The Federal Funding For Child WelfareAugust 31, 2017
Child welfare is a combination of the federal government’s services that aim at providing protection for children and encourage stability in families for their well-being. The federal government has the responsibility of taking care of children whose parents are unable, unfit, or unwilling to take care of their children. The main role of the child welfare system in United States is to protect and preserve family unity at all times. As such, it can only recommend the separation of parents and children if they deem it necessary. The federal and state laws regulate the Child Welfare System in United States.
Reasons Why the Federal Government Take a Child into Children Welfare
• Evidence of physical abuse
• To protect a child from sexual abuse
• If there are cases of child neglect
• To protect a child from emotional stress and abuse
Child Welfare Services Provided Through the Federal Funding Mechanism
• Foster care services
• Child adoption services
• Services aimed at preventing separation of a child from her/his parent
• Research and training for personnel involved in children welfare
The Various Ways the Federal Government Offers Funding For Child Welfare
The federal government provides funding for child welfare through the department of health and human services. The main children’s bureau is a branch of the federal department of health and human services through which the federal government is able to channel funds towards children’s welfare.
The funds flow through the following channels:
a) Tittle IV-B of the Social Security Act
i. The Stephanie Tubbs Jones Child Welfare Services Program: This program gets funding from both the federal governments and state governments. The program covers services and activities that gear towards fighting child neglect and abuse, promote the preservation and re-union of families, and ensure the safety of children. The program also ensures permanence and the well-being of children who are under adoptive placement or foster care by ensuring the maintenance of a workforce that is qualified. The funding also helps in promoting child welfare training, funding family connection, and research and demonstration in fields related to child welfare.
ii. Federal funding for the promotion of safe and stable families: This funding does not require a specific eligibility criterion although states can determine those who meet their criteria. The funding promotes activities that will ensure family preservation, time bound re-unifications, and supporting families and the services related to adoption and support. This funding includes money provided by the federal government for the improvement of caseworker visits and facilitating the wellbeing of children abused due to their parents abusing substances. There is also an allocation of funds towards research, training, evaluation, technical assistance, and improvement of courts.
b) Through the IV-E of the Social Security Act
This is the largest channel through which the federal government channels funds for child welfare activities. The act creates four programs through which the federal government supports child welfare. They are:
i. Foster care: The Title-foster care program is used to reimburse state expenditure on child welfare through covering costs for basic needs, administrative and placement services, and costs incurred during the staff and foster parents training.
ii. Adoption assistance: The Title IV-E adoption assistance program is used to help state governments through covering adoption assistance fees for qualified children, adoptive parents training costs, and costs of adoption placement, administrative services, and staffing.
iii. Guardianship assistance: The Title IV-E Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP) provides reimbursement from the federal government to cover kinship guardianship assistance, guardianship administrative and placement costs, and staff and guardian training.
iv. The Chafee Foster Care Independence Program: This program provides funds that cover the expenses incurred when youths are prepared to transition from the foster care system to become self-reliant. The program also includes the training and education voucher component through discretional funds. The federal government allocates funds based on each state’s share of the people under foster care in their respective jurisdictions. The programs’ funds are used in promoting the development of life skills such as promoting educational outcomes, preventive healthcare, prevention of substance abuse, preparing the youth for employment, and provision of emotional and psychological support.
The federal government has put in place elaborate funding programs to promote the welfare of children across the country. The federal funding for child welfare has been increasing over the years through increased funding to all the federal programs that seek to promote the child welfare.
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