Policy Trends in TANF and Child Welfare. National Alliance to End Homelessness Ending Homelessness: The Time is Now July 9, 2007 Jody Grutza, MSW. TANF - DRA. Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) Imposed significant limitations on state flexibility and policy changes to the TANF Block Grant.
Policy Trends in TANF and Child Welfare National Alliance to End Homelessness Ending Homelessness: The Time is Now July 9, 2007 Jody Grutza, MSW
TANF - DRA Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) • Imposed significant limitations on state flexibility and policy changes to the TANF Block Grant. • Included new $$ for child care funding • Imposes new rigor around work requirements • Interim Final Rules limit state flexibility • Limits vocational education training to 12 months in a lifetime.
TANF - DRA • Interim rules were not published until June 2006. • Guidance for rules has been released 5 times in 3 formats. • This has created chaos based on its inconsistency. • To date, no states has an approved plan from ACF. • According to the DRA, state plans must be approved and in place by September 30, 2007 or penalties will occur.
TANF - DRA • Congress got burnt out on the process of the TANF reauthorization. • The focus was on the Iraq War and current spending. • “Pay Go” is also affecting TANF • For most states, the new work participation rules are unreachable, yet penalties may still apply.
TANF - State Concerns • Congress currently has no interest in re-opening DRA discussions. • Final Rules release date may not give states time to implement changes that result in compliance. • Attendance verification and documentation for each hour of participation is extraordinary and creates a paperwork burden. • There is no distinction in work participation rates for those with a disability.
TANF - State Concerns • The way that participation hours are counted leads to only weeks or months of training being done. • Excused absences must be counted in days and not hours, unlike the real world of work • Narrow definitions of job readiness exclude activities like arranging child care and work transportation – known to be necessary for job success. • Serving individuals with multi-barriers will be difficult due to time limits and narrow interpretation of countable.
Proposed Legislation • Rockefeller Bill (S. 1461) introduced in May 2007. • TANF penalty relief bill. • Prohibits DHS from imposing penalties against states for failing to meet work participation rates for 12 months from the date of HHS plan approval. • Smith Bill (S. 1730) introduced in June 2007. • Pathways to Independence bill • Brings TANF in line with ADA regulations. • Allows states to work individually with people with disabilities and count each of them in the work participation rates.
TANF - States Utilizing Innovation • Los Angeles, California – LA County • GAIN Sanction Home Visit Outreach Program • St. Paul, Minnesota – Ramsey County • Workforce Solutions
Child Welfare Legislation FEB 2006 JUL 2006 SEPT 2006 Deficit Reduction Act Safe & Timely Interstate Placement Act Adam Walsh Act Child & Family Svcs Imp Act 109th Congress – 2nd Session
Federal Legislative Activity in 2006 • Deficit Reduction Act (DRA – PL 109-171) • Limitation on Eligibility for Foster Care Maintenance and Adoption Assistance • Limitation on IV-E Administrative Cost Claiming • Additional Court Improvement Funding under Title IV-B • Limitations on Targeted Case Management, but still awaiting the regulations from CMS. • Safe & Timely Interstate Placement Act (PL 109-239) • Home Study Time Limits – 60 days: IV-E State Plan Amendment • Does not include education/training of prospective foster/adoptive parents • 15 day extension under certain circumstances • Home Study Incentive Bonus – 30 day: $1500 • Unclear how this will be monitored by HHS and what data will be required
Federal Legislative Activity in 2006 • Adam Walsh Act (PL 109-248) • Requirement to conduct fingerprint checks of potential foster or adoption parents in the national registry before the placement is finalized; regardless of receipt of maintenance payments • Requirement to check any child abuse and neglect registry run by the state or other states in which prospective foster or adoptive parents or other adult in household has resided within the past 5 years • Child & Family Services Improvement Act (PL109-288) • Reauthorized PSSF (Title IV-B, subpart 2) through FY 2011. • PSSF funds are flexible for prevention, foster care, post-adoption, and family preservation. • These funds could also be used for housing, but they are capped. • Discretionary Funds: $89 million has been appropriated, but Congress had the option to appropriate up to $200 million. • Mandatory Funds: $345 million.
Partners: Child Welfare: Joint Financing Recommendations NATIONAL CHILD ABUSE COALITION
Child Welfare: Joint Financing Recommendations (1) Guarantee services, supports and safe homes for every child who is at-risk of being or has been abused or neglected by strengthening the federal-state child welfare partnership by amending the federal Title IV-E statute to do the following without converting any of Title IV-E to a block grant. • Align the federal and state governments to create a partnership • Create a full continuum that allows funding and programming beginning with prevention and going all the way through to post-permanency. • Guarantee children placed permanently with legal guardians receive federal, as well as state, financial support • Ensure that children living with relatives while in foster care have access to Title IV-E federal, as well as state, financial support • Assure that Native American children have access to federal support
Making Things Happen: Child Welfare Financing Reform (2) Promote program effectiveness • Improve outcomes for children by enhancing and sustaining a competent, skilled and professional child welfare workforce • Ensure that all children involved with the child welfare system receive intensive, quality casework services • Promote rigorous evaluation of programs and practices – by allowing reinvestment of penalties and disallowances
Making Things Happen - Child Welfare Financing Reform (3) Enhance accountability • Enhance fiscal accountability – reporting on funds spent • Evaluate the effectiveness of this package of reforms – GAO study • Increase the knowledge about outcomes for children – allow states to submit state level data for the CFSRs
Child Welfare and Housing Innovation • Connecticut – Supportive Housing for Families • Family Unification Housing Vouchers • Intensive Case management • Reunifying families • Contact Kim Somaroo-Rodriguez at S.KIM.SOMAROO@CT.GOV or Betsy Cronin at Connections, Inc at (860) 344-0682 for additional information. • Adolescent and Transitional Youth Supportive Housing.
CONTACT INFORMATIONTANF:Linda Lawson, Senior Policy Associate – email@example.comFood Stamps:Larry Goolsby, Senior Policy Associate – firstname.lastname@example.orgChild Care and Child Welfare: Rachel Demma, Policy Associate – email@example.comMedicaid:Martha Roherty, Director, NASMD – firstname.lastname@example.orgAndrea Maresca, Senior Health Policy Associate, NASMD – email@example.comAPHSA: (202) 682-0100