We’ve recently added a new blog to our Friends of CASA page. The Children’s Monitor, produced by the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), began as a printed newsletter, evolved into an e-newsletter and has now moved to a blog format. We’ve found it to be an excellent source of information about the state of America’s children. CWLA is tracking leading research about child welfare—especially children in care—as well as monitoring the fast-moving budget debate and other policy discussions in Washington DC. We welcome the Child Welfare League of America to the blogosphere, and we will be actively following this new resource.
Among recent highlights from the newly-launched Children’s Monitor blog:
- The Administration on Children and Families in the Department of Health and Human Services recently released the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System (AFCARS) report for FY 2010. The annual AFCARS report is a collection of case-level data on all children in state child welfare systems as well as adoptive and foster parents.
A comparison of the AFCARS report for FY 2009 and the report for FY 2010 shows that some 15,000 fewer children were in foster care on September 30, 2010, than on September 30, 2009. On a similar note, the number of children waiting to be adopted decreased between 2009 and 2010. Read more.
- July 16 marks the 15th anniversary of the “look back” eligibility requirement for federal foster care assistance, and as a result fewer children are eligible for federal foster care support today than when the decision was initially made. The “look back” refers to the eligibility link to the now defunct Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program as it existed on July 16, 1996, when AFDC was replaced by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant.
At the time of this decision, 55% of children who entered foster care came from families that qualified for that eligibility standard. Now 44%, less than half, of the children in foster care are eligible for federal foster care support. Read more.
- The Senate Caucus on Foster Youth, co-chaired by Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA), recently hosted its first event of the new Speakers Series. The series is designed to bring “grassroots practitioners of innovative programs and strategies” to Washington, DC, to share their approaches to improving outcomes for foster youth. The goal is to inform policymakers and advocates about what is happening and working for youth in foster care around the country. Read more.
- The subcommittee on Human Resources of the House Committee on Ways and Means recently held a hearing on child deaths due to maltreatment. The hearing was held in conjunction with the release of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) study on the data reporting systems for child deaths due to maltreatment. The GAO found that the annual National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), vital records and law enforcement databases chronically underreport child deaths due to maltreatment. Read more.