September 13, 2011
The Honorable Dave Camp The Honorable Sandy Levin
Chairman, House Ways & Means Ranking Member, House Ways & Means
341 Cannon House Office Building 1236 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515 Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Chairman Camp and Representative Levin:
On behalf of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), we urge you to support H.R. 2883, a bill to renew the authority of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to approve demonstration projects designed to test innovative strategies in state child welfare programs and reauthorizing the Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF) program. Congressmen Geoff Davis and Lloyd Doggett have fashioned bipartisan legislation that helps create opportunities to enhance the state-federal partnership to assist our nation’s most vulnerable children.
NCSL supports reinstating and expanding federal waiver authority so that states can test the results of increased funding flexibility on the development of service alternatives and on the overall delivery of child welfare services. This allows states to target programs to address the needs of their youngest citizens. By renewing and extending Title IV-E waiver authority through 2014, H.R.2883 will give states an enhanced ability to provide early intervention and crisis intervention services that will safely reduce out-of-home placements and improve child outcomes.
NCSL supports the reauthorization of the PSSF program. The PSSF program enhances state efforts to develop additional family preservation, family reunification, and family support programs. We appreciate the flexibility provided to states in H.R.2883 and that the legislation does not preempt current state laws.
H.R. 2883 will allow states to improve the quality of their child welfare interventions and reinvest savings in their programs. It will also provide both state and federal legislators tools to develop innovative an effective approaches to transform the lives of children who are at risk of abuse and neglect. We applaud Congressmen Davis and Doggett for crafting this legislation.
William T. Pound
Executive Director, NCSL