Working to transform the child welfare system.

S 4172: Child Welfare Emergency Assistance Act of 2020

The bill would provide $2 billion in additional funding for child and family support services and programs authorized in Title IV-B of the Social Security Act; $30 million for kinship navigator programs; and $500 million for John Chafee Foster Care Programs for Successful Transition to Adulthood. This funding would be in addition to the $45 million provided for Title IV-B in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) in March. The funding is intended to “stabilize children, youth, and families impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency by providing assistance for transportation, housing, utility payments, and access to adequate health care and child care.” States could also use funds to hire and train additional caseworkers, provide caseworkers personal protective equipment to allow them to conduct home visits, and purchase new technology to improve the quality of virtual visitation during the pandemic. The legislation includes a moratorium on aging out of foster care for the duration of the pandemic so that foster youth could continue receiving state benefits regardless of age. States would also be required to submit plans to adopt de-escalation and trauma-informed techniques to reduce interaction between law enforcement and child welfare involved families.