NCSL Child Welfare Legislative Policy Network Newsletter November 2013

NCSL Child Welfare Legislative Policy Network Newsletter


In this Newsletter

New NCSL Child Welfare Website!!

We are pleased to announce our new Child Welfare webpage featuring legislation, periodic newsletters and information on Indian child welfare, mandatory reporting of child abuse, statutes of limitation in child sexual abuse cases, kinship/relative care support, Title IV-E Waivers, representation of children and youth in court, oversight of psychotropic medications, differential/alternative response, office of the child ombudsman, reinstatement of parental rights, prevention of shaken baby syndrome and more. Visit the website

Coming soon:

  • State legislation supporting older youth in foster care
  • Child social and emotional well-being legislation

Three Branch Institute on Child Social and Emotional Well-Being

Coordinating Foster Care Across the Three Branches of Government is a November 2013 Governing magazine online commentary on a partnership between NCSL, the National Governors Association, Casey Family Programs, the National Center for State Courts, and the National Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges. The Three Branch Institutes began in 2009 with a meeting of 18 states examining strategies to safely reduce the numbers of children in foster care.

In 2011 and 2012 the Three Branch Institute partners worked with five states—Colorado, Delaware, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin—on strategies to enhance permanency for older adolescents in foster care. The current 2013 – 2014 Three Branch Institute—Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, New Mexico, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin—focuses on the social and emotional well-being of children in foster care. Each Three Branch Institute consists of representatives from the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government working in teams to develop and implement coordinated, comprehensive strategic plans. States were selected through a competitive RFP process. Teams participated in a yearly two-and-a-half day meeting where they interacted with national experts, foster youth, state administrators and their colleagues in other states to develop plans, exchange ideas, and discuss barriers and potential solutions. They also received technical assistance, participated in educational webinars and received other assistance. Tennessee developed a Three Branch Institute on its own, following the NGA/NCSL format, to strategically plan and implement initiatives to improve outcomes for children and families.

Upcoming newsletter issues will highlight state team experiences. Contact us

Title IV-E Child Welfare Waivers 2014 Application

The final round of Title IV-E Child Welfare Demonstration Projects has just been announced. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will fund up to 10 states for fiscal year 2014 to achieve improvements in the safety, permanency and well-being outcomes for children and families. The due date for the proposals is Feb. 28, 2014. Proposals must be submitted to State Title IV-E agencies should refer to the Information Memorandum for additional information on demonstration project requirements, requirements for proposal content (see especially pages 20 -23) and proposal submission procedures are available. PDF Documents

The goals for the waiver proposals should be to:

  • Increase permanency for all infants, children, and youth by reducing the time in foster placements when possible and promoting a successful transition to adulthood for older youth.
  • Increase positive outcomes for infants, children, youth, and families in their homes and communities, including tribal communities, and improve safety and well-being.
  • Prevent child abuse and neglect and the re-entry of infants, children and youth into foster care.

In FY 2012, the Department approved nine projects in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. In FY 2013, the District of Columbia and seven states were approved: Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Rhode Island and Tennessee. 

The federal government will accept proposals after the Feb. 28, 2014, due date, but applicants should note that current legislative authority to approve waiver projects ends on Sept. 30, 2014. 

Check out NCSL’s Title IV-E Waiver Demonstration page for more information and to see how legislators can become involved! Check the page

Early Childhood Interventions in Child Welfare

"Making the Case for Early Childhood Intervention in Child Welfare: A Research and Practice Brief." Click on the link at the end of the paragraph to view this October 2013 brief from Casey Family Programs. Over the past decade, the number of youth in foster care has declined dramatically; however, a similar decline for young children has not occurred and children under age six make up a disproportionate percentage of foster care entries. Infants and toddlers are more likely to experience maltreatment reoccurrence than children of other ages and have longer stays in out-of-home care. The brief discusses the research and potential strategies to consider for successful coordination of child welfare and early childhood system programs to impact young children’s entry into foster care.  A recent survey of states’ child welfare practices to support the development of young children is available. Read the Brief

Home Visiting

Effectiveness of Home Visiting in Improving Child Health and Reducing Child Maltreatment. This November 2013 American Academy of Pediatrics article on findings from a recent review of home visiting identified 12 home visiting programs (out of 32 reviewed) that demonstrated evidence of effectiveness based on rigorous evaluation research. Online article

NCSL Child Welfare Quick Links

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