The NCSL Blog


By Meghan McCann

DID YOU KNOW: November is National Adoption Month 2017. NCSL tracks legislation related to adoption in our Child Welfare Enacted Legislation Database.

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.

Boy jumpingUpcoming Events

Legislative Children’s Caucus Webinar: Legislative children’s caucuses currently exist in at least seven states, the oldest founded in 1994 and the newest established just this year. This webinar will explore the concept and structure of children’s caucuses among several states. Register for this Nov. 16 webinar.

State Home Visiting Webinar: Home visiting is a prevention strategy that supports pregnant women and new parents, promotes infant and child health, fosters educational development and school readiness, and helps prevent child abuse and neglect. This webinar will highlight the benefits of home visiting, discuss funding options and provide examples of state initiatives and programs. Register for this Nov. 30 webinar.

NCSL’s Capitol Forum: The NCSL Capitol Forum is where legislators and staff come together to tackle critical state-federal issues, gain insight from national experts, and work with committees to craft the states’ agenda. The 2017 Capitol Forum will be held Dec. 10-13 at the Hotel Del Coronado in Coronado, Calif.

NCSL Resources

Extending Foster Care Beyond 18: With half of states extending foster care using Title IV-E funds, and an additional 20 or more states extending foster care or other services through state funds, the vast majority of states are working to support older youth in foster care beyond the age of 18. NCSL’s Extending Foster Care Beyond 18 page has 50-state administrative, statutory and policy provisions addressing the extension of services for older youth in foster care.

Early Care and Education State Budget Actions FY2017: NCSL surveyed 50 state legislative fiscal offices on their FY 2015, FY 2016 and FY 2017 state appropriations for various early care and education programs—child care, prekindergarten, home visiting and other related programs.

National Reports and Resources

Persistent Gaps: State Child Care Assistance Policies 2017: Child care assistance has the ability to not only affect children, but their parents as well, by limiting the strain of child care on family budgets, providing quality options for children’s care, and giving parents the opportunity to work, without the financial burden of child care. The National Women’s Law Center released a report, "Persistent Gaps: State Child Care Assistance Policies 2017," that examines state-by-state policies regarding child care assistance and the impact it had on children and family well-being.

About CAPTA: A Legislative History: The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) was first enacted in 1974. Since then, the act has evolved and changed with at least 16 additions or amendments to the act. The last change was made in 2016 with the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) that made changes to the law regarding substance exposed infants and their families. A new report details these amendments and provides the legislative history of CAPTA.

Extending Foster Care Beyond 18 Study: Does extending foster care past age 18 influence youths’ education, employment, health, housing, parenting and well-being outcomes? What factors influence the types of support foster youth received during the transition to adulthood? How do living arrangements and other services that result from extended foster care influence the relationship between extending care and youth outcomes? These questions and more are answered in the latest report from Chapin Hall, "Findings from California Youth Transitions to Adulthood Study."

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.