The NCSL Blog

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By Meghan McCann

DID YOU KNOW: Nine states have more cattle than children? See Annie E. Casey’s KIDS COUNT Data Center for more information about children and their overall well-being.

NCSL’s Children and Families program covers many human services issues, including child support and family law, child welfare, early care and education, welfare and poverty.

Recent Events

Four kidsNCSL’s Legislative Summit: NCSL held our annual Legislative Summit in Boston, Aug. 6-9. Check out our Summit Resources page to learn more about the specific Human Services sessions, including a look at state strategies to address Adverse Childhood Experiences and ways to support foster parents.

Webinar Archive: Dual Language Learners (DLL): Dual language learners (DLLs) are preschool through third grade students who are still mastering their native language while also learning English. Access an archived copy of our Aug. 24 webinar to learn more on this topic.

NCSL Resources

Child Welfare Newsletter, Quarter 3: NCSL's Quarterly Child Welfare newsletter features information about the Three Branch Institute, child welfare financing, child maltreatment prevention, KIDS COUNT data, adoption attitudes, and news across the states.

Early Learning Fellows: Legislative Corner: The Legislative Corner is a periodic publication to highlight the terrific work being done by our Early Learning Fellows in the states and to keep our fellows connected. In the August edition of the Legislative Corner Councilmember Brianne Nadeau (D-D.C.) and Representative Dan Huberty (R-Texas) are highlighted.

State-by-State Child Support Data: States collected $32.7 billion dollars on behalf of the 15.6 million children served by child support enforcement programs during FY2016, according to a recently released report from the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement. NCSL’s State-by-State Child Support Data page provides a 2013-2016 comparison on collections, distribution and caseload information from all 50-states and territories.

Early Care and Education E-Update: In the Summer E-Update access information about recent NCSL Early Care and Education publications, an update on the Early Learning Fellows Program, a legislative session update, the information request of the month on child care contribution tax credits and an NCSL Legislative Summit wrapup.

Extending Foster Care Beyond 18: With half of states extending foster care using federal Title IV-E funds, and an additional 20 or more states extending foster care or other services through state funds, most states offer some type of service to support older youth in foster care beyond the age of 18. See 50-state administrative, statutory and policy provisions addressing the extension of services for older youth in foster care.

National Reports and Resources

Infant-Toddler Policies: Zero to Three recently released a report, Advancing State Policies for Infants and Toddlers: Lessons Learned from Three States. The report looks at the recent experiences of Indiana, Oregon and Vermont and their efforts to improve infant-toddler policies and priorities in their state. NCSL hosted a birth-to-3 national symposium for legislators May 22-24 in Denver. At the meeting attendees representing 13 states heard from national researchers and policy experts. Access and read a blog post that highlights the meeting.

Child Trends 5: Opioids and Parental Depression: Child Trends provides a monthly newsletter, Child Trends 5, highlighting five things to know about various topics. The two most recent newsletters look at the 5 things to know about the opioid epidemic and its effect on children, and the 5 things to know about parental depression. With the opioid epidemic still in full swing, the focus on parental drug use and parental mental illness has been a concern of state legislatures for some time.

TANF and Child Welfare: While the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Child Welfare systems perform different functions, they are uniquely related in the population served and the use of funds. TANF is a source of child welfare funding, and in some states, as illustrated in NCSL’s Child Welfare Financing 101 page, is the primary source of child welfare funding. In addition, the Office of Family Assistance, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently released a report on the Collaboration Between TANF and Child Welfare to Improve Outcomes: U.S. Children’s Bureau Demonstration Grants.

Meghan McCann is a senior policy specialist with NCSL’s Children and Families Program. She covers child support, child welfare and family law issues.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.