On February 9, 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law the most significant reform to foster care since the federal government got into that business.

This fundamental re-ordering of the government’s role in child welfare extends far beyond the 437,000 children living in foster care today. A 2017 study found that one in three U.S. children will be investigated as victims of child maltreatment by the time they turn 18. That means millions of American children will have the experience of a child abuse investigator coming into their home, questioning whether or not their parents are fit to care for them. This is no niche concern.

Despite the sweeping implications, the debate since the Family First Prevention Services Act was passed has largely been confined to the narrow world of child welfare policy. But, the development portends something much larger: a historic moment in American governance. At a time of ballooning federal deficits and Congressional leaders’ calls for reining in costly “entitlement” programs like Medicaid and Social Security, Family First quietly but significantly expanded the scope of the federal child welfare entitlement, which currently supports only foster care placements and adoptions.

Read the full article: 

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/analysis/foster-care-and-americas-compact-vulnerable-people/31809

 

Published in Children's Justice Act
 

The Children’s Bureau has released Child Welfare Outcomes 2015: Report to Congress. It provides state and national performance data on seven national outcome measures for children served by the child welfare system, including children’s safety, well-being, and permanency. Check it out at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/cwo-2015

In addition, the Child Welfare Outcomes data site has been updated with data from 2012–2016. Users can view data for one or multiple states and create customized tables and graphs to suit individual needs. Explore the site at https://cwoutcomes.acf.hhs.gov/cwodatasite.

 

Published in Data & Technology

OJJDP has released the spring 2018 issue of The AMBER Advocate newsletter. This issue features articles on:

• AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program Administrator Jim Walters' vision for the future of child protection.
• Faces of the AMBER Alert Network.
• The role an Idaho AMBER Alert played in the recovery of two sisters.
• AMBER Alert in Indian Country.
• AMBER Alert in international news.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children coordinate the AMBER Alert program nationally. As of March 2018, a total of 924 children had been successfully recovered through the AMBER Alert system.

Resources:

Find AMBER Alert on Facebook.

OJJDP has released the spring 2018 issue of The AMBER Advocate newsletter. This issue features articles on:

• AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program Administrator Jim Walters' vision for the future of child protection.
• Faces of the AMBER Alert Network.
• The role an Idaho AMBER Alert played in the recovery of two sisters.
• AMBER Alert in Indian Country.
• AMBER Alert in international news.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children coordinate the AMBER Alert program nationally. As of March 2018, a total of 924 children had been successfully recovered through the AMBER Alert system.

Resources:

Find AMBER Alert on Facebook.

Monday, 19 February 2018 11:40

Rural Child Welfare Practice

This issue brief highlights the importance of understanding the concerns and needs of children and families in rural communities, their strengths and resources, and the cultural sensitivity required of child welfare professionals as they work to achieve safety, permanency, and well-being for rural children.

Rural Child Welfare Practice

This report begins with an overview of the FY2017 federal child welfare funding. It then includes a discussion of how annual funding levels are determined for child welfare programs, and briefly discusses the effect of sequestration on that child welfare funding. The remainder, and largest part, of the report provides descriptions of each federal child welfare program, including its purpose and recent (FY2013-FY2017) funding levels. The review indicates that for FY2017, an estimated $8.9 billion in federal support is available for child welfare purposes. The largest share of this federal child welfare funding is provided for support of children in foster care, and for ongoing assistance to children who leave foster care for new permanent families. The federal cost was estimated at $7.5 billion in FY2016 and, as of the July 2017 mid-session budget review, was expected to be $7.8 billion in FY2017. Federal funding for all other child welfare activities remained at $1.1 billion in FY2017, which was the same level provided in FY2016. Nearly all federal child welfare dollars (97%) were provided to State, tribal, or territorial child welfare agencies (via formula grants or as federal reimbursement for a part of all eligible program costs). The remaining federal child welfare dollars (3%) are provided to a variety of eligible public or private entities, primarily on a competitive basis. This money supports research, evaluation, technical assistance, and demonstration projects to expand knowledge of, and improve, child welfare practice and policy. Federally supported programs are described that are authorized under Title IV-B of the Social Security Act, Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, the Victims of Child Abuse Act, and other programs. 21 tables and 136 references. 

Link to report

Title: Child Welfare: An Overview of Federal Programs and Their Current Funding. August 2017. 
Published: 2017 
Available from: Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service 
http://loc.gov/crsinfo/ 
101 Independence Avenue, SE 
Washington, DC 20540-7500

Published in Children's Justice Act

Facilitating Cross-System Collaboration: A Primer on Child Welfare, Alcohol and Other Drug Services, and Courts Reviews characteristics of child welfare, substance abuse services, and courts to support cross-system coordination within State, county, and tribal jurisdictions. Considers the framework, population, legislation and funding sources, and services for each system. This report was originally published in 2012, but with the current opioid explosion, it was determined it was a good resource to list again.

http://attcppwtools.org/ResourceMaterials/FCSC_508.pdf

The ABA Center on Children and the Law, in collaboration with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, is pleased to announce the release of "TRAUMA: What Child Welfare Attorneys Should Know." This resource provides practical information about trauma-informed legal advocacy by attorneys representing children, parents, and child welfare agencies.

In furtherance of the American Bar Association's policy on trauma-informed legal practice, this resource can strengthen advocacy, improve attorney-client relationships, and promote appropriate screening, in-depth assessment, and evidence-based treatment. In addition, awareness of secondary traumatic stress can improve prevention, identification, and self-care among legal professionals.

The resource was developed by the NCTSN Justice Consortium Attorney Work Group, co-chaired by Christopher Branson, Ph.D., Carly Baetz, JD, Ph.D., and Eva Klain, JD (ABA Center on Children and the Law).

Published in Attorneys
Tuesday, 24 January 2017 10:33

Child Maltreatment 2015

Based on State-level data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), Child Maltreatment 2015 presents an aggregate view of child abuse and neglect in the United States. This resource includes information on the reports made to child protective services (CPS), the children involved in CPS cases, child fatalities, perpetrators of child abuse and neglect, and available services.

 Highlights from Child Maltreatment 2015 include the following:

  • Neglect was the most common type of child maltreatment in 2015, which 75.3 percent of victims experienced.
  • For States able to report on the alcohol abuse caregiver risk factor, 10.3 percent of victims and 5.5 percent of nonvictims were reported with this caregiver risk factor. For reporting States, 25.4 percent of victims and 8.1 percent of nonvictims were reported with the drug abuse caregiver risk factor.
  • For 2015, an estimated 1,670 children died of abuse and neglect at a rate of 2.25 deaths per 100,000.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families (ACF) released this report as the 26th in a series designed to collect and analyze State child abuse and neglect statistics. The Child Maltreatment series is used to assess the efficacy of Federal programs and inform researches, practitioners, and advocates around the world.

The full Child Maltreatment 2015 report is available to view and download on the Children's Bureau website, along with access to archived Child Maltreatment reports 1995–2014.

 Published January 2017.

 

Published in Data & Technology

This report begins with a review of federal appropriations activity in FY2015 as it relates to child welfare programs, including the effect of the automatic spending cuts, known as sequestration. The rest of the report provides a short description of each federal child welfare program, including its purpose and recent (FY2012-FY2015) funding levels. Information is provided that indicates final FY2015 child welfare funding ($7.971 billion) was appropriated as part of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (P.L. 113-235). It is explained that beginning with FY2013, some discretionary and mandatory funding amounts appropriated for child welfare programs have been reduced under the sequestration measures provided for in the Budget Control Act (P.L. 112-25), and that the effect of these sequestration measures varies by fiscal year and type for funding authority. It is determined that for FY2015, funding provided on a discretionary basis in P.L. 113-235 is within the established spending caps and is not expected to be affected by sequestration. The report goes on to explain that the largest amount of federal funding provided to child welfare programs is through mandatory funding authorized under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act and is statutorily exempted from sequestration; however, a few child welfare programs that receive mandatory funding may be subject to sequestration, including funding provided for the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program. For nonexempt mandatory child welfare funding, it is reported the final FY2015 funding level must be reduced from the otherwise appropriated levels by 7.3%. 16 tables and 100 references.

Access the full report here.