Partners for Our Children


Historic increases for children and families in 2018 federal budget

The United States federal budget proposal for 2018 was submitted to Congress by President Trump in mid-March. If it passes, the budget will fund government operations for the 2018 federal fiscal year: October 1, 2017 until September 30, 2018. 
Proposed budgetary increases related to child welfare (listed alphabetically):
• Adoption and Kinship Incentive Fund- proposed increase to $75 million ($37 million increase) with $20 million to help States and tribes expand kinship navigator programs to assist families involved in the child welfare system. 
• Child Abuse Discretionary Activities- included $1 million for an extramural grant to develop and expand text and chat capabilities and protocols for a National Child Abuse Hotline to determine best practices in appropriate communication, identity verification, privacy protection, and resource sharing with youth seeking assistance. The proposal acknowledges the dearth of information regarding effective and appropriate text-based and chat-based intervention and education services for child abuse victims and concerned adults.
• Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)- proposed increase from $25 million to $85 million. CAPTA directly funds Health and Human Services to provide the necessary technical assistance, monitoring, and oversight to assist and evaluate states activities on plans of safe care. This budgetary proposal is the first increase in CAPTA funds since FY 2005.  
• Child Care funding- proposed increase by $2.3 billion. In addition, nearly $700 million increase in Head Start funding, including over $100 million for Early Head Start (Head Start is currently funded at $9.2 billion). Head Start and Early Head Start provide comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to over 1 million low-income children and their families.
• Family Violence Prevention- proposed $9 million increase for of which $5 million is allocated to tribal communities.  Family Violence Prevention services include shelter for persons fleeing violent living spaces, crisis counseling, and legal advocacy.
• Opioid Treatment Services- proposed $4.6 billion allocated through the budget bill to address the growing opioid epidemic. While final plans for the money are still being drafted, the funds shall be set-aside for treatment and prevention services.
• Project AWARE- provided $71 million, an increase of $14 million, for Project AWARE, a program which raises awareness of mental health issues and connects young people experiencing behavioral health issues, as well as their families, with needed services. At least $10 million of the set aside funds are for discretionary grants to support efforts in high-crime, high-poverty areas and communities that are seeking to address relevant impacts and root causes of civil unrest. 
• Promoting Safe and Stable Families- proposed $40 million increase, allocates $20 million to fund Kinship Navigator Programs and $20 million to supplement the current $20 million for Regional Partnership Grants (RPGs). 
• Runaway and Homeless Youth Program- proposed $8.3 million increase (currently at $101 million) which provides services to youths under 18 who are experiencing homelessness.  Services include food, clothing, and medical care, as well as counseling for individuals and families.  
• Second Chance– proposed $85 million for offender re-entry programs as authorized by the Second Chance Act of 2007.  Of those funds, up to $5 million is allocated to Children of Incarcerated Parents Demonstration projects to enhance and maintain parental and family relationships and visitations as a recidivism strategy.  
• Victims of Trafficking- included $6.7 million to improve services available for U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. Within the total of $23.7 million, the agreement included $1.8 million for the National Human Trafficking Hotline program, an increase of $250,000. 
Read key highlights of the entire spending bill here