House Ways and Means introduces legislation supporting Welfare to Work

On June 8, 2017, bipartisan legislation was introduced to support low-income Americans as they transition out of welfare and into the workforce. The legislation – entitled the “Accelerating Individuals into the Workforce Act (H.R. 2842)” and sponsored by Reps. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Danny Davis (D-IL) – is intended to expedite the time it takes for families to obtain employment. In the opening statement by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), Brady cited the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which indicates that despite job openings at the highest level since the government began tracking in 2000, the labor force participation rate is at a near forty-year low. [More]

Administration for Children and Families releases 2015 Maltreatment Report

Each year, the Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF’s) Children’s Bureau releases a report with the latest data available on an analysis of child abuse and neglect information collected from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Territories. Known as the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), this data and analysis program was established by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) in 1988. The first NCANDS report was based on data for 1990 and since then NCANDS has been reported annually, with the Children’s Bureau collecting and analyzing the data in its “Child Maltreatment” report submitted to Congress each year. The 2015 Child Maltreatment Report was released at the end of January 2017 and reflects data reported for Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2015. [More]

GAO-17-129: HHS Has Taken Steps to Support States' Oversight of Psychotropic Medications, but Additional Assistance Could Further Collaboration

The Government Accounting Office (GAO) completed another report (GAO-17-129) exploring how states are addressing the huge percent of children prescribed psychotropic medications while in foster care. Surveys conducted between 2008 and 2011 by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) found that 18 percent of foster care children were taking a psychotropic medication. ACF further defined the group and discovered that children in group homes or residential treatment facilities were taking psychotropic medications at a significantly higher rate (48 percent) than children living in nonrelative foster homes or formal kinship care (14 percent). [More]

Child Welfare team partners with Casey Family Programs

In response to a growing number of Native American tribes obtaining planning grants from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), PCG’s Child Welfare/Youth Services team has partnered with Casey Family Programs in supporting approval to run their own child welfare system. The planning grant must be used to develop and implement a child welfare system unique to tribal issues and needs. [More]

Office of Inspector General releases 2017 Work Plan

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is charged with determining, on an annual basis, the use of federal funds across all HHS agencies and areas. These include the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS); Public Health (e.g., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], Indian Health Services [HIS], Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration [SAMHSA], Food and Drug Administration [FDA], etc.); and Human Services (i.e., Administration for Children and Families [ACF] and Administration for Community Living [ACL]). [More]

Foster Care and Medicaid

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), youth who were in foster care and receiving Medicaid on their 18th birthday are categorically eligible for Medicaid until their 26th birthday, regardless of their income. The provision in the law aligned with the extended coverage of young adults whose parents have private health insurance. On October 18, 2016, Columbia University’s School of Public Health released a policy brief reporting that an estimated 180,000 young people who have aged out of foster care are eligible for extended health care coverage. [More]

Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act goes to the President

To address national concerns and issues related to the education, health and safety of Native children, Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act. Congress recently passed the Act, eight years after the Fostering Connections legislation was passed in 2008 to allow Native American tribes to develop and operate their own child welfare systems. [More]

Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) of 2016 Update

The momentum of passing the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) legislation has slowed although a Continuing Resolution for extension of federal appropriations through December 9, 2016 was passed on September 28, 2016. Currently, the legislation (FPPSA) calls for the delay of the final step of Fostering Connections legislation implementation, which would de-link income standards with children age two and under for Title IV-E Adoption Assistance. [More]