While it is somewhat detailed, it is not comprehensive. In P. Congress made limited legislative changes to Child Welfare Services in each of P. For the first time, states were required to provide non-federal matching funds under the program. Further, Congress specifically authorized use of funds under the Child Welfare Services program for the return of runaway children up to age 18 along with 15 days of maintenance for that child and it permitted their use for administration of the state plan.
The Social Security Amendments of P. Further, the law added a new and separate funding authorization for grants by the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare HEW — forerunner of the Department of Health and Human Services, HHS — to support child welfare research of regional or national significance or for projects that demonstrated new methods or facilities and showed substantial promise of advancing the field of child welfare.
Eligible grantees included public or other nonprofit institutions of higher learning, and public or other nonprofit agencies and organizations engaged in research or child welfare activities. Enacted in , P.
Welfare of the child act book
States that opted to provide foster care assistance to eligible children under their ADC programs were also permitted to claim some federal reimbursement under that program for administrative costs associated with placing children in a foster family home and they were expected, to the maximum extent practicable, to use employees of the state or local agency administering the Child Welfare Services program for this purpose.
In , the Public Welfare Amendments of P. The law also expanded eligibility for federal foster care support in two ways — 1 by also allowing federal foster care support for otherwise eligible children who were under the care and placement responsibility of a public agency other than the AFDC agency — provided that the other agency had an agreement with the AFDC agency, developed a plan for the child in foster care, and met other AFDC objectives; and 2 by allowing states subject to limitations prescribed by the Secretary of HEW to receive support for placement of otherwise eligible children in a state-licensed, public or private non-profit child care institution.
The amendments also provided that foster care payments could be made directly to a foster family or child care institution or could be paid to a public or private, non-profit child placement agency. These eligibility changes were initially permitted on a temporary basis but both were made permanent within the decade.
The Public Welfare Amendments P. Finally, the law expanded the purposes of the separate funding authorization for grants to support child welfare research and demonstration projects to include support for training of child welfare workers. Eligibility for medical assistance under the Medicaid program was provided on a categorical basis to individuals receiving AFDC benefits, which included children in foster care receiving those benefits.
The law repealed the specific reservation of funds for day care services under the Child Welfare Services program. Further, the law required that day care provided with Child Welfare Services funds must be provided in a state-licensed setting, whether a private family home or other facility.
Previously a child must have actually been receiving benefits before removal to be eligible for federal foster care assistance. The law also added a new state plan requirement that the same state agency that administered or supervised administration of the AFDC program must also administer the Child Welfare Services program.
Finally, the act added a state plan requirement related to providing for training and effective use of paid sub-professionals in administering the Child Welfare Services program and for use of unpaid or partially paid volunteers to provide services or assist child welfare advisory committees. Among other things, the new law required states to have a system for receiving and responding to allegations of child abuse or neglect, and for protecting the confidentiality of related records.
Data, reports and publications
As early as , P. The Social Services Amendments P. HEW used this authority to fund a voluntary system of reporting. Further, it authorized funds to support competitive grants, demonstration projects, and other activities related to removing barriers to the adoption of children with special needs i.
In Congress sought to reverse the high rate at which Indian children were involuntarily separated from their tribes and families by federal, state, and private agencies. The law provided procedural protections for parents and tribes in state court proceedings and authorized some assistance to Indian tribes in the operation of child and family services programs.
A keystone of the current federal child welfare policy and financing structure, the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of P. The Title IV-E foster care and adoption assistance program followed many of the same rules and practices that had been established under the AFDC foster care program, while adding support for adoption assistance.
Funding for foster care and adoption assistance was established under Title IV-E as a permanent entitlement for assistance to eligible children.
The federal share of Title IV-E program costs was changed to equal in all states the share a state received under the Medicaid program i. As part of its attention to both reducing placements in foster care and establishing permanency for children who did enter care, P.
Periodic review of the case plan was stipulated as every 6 months, and in addition to a review of the appropriateness of services provided, was to project a likely date for which the child could be returned home or placed for adoption or legal guardianship. Additionally, any child receiving Title IV-E assistance remained categorically eligible for Medicaid. Additionally, the law sought to encourage use of funds for preventive services.
Separately, the law established a mandatory cap on federal reimbursement of state foster care expenditures under certain circumstances.
An Everyday Resource for Child Welfare Attorneys and Judges
For a more detailed discussion of changes made by P. With regard to funding services for children and their families, the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act P.
As part of the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of P. The Omnibus Reconciliation Act of P. Further, it established a state match requirement for the Independent Living Program beginning in FY To receive funds, states were required to make a broad plan for provision of child and family services every five years and to include goals. Further they were required to annually report on the services provided and progress toward the plan goals. The legislation also included an annual set-aside for grants to the highest court in each state beginning with FY for assessments and improvements of judicial child welfare proceedings i.
Separately, P. The law made provision of certain protections e. In addition, P. Finally, P. Artist M. The legislation also provided a right of action in U. In addition, MEPA amended the Child Welfare Services program Title IV-B, Subpart 1 of the Social Security Act to add, as a state plan requirement, that states must provide for the diligent recruitment of potential foster and adoptive families that reflect the ethnic and racial diversity of children who need homes.
This law repealed the prior MEPA provision that allowed consideration of a child's cultural, ethnic, or racial background in making placement decisions.
Further, the law amended Title IV-E of the Social Security Act to provide that neither the state nor any other entity that receives federal funds may discriminate in adoption or foster care placements on the basis of race, color or national origin.
The law specified certain fiscal penalties for states that violate this Title IV-E plan requirement and provided that private agencies that violate the interethnic provisions must pay back any federal funds received. Also under the law, private individuals may continue to seek relief in U.
Finally, this law stipulated that none of these interethnic placement provisions affect the application of the Indian Child Welfare Act. The centerpiece of P. Thus, P. Technical amendments enacted in , P.
The welfare reform legislation also amended Title IV-E to require states, as a component of their Title IV-E plans, to consider giving preference to adult relatives in determining a foster or adoptive placement for a child; enable for-profit child care institutions to participate in the federal foster care program; and extend an enhanced federal matching rate for certain data collection costs through FY ASFA sought to promote adoption and ensure safety for children in foster care.
To promote permanency, the law required states to make reasonable efforts to place children, in a timely manner, who have permanency plans of adoption or another alternative to family reunification, and to document these efforts. Additional provisions were intended to eliminate inter-jurisdictional barriers to adoption. The law also revised the list of permanency goals, eliminating specific reference to long-term foster care, and required that foster parents, pre-adoptive parents, and relative care givers be given notice and opportunity to be heard at reviews and hearings.
Further, the law required that states initiate or join proceedings to terminate parental rights on behalf of children who have been in foster care for 15 of the most recent 22 months, although certain exceptions are allowed.
ASFA also authorized incentive payments to states to increase the number of foster and special-needs children who are placed for adoption Section A and it contained provisions intended to expand health insurance coverage for special-needs adoptive children who are not eligible under Title IV-E. Finally, it required HHS to establish child welfare outcome measures and to publish data annually on state performance compared to those measures Sec.
The law also established an option under Medicaid for states to cover youth aged who on their 18th birthday were in foster care under the responsibility of the state. Finally, it required HHS to develop outcome measures as well as a data collection system to quantify services provided and measure outcomes.
The Adoption Promotion Act of P. The law amended the awards available for increases in special needs adoption, limiting it to increases of adoptions of children under age 9 who have special needs, and it added an additional incentive for increased adoptions of foster children ages 9 or older.
The DRA P. Finally, the DRA made changes to Medicaid Title XIX , which were intended to clarify when state child welfare agencies could use targeted case management to provide certain services for children in foster care. No funds were appropriated under this authority and it is now repealed. Further, P.
The law limited administrative spending of state matching dollars under the PSSF program to no more than 10 percent of total program expenditures prior law providing this same restriction for federal program funds was retained as well. Separately, the law increased the annual funding set-aside for tribal child and family services under the Promoting Safe and Stable Families program. The law also reauthorized the Mentoring Children of Prisoners program and authorized HHS to fund a demonstration of the effectiveness of vouchers as a way to improve the delivery of and access to mentoring services for children of prisoners.
The documentation requirements were created by the DRA P. In the th Congress, P.
Among the changes in federal financing of child welfare programs, P. States are generally entitled to claim federal reimbursement for the cost of making Title IV-E foster care maintenance, adoption assistance, and kinship guardianship assistance at their federal medical assistance percentage FMAP.
The law provided a general 6. Further, it ensured that no state had a lower calculated FMAP before application of the general increase than it had in FY or any subsequent year during the temporary increase period.
Ian McEwan introduces The Children Act
Specifically, it authorized a general 3. Further, ARRA conditions for receipt of this enhanced funding described above continued to apply and states were additionally required to submit a notice to HHS indicating that they would seek this enhanced funding.
The level of federal participation in the Title IV-E program returned to its regular reimbursement rates beginning on July 1, Specifically, for any youth who is aging out of foster care, the required transition planning is amended to stipulate that youth must be informed about a health care power of attorney or health care proxy and must be given the opportunity to execute a document to assign health care decision-making.
Child Welfare Legislative History
The health care law P. This change was made in the Medicaid part of the statute, but is applicable to the Title IV-E program as well. The Continuing Appropriations Act, P. States are newly required to describe activities they take on behalf of children they serve who are under five years of age to 1 reduce the amount of time they are without a permanent family; and 2 address their developmental needs.
Further, they are required to describe what sources are used to compile information on child deaths due to maltreatment for purposes of reporting these data to HHS ; and, if applicable, to describe why certain sources of information are not used i. Further, the previously existing requirement for a health oversight plan for children in foster care was amended to require state child welfare agencies to outline in this plan how they will monitor and treat trauma children experience because of abuse or neglect, or because of removal from their homes and which is identified through screenings for health needs ; and further to require states to include protocols for appropriate use and monitoring of psychotropic medication as part of their more general oversight of prescription medications.
The Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act also amended the state plan requirements for the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program to require states to describe how they identify populations at greatest risk of maltreatment and how services are targeted to them.
The law P.
However, states newly seeking the ability to operate a waiver project must implement no less than two of 10 specific child welfare improvement policies no less than one of which must be implemented after application for the waiver.