Dollars and Priorities: The Current Value of a 20-Year-Old Poverty Standard

In this latest installment of our “Dollars and Priorities” series on federal financing of child welfare, our columnists dive into the “look back.” The look back refers to how the federal government reimburses states to pay for foster care through Title IV-E of the Social Security Act.


The IV-E “Look back” Is a Bureaucratic Nightmare; Here’s Why We Should Keep It

Suppose for a moment you’re on a runaway train. It’s out of control, the speed keeps increasing and there’s a sharp bend in the tracks ahead. But the only brake on the train is a clumsy, complicated contraption that only Rube Goldberg could love.


The Child Welfare Financing Structure

The current child welfare financing structure is a complex system consisting of various federal, state, and local funding streams.Federal funds account for approximately half of states’ total reported spending for child welfare services, and that money comes from more than 30 programs.


With Foster Care Entitlement, Swapping AFDC for TANF Might Not Have the Intended Impact

Last week, the Chronicle ran the first in a series of stories describing how the federal government pays for child welfare; and the movement afoot to reform foster care financing. Federal dollars only flow out of the Title IV-E entitlement for youths whose birth families would have qualified for financial assistance in 1996 under the now-defunct welfare program: Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).


Reforming IV-E, Part One: The Friendless Eligibility Rules

Rewriting the rules on the lion’s share of federal foster care money – the Title IV-E entitlement – is hardly a fresh notion. Legislators have undertaken more than a dozen attempts to re-formulate IV-E, which includes 90 percent of the federal spending on child welfare, but precludes states from using that money for anything but foster care.