The NCSL Blog


By Sarah Hill

boy jumpingDID YOU KNOW: A 10 percent increase in the overdose death rate corresponds with a 4.5 percent increase in foster care placement rates, and a 10 percent increase in the drug hospitalization rate corresponds with a 3.3 percent increase in foster care placement rates. See State Legislatures Magazine's June StateStat for more.

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.

NCSL Resources

Early Learning Fellows | Class of 2018

The 2018 NCSL Early Learning Fellows cohort represents 23 states and includes 30 legislators and five legislative staff. The Early Learning Fellows program is designed to support legislators and legislative staff who are experienced or emerging leaders on early childhood and early learning issues. The program provides an opportunity to be part of a peer-learning community with other legislators and staff and to engage with research and policy experts who are leaders in the field.

Early Care & Education E-Update | Spring 2018

NCSL’s spring Early Care and Education E-Update highlights recent NCSL publications and state legislative activity and explores how states are addressing child care access and affordability. You can also learn more about NCSL’s 2018 Early Learning Fellows Program and Prenatal-to-Three Legislative Advisory Group.

NCSL’s Child Welfare Legislative Policy Network Newsletter | Quarter 1

NCSL’s most recent Child Welfare Legislative Policy Network Newsletter contains a synopsis of the Family First Prevention Services Act, mandatory reporting standards for child abuse and neglect, and information on our Three Branch Institute Toolkit. Research on the intersection between substance abuse and child abuse is also highlighted alongside Ready or Not: Preparing Young People for Independence, a State Legislatures article wherein NCSL’s Nina Williams-Mbengue explores the repercussions of aging out of foster care.

Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA)

On Feb. 9, President Donald Trump signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (H.R. 1892). Included in the Act is the Family First Prevention Services Act, which has the potential to dramatically change child welfare systems across the country. One of the major areas this legislation seeks to change is the way states can spend Title IV-E funds.

Title IV-E funds previously allotted only for foster care maintenance, adoption assistance, and kinship guardianship assistance can now be used on foster-care-placement prevention services. The Family First Prevention Services Act also seeks to limit the use of congregate or group care for children and instead places a new emphasis on family foster homes. With limited exceptions, the federal government will not reimburse states for children placed in group care settings for more than two weeks.

National Reports and Resources

Child Support Report

The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (CSE) releases a monthly report highlighting state, local and tribal child support enforcement practices, child support collection successes and more. Read the May 2018 Child Support Report for information on CSE’s adoption of the Flexibility, Efficiency, and Modernization Rule, understanding adverse childhood experiences, CSE’s Veterans and Military Liaison Network and Georgia’s Division of Child Support Services award-winning mobile app that provides the same services customers receive in local child support offices with the added convenience of a mobile device.

Spotlight on National Foster Care Month

This edition of the Children’s Bureau’s monthly newsletter features articles highlighting May as National Foster Care Month.

The newsletter includes an evaluation of 30 Days to Family, an intervention that focuses on finding kinship caregivers for children in need of out-of-home placement. Also highlighted this month is a look at the importance of kinship and extended family support as a social strength that can reduce the effects and consequences of childhood trauma.

The unique relationship between kinship and foster families and birth families is discussed as crucial to the overall well-being and sense of emotional security of children in foster care. Finally, Perspectives of Youth in Foster Care, the “My Life Model”, is featured as a way to teach self-determination skills to children in care to assist them in achieving a successful transition into adulthood.

Sarah Hill is a research analyst II with NCSL’s Children and Families Program. She covers family law, welfare and poverty issues.

Email Sarah.

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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.