Two major foundations joined to call for a restructuring of federal child welfare funds aimed at improving foster and kinship care, limiting the amount of time that federal funds can be spent on them for any one youth, and ending certain federal spending on group care.
The paper, “When Child Welfare Works,” bemoans the “arcane federal financing structure that fails to support or provide incentives for the best practices we now know are essential to improve the well-being of children.”
The paper’s recommendations include:
- Limiting federal foster care reimbursement under Title IV-E to 36 months per child (over the child’s lifetime).
- Elimination of Title IV-E funding entirely for shelter care, as well as for group care for children younger than 13.
- A 12-month limit on congregate care funding for older youth.
- Eliminating entirely the concept of income eligibility requirements for IV-E reimbursement.
- More flexible licensing standards for kinship placements and a requirement that all children be placed in licensed homes.
- Changes in the way “case work” and “overhead” are defined and reimbursed, so that agencies can receive reimbursement for a broader array of support activities, such as non-clinical counseling of families.
- An increased tax credit for foster families caring for youth who are over age 12, are siblings, or are difficult to place.
- Allowing child welfare workers to receive educational loan forgiveness after 4 years (instead of 10).
- Allowing current funding streams to cover better training of child welfare investigative staff.
Click here to read “When Child Welfare Works”