Working to transform the child welfare system.


New proposed federal legislation supports the child welfare system as the pandemic continues

On August 7, 2020, the Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act (H.R.7947) was released by Chairman Danny Davis (D-IL) and Ranking Member Jackie Walorski (R-IN) of the Worker and Family Support Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee. The legislation provides emergency funding and support for children and families in the child welfare system in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If strong support exists for this bill, it has the potential to be included in the next wave of Coronavirus relief legislation,expected to pass in the next few weeks. 

The legislation proposes supporting vulnerable youth and families and would:

  • Provide an additional $400 million for Chafee, to include $50 million for Education and Training Vouchers (ETV), and preventing youth from aging out of foster care during the pandemic; 

  • Increase federal reimbursement for Title IV-E Prevention Programs from 50% to 100% for the duration of the pandemic;

  • Provide an additional $85 million to the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program, with no state match requirement, including $10 million for court improvement and increased technology investments to continue court services during the pandemic;

  • Increase federal reimbursement for Kinship Navigator programs through 2021; 

  • Allow virtual visits to count as home visits and ensuring funds can be used to provide training on virtual visitation and the provision of emergency supplies to families; and

  • Provide adjustments and technical fixes to ensure states and localities get adequate amounts of Family First Transition Act funds.

The entire bill is here.   Additional summaries and a fact sheet are attached below.