Policy Updates

Family First Transition Act Information Memoranda

On January 22nd the Children’s Bureau issued ACYF-CB-IM-20-01, which informs state and tribal title IV-E agencies of the enactment of the Family First Transition Act and provides basic information on the new law. 

GAO Releases Report on Education for Students in Foster Care

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report, Education Could Help States Improve Educational Stability for Youth in Foster Care, finding that the Department of Education should do more to help states provide educational stability for students in foster care. Federal law requires states to ensure that students in foster care stay in their schoolRead More

Children’s Bureau Releases 2018 AFCARS Data

On Friday, the Children’s Bureau released AFCARS Report #26, the 26th annual report from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), which reflects national data related to children in the foster care system during federal fiscal year 2018, which occurred from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018. The most noteworthy finding isRead More

Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse Announces Call for Programs and Services

Last week, the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse announced an opportunity for the public to recommend programs and services for review. If approved, these programs would be eligible for reimbursement under the Title IV-E Prevention Services program created by Family First. To learn more about the call, including submission requirements and instructions, please click here. ThisRead More

50 State Scan of Pretrial Detention Laws for Youth

The Campaign for Youth Justice has issued a policy survey report, Removing Youth from Adult Jails: A 50-State Scan of Pretrial Detention Laws for Youth Transferred to the Adult System, which highlights state readiness to remove children under age 18 from adult jails. The brief was released in response to the passage of the JuvenileRead More

States Need Clear OJJDP Guidance to Implement JJDPA Updates

Marcy Mistrett and Naomi Smoot write in the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange about the broad range of changes contained in the JJDPA Reauthorization, and the resulting critical need for support to states as implementation begins. They call on the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to partner with states to ensure that adequateRead More

YTFG statement on waiver allowing private foster care agencies to discriminate based on religious beliefs

Members of the YTFG are deeply troubled by the Administration’s recent approval of a waiver request from South Carolina that allows a foster care agency to discriminate against potential foster parents based on their religious beliefs. This waiver has the potential to upend decades of federal protections that make safety, permanency and well-being the highestRead More

HHS Issues Policy to Permit Title IV-E Funding for Legal Representation

The Children’s Bureau at the Department of Health and Human Services recently modified a section of the Child Welfare Policy Manual (see Question 30) to allow states to use federal, IV-E dollars for parent and child legal representation. The policy reverses previous prohibitions on the use of Title IV-E for legal representation.  The state may now claimRead More

DOE and DOJ Rescind Federal School Discipline Guidance

The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice have rescinded the Federal School Discipline Guidance. The action was taken four days after the Federal Commission on School Safety released recommendations that called for the removal of the critical civil rights guidance, and also made recommendations to arm school staff and “harden” schools. Click here to readRead More

JJDPA Reauthorized

16 Years Since Last Authorization On December 13, 2018, Congress passed H.R. 6964 with broad bipartisan support, and the President signed the bill into law the following week. The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, first passed in 1974, was last reauthorized in 2002 and expired in 2007. In the interim, the Office of JuvenileRead More

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