California Youth Connection Abruptly Lays Off Most Staff to ‘Restructure’ Amid Pandemic
In an astounding response to the coronavirus pandemic that stunned the California child welfare field, one of the most vaunted foster youth advocacy organizations in the nation laid off most of its staff this week, the majority former foster youth.
On Child Welfare, an Insufficient Federal Response to the Opioid Epidemic
In 2012, following more than a decade of significant decline, the number of American children in foster care began rising. Between 2012 and 2016, the number of children in foster care nationally has increased by more than 10 percent.
Finance Reform: Looking Beyond Title IV-E
Talk to child welfare advocates about federal child welfare finance reform and the conversation almost immediately turns to Title IV-E of the Social Security Act. This is for good reason: Title IV-E, including the foster care, guardianship and adoption assistance programs, represents the only federal entitlement program targeted specifically to the needs of children who have experienced abuse and neglect.
You Can’t Fix Child Welfare Spending with Distorted Data and Doublethink
In 1984, George Orwell defined “doublethink” as holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting them both. In child welfare, for example, we have been told for decades that child welfare systems don’t take away children because their families are poor.
Child Welfare Advocates Must Unite in Push for More Federal Funds
While millions of Americans have found relief in Congress’ failure thus far to come to an agreement on legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, this remains a perilous time at the federal level for children’s programs.
Family First Act Has Problems, But The “Imminent Risk” Provision Isn’t One of Them
Have you heard the one about how the Family First Prevention Services Act supposedly isn’t really about prevention? The claim is based on the fact that the bill would require a child to be at “imminent risk” of foster care placement before federal Title IV-E funds could be used to fund prevention services for that family.
Child Welfare Advocate Angie Schwartz Leads in Opposition to Family First Act
Last week, several prominent California child welfare experts expressed grave concerns about the Family First Prevention Services Act, pending federal legislation that would dramatically change how foster care is paid for.
The Family First Prevention Services Act: A Mixed Bag of Reform
Earlier this month, the federal Family First Prevention Services Act (H.R. 5456) was finally introduced after more than a year of hearings and behind-the-scenes work by Congressional staff. The bill has two main purposes: to bolster federal investments to prevent entries into foster care, and to reduce the number of children and youth who are placed in congregate care settings.
Dollars and Priorities: Preventing Child Abuse
Finally, something they can agree on. Over the past five months we have been publishing columns focused on the big issues with how the federal government pays for child welfare. In the course of that coverage our two primary columnists – Richard Wexler, a staunch advocate for keeping families together and largely dismantling the foster care system, and Sean Hughes, who is more inclined to boost funding to foster care while also supporting families – have strongly disagreed over what the data tells us and what we should do differently.
In Support of Prevention Funding, But Not at the Expense of Children in Foster Care
As I mentioned in a prior piece in this series, the federal child welfare advocacy community increasingly seems myopically focused on increasing federal funding for “prevention.” Unfortunately, few, if any, are able to paint a picture of what increased investment in prevention would look like.