We urge Congress to act immediately to provide crucial supports to older foster youth facing the stress and disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 18,000 youth exit foster care without a family each year, and, unfortunately, the outcomes for these young people are discouraging even in times of economic prosperity. Data indicate that on average, two in five foster youth who “age out” of care will experience episodes of homelessness and only 50 percent of youth will be employed at age 24. The COVID-19 crisis will only exacerbate these dire outcomes.
The Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) is a proven key source of support to help communities respond to critical needs in national disasters and an important tool in times of recession because it can provide assistance to cash-strapped states, territories, and counties quickly. We urged Congress to increase funding to the SSBG by $4.1 billion to respond to the growing needs of older people, children and families, and people with disabilities in the midst of COVID-19.
500+ Child Welfare Advocates Deliver Policy Demands to Congress to Protect Children From Abuse and Neglect During Pandemic
As national, state, and local organizations dedicated to the well-being of vulnerable children and families, we write to urge Congress to act immediately to provide crucial support to families facing the stress and disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, by equipping the child welfare system with the tools it needs to handle the crisis.
As Congress creates packages to response to COVID-19, we strongly urge increased support for the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) to respond to the most vulnerable—our nation’s older adults, children and families, and people with disabilities. people with disabilities.
As you work quickly with your Congressional colleagues to pass new legislation to address the devastating public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, the Children’s Defense Fund urges you to include in the next package a number of critical provisions to protect our nation’s children and families.
This most recent rule rescinds regulations that were put in place “to improve service delivery and strengthen religious liberty.” Repealing these religious freedom protections is not a necessary step and does not reflect the will of the broader faith community. This NPRM will provide only a nominal benefit for some faith-based organizations receiving federal funds to provide social services. In doing so, however, it will put the religious liberty, safety and well-being of the beneficiaries of these social services at grave risk.
A society must be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable—and most valuable—members: its children. The State of America’s Children 2020 makes it abundantly clear that by this measure, America is falling shamefully short.
CDF led an effort to garner support from nearly 400 national and state organizations across the country in support of the Family First Transition Act. This Act presents a bold plan to help states, tribes and territories meet the unique fiscal and statutory requirements of implementation. Once enacted, it will provide critical tools to help states, tribes and territories take advantage of the opportunities contained in Family First, so that more children and families can thrive.
CDF submitted comments on HHS's proposed rule on nondiscrimination protections for HHS-funded programs. Government-sanctioned discrimination is diametrically opposed to the cardinal rule of child welfare, that the best interest of the child is paramount, and, as such, it should never be allowed in the child welfare system. This rule would threaten the ability of the child welfare system to promote permanency for youth in care and will jeopardize the safety and well-being of children in foster care.
CDF’s response to the request for public comments from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) on amending the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) 2016 Final Rule. CDF expressed strong concern about modifications to the AFCARS 2016 Final Rule and strongly urged ACF to continue moving forward with implementation of the Final Rule without changes.