bill to Ensure Former Foster Youth Receive Medicaid Coverage

On July 24, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced a bill that would provide a fix to ensure that all (otherwise eligible) former foster youth would have access to coverage, regardless of where they aged out of foster care. The bill is intended to correct a gap in the Medicaid extension to 26 benefits included inRead More


Upcoming Senate Finance Committee Hearing

On Tuesday, August 4 at 10:00 a.m. the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing called “A Way Back Home: Preserving Families and Reducing the Need for Foster Care.” The hearing will explore alternatives to help families and children reduce reliance on foster care group homes. For more information and to watch a live streamRead More


BuzzFeed’s “US Senate Committee Probes Nation’s Largest For-Profit Foster Care Firm”

BuzzFeed released the article, “US Senate Committee Probes Nation’s Largest For-Profit Foster Care Firm,” as a follow-up its February BuzzFeed News Investigation, which reported on the for-profit foster care company National Mentor Holdings (Mentor), detailing problems such as deaths and abuse in foster homes run by Mentor in Maryland and Texas, Illinois, and Massachusetts. The articleRead More


ACF and White House Host National Convening on Trafficking and Child Welfare

On June 10, several senior Obama Administration officials, survivor leaders, and representatives from 52 states and jurisdictions participated in the National Convening of Trafficking and Child Welfare at the White House. The event was intended to support states in preparing for implementation of new mandates under the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act ofRead More


Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA) Signed into Law 

The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA), which had been held up for months due to a controversy related to federal funding and abortion, has been passed into law. The JVTA is the first federal law that specifically addresses domestic human trafficking and ends impunity for the buyers of child sex. The legislation provides millionsRead More


White House Hosts for Forum on Preventing Placement of Children in Foster Care

On May 15, the White House sponsored a forum aimed at focusing attention on preventing placement of children in foster care. The discussion included stakeholders from national organizations, federal officials, state representatives, and individuals impacted by the child welfare system. Much of the discussion focused on the administration’s new budget proposal, as well as recentRead More


House Passes Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA)

On May 19, the House of Representatives passed the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA). The legislation was recently passed unanimously by the United States Senate. JVTA clarifies federal law to remove all doubt as to its criminal applicability to buyers of sex trafficking, and it requires anti-human trafficking task forces throughout the countryRead More

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