IN THIS NEWSLETTER
WE CAN HELP YOU FOR FREE
NCSL can help state child welfare systems develop ways to safely reduce the number of children in foster care through:
- Presentations, informal briefings and testimony before committees and hearings,
- Written research and analyses, or
- Informal telephone conference calls with state child welfare administrators, legislators and legislative staff in other states to discuss their experiences with child welfare reform.
CHILD WELFARE FEDERAL DEMONSTRATION WAIVERS
In September 2011, Congress and President Obama restored the authority of the Department of Health and Human Services to issue Title IV-E Child Welfare Waiver Demonstration projects through the Child Welfare and Family Services Innovation Act (Public Law Number 111-34). Click here for a summary of the Act.
A recent report was released that summarizes ways in which states have used the Demonstration Waivers to allocate their Title IV-E funds towards innovative child welfare programs. The report, Summary of the Title IV-E Child Welfare Waiver Demonstrations, looks at outcomes—including foster care reentry, maltreatment recurrence, preventing out-of-home placement and more—in states that have completed their demonstration projects as well as States that have ongoing projects. The full report is available on the Children's Bureau website by clicking here.
FOSTERING CONNECTIONS TO SUCCESS ACT OF 2008
The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (H.R. 6893/P.L. 110-351) of 2008 helps to: connect foster children with their relatives; better coordinate the health care and education of foster children; support permanent families through relative guardianship; and, enhance adoption subsidies and supports to older youth in foster care.
In the 2012 legislative session approximately 15 bills have been introduced in 10 states. Following are two bills related to the provisions of Fostering Connections that have been enacted this session:
- Utah HB 237: Requires a caseworker to file a report explaining why a particular placement is in the child's best interest when a child is removed from the child's immediate family but not placed with kin.: Allows all youth currently enrolled in the foster care to 21 program for the purposes of postsecondary education to remain enrolled until they turn twenty-one, are no longer otherwise eligible, or choose to leave the program. Within three years of the effective date of this act, the "foster care to 21" program will cease to operate, and youth seeking a postsecondary education will be solely served by the extended foster care program.
- Washington HB 2592, Chap. 52: Allows all youth currently enrolled in the foster care to 21 program for the purposes of postsecondary education to remain enrolled until they turn twenty-one, are no longer otherwise eligible, or choose to leave the program. Within three years of the effective date of this act, the "foster care to 21" program will cease to operate, and youth seeking a postsecondary education will be solely served by the extended foster care program.
For more information on introduced legislation in 2012, click here.
Fostering Connections Webinar
On April 12, 2012, the Fostering Connections.org Project is hosting a webinar, “The Road to Independence,” in conjunction with the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators and the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative. The webinar will highlight states’ experiences in implementing supervised independent living settings allowed under the Fostering Connections Act. Presentations will be made by child welfare representatives from California, Illinois, New York and Minnesota. Presenters will describe policy and practices in their own states, covering topics such as allowable settings for supervised independent living, licensing standards, payment issues and connections to the Chafee Independent Living options. Click here to register for the Free webinar.
MANDATORY REPORTING OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT
The news about child sex abuse scandals at the end of 2011 could not have been more shocking. When policymakers went to look at statutes, though, some found something more disturbing—some state laws did not explicitly require people such as coaches and athletic directors who might have contact with children to report child abuse. Others did not specify if the requirement for school personnel to report included universities or colleges. Others were not clear about how to make a report or whether or not a report should be made to law enforcement.
In response, approximately 99 bills in 29 states and the District of Columbia have been introduced in the 2012 legislative session on the reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect. NCSL will be hosting a webinar on April 16th in which experts will take a look at what state laws are under review and what actions are taking place in 2012. To register for this webinar, click here.
CHILD WELFARE REPORTS
New Child Welfare Outcomes Report
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released Child Welfare Outcomes 2006–2009: Report to Congress, the tenth in a series of reports designed to inform Congress, the States and the public about state performance on delivering child welfare services. The report provides information about state performance on seven national child welfare outcomes related to the safety, permanency and well-being of children involved in the child welfare system. The full report, including state-by-state data tables, is available on the Children's Bureau website by clicking here.
Report by Child Trends on the Maltreatment Among Young Children
Child Trends released a brief in April 2011 on maltreatment among young children (ages 0-5). The brief discusses how infants and children up to age 5 are disproportionately reported for abuse and neglect. To view the report and state-by-state tables on maltreatment rates, click here.
NCSL CHILD WELFARE QUICK LINKS
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