Policy Updates

Family First Transition Act Information Memoranda

On January 22nd the Children’s Bureau issued ACYF-CB-IM-20-01, which informs state and tribal title IV-E agencies of the enactment of the Family First Transition Act and provides basic information on the new law. 

GAO Releases Report on Education for Students in Foster Care

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report, Education Could Help States Improve Educational Stability for Youth in Foster Care, finding that the Department of Education should do more to help states provide educational stability for students in foster care. Federal law requires states to ensure that students in foster care stay in their schoolRead More

Children’s Bureau Releases 2018 AFCARS Data

On Friday, the Children’s Bureau released AFCARS Report #26, the 26th annual report from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), which reflects national data related to children in the foster care system during federal fiscal year 2018, which occurred from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018. The most noteworthy finding isRead More

Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse Announces Call for Programs and Services

Last week, the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse announced an opportunity for the public to recommend programs and services for review. If approved, these programs would be eligible for reimbursement under the Title IV-E Prevention Services program created by Family First. To learn more about the call, including submission requirements and instructions, please click here. ThisRead More

HHS Issues Policy to Permit Title IV-E Funding for Legal Representation

The Children’s Bureau at the Department of Health and Human Services recently modified a section of the Child Welfare Policy Manual (see Question 30) to allow states to use federal, IV-E dollars for parent and child legal representation. The policy reverses previous prohibitions on the use of Title IV-E for legal representation.  The state may now claimRead More

Family First Prevention Services Act Signed Into Law

The Family First Prevention Services Act was passed and signed into law on February 9, 2018 as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The bill includes provisions permitting states to use federal funding streams previously only available for foster care to promote prevention services for children at risk of entering foster care.  ItRead More

CHILD WELL-BEING: Key Considerations for Policymakers, Including the Need for a Federal Cross-Agency Priority Goal

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report, CHILD WELL-BEING: Key Considerations for Policymakers, Including the Need for a Federal Cross-Agency Priority Goal, that examines what is known about the state of child well-being in the U.S., how it has changed in recent years, and what policymakers should consider in addressing child well-being. TheRead More

Senate Finance Committee Releases Report and Legislation to Improve Accountability in Child Welfare

On October 17, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) released a report documenting the findings of a two-year report by the Senate Finance Committee on foster care privatization. As a result of the investigation’s findings, they also introduced legislation, the Child Welfare Oversight and Accountability Act of 2017Read More

Coalition on Adoption Institute’s Foster Youth Intern Policy Recommendations

The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s Foster Youth Interns released their federal policy recommendations, Unlocking Potential: The Strength of Our Stories as Key to Child Welfare Reform, which highlight key federal reforms that have potential to improve the life experiences and opportunities for youth in foster care.  Recommendations address specific recommendations on a broad range ofRead More

House Passes Bill With Key Older Youth Provision

On Tuesday, June 20th, The House of Representatives passed a series of foster care related bills, including Improving Services for Older Youth in Foster Care Act, which would expand the John H. Chafee Foster Care to Independence Program from age 21 to 23.  It would allow youth to use educational vouchers until the age ofRead More

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