Youth Services Insider is keeping an eye on news of the stimulus negotiations going on as Congress prepares to adjourn for the year. It is possible that both a coronavirus package and an omnibus spending deal for the year will be reached before day’s end tomorrow … or neither.
While earlier versions of COVID-19 relief itemized specific help for child welfare systems and for current and former foster youth, a stimulus plan outline obtained late last week by Youth Services Insider appears not to include any of that. The draft spells out 17 overarching priorities for the stimulus spending of $908 billion, including addiction and mental health, testing and tracing, education and rental assistance. Included in the plan is $10 billion for child care providers, which could help on the margins to prevent child welfare involvement for some families but is well short of the more than $50 billion for child care that the House approved over the summer in the HEROES Act.
The HEROES Act stimulus plan also included a slew of assistance for child welfare systems and the youth involved in them, including a provision that required states to allow older foster youth to remain in care past the age of 21 during the pandemic. The White House negotiators never laid out in public an array of child welfare supports, but Roll Call reported in October that the administration had set aside $5 billion for child welfare in its plan.
Youth Services Insider will continue to report on any developments.