Category Archives: Tools for Advocates

The Reauthorization of the Adoption Incentive Fund: Opportunities to Expand Reinvestment of State Funds into Child Welfare Services

The Reauthorization of the Adoption Incentive Fund_Page_1This fall Congress is likely to reauthorize the adoption incentives program, a federal fund that awards states annually if they succeed in increasing the number of children adopted from foster care. The original fund was created by the 1997 Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) as part of a more global strategy to push states to move some of the 560,000 children in foster care into permanent families. Since its creation it has been successfully reauthorized every five years with Congress generally adjusting the adoption targets to continue to encourage states to keep up their efforts at foster care adoptions.

Before leaving for the August break, a bipartisan group of members from the House Subcommittee on Human Resources of the House Ways and Means committee released a draft version of the reauthorization. The draft text proposes some changes to the formulas for rewarding states based on finalized adoptions. It also touches on the need for post adoption services and, perhaps most importantly, attempts to implement requirements passed in 2008 as part of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (PL110-351) that requires states to reinvest the dollars states are saving as a result of the expanded federal funding that was a major piece of that law.

This SPARC brief examines some of the issues raised by the reauthorization and the draft proposal including the award levels, reinvestments of state savings and post-adoption services.

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The Reauthorization of the Adoption Incentive Fund

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Medicaid and Children in Foster Care

Medicaid and Children in Foster Care image_Page_01The health care needs of children in foster care are vast and often compounded by their circumstances. These children face myriad challenges – from placement instability, to emotional, behavioral, and educational difficulties, to juvenile justice involvement – that threaten their health and well-being. Because they are often at the intersection of multiple public systems including behavioral health, child welfare, education, juvenile justice, and primary care, it is critical for these systems to work collaboratively to meet their health needs.

Much national attention is currently being directed toward this population, particularly around the issue of psychotropic medication use, which has shed a spotlight on the behavioral health challenges faced by these children. Most children in foster care are insured through Medicaid, which makes state Medicaid agencies one of the major players in developing solutions to address the issues of this population.

Medicaid and Children in Foster Care, authored by Kamala D. Allen, MHS, and Taylor Hendricks, MS, of the Center for Health Care Strategies,  details the health care needs of children in foster care and the role of Medicaid in providing health coverage for this population. It also highlights existing policy levers that may help to address some of the ongoing health and well-being issues faced by children in foster care.

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Filed under Foster Care, Health and Behavioral Health, Tools for Advocates

Webinar Recording – Finding What Works: Helping Young Adults Transition into Adulthood

Review the March 19 webinar, Finding What Works: Helping Young Adults Transition into Adulthood,  using the slideshow and audio player below. The presenters were:

  • Sarah Hurley, Director of Research, Youth Villages
  • Mark Courtney, Senior Researcher at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago,
  • John Martinez, Deputy Director, Health and Barriers to Employment Policy Area, MDRC.

Download a preview of the youth villages transitional living evaluation here.

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Filed under Foster Care, Older Youth, Tools for Advocates, Uncategorized

Recording from Webinar: Child Welfare and the Affordable Care Act

View the presentation from our February 19, 2013  webinar, Child Welfare and the Affordable Care Act, below. You can follow along with the audio recording with the audio player beneath the presentation. The draft comments discussed in the presentation that are in response to CMS’ request for feedback on the proposed rule concerning Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Programs, and Exchanges: Essential Health Benefits in Alternative Benefit Plans, Eligibility Notices, Fair Hearing and Appeal Processes for Medicaid and Exchange Eligibility Appeals and Other Provisions Related to Eligibility and Enrollment for Exchanges, Medicaid and CHIP, and Medicaid is available to view here.

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Recording from Webinar: “Electronic Information Exchange: Elements that Matter for Children in Foster Care”

View the presentation from our January 31, 2013  webinar, Electronic Information Exchange: Elements that Matter for Children in Foster Care, below. You can follow along with the audio recording with the audio player beneath the presentation.

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New policy brief: Adoption Tax Credit: A Guide for State Advocates

Adoption Tax Credit - A Guide for State Advocates_Page_1Authored by Mary Boo of the North American Council on Adoptable Children, this brief is intended to inform state advocates about the adoption tax credit, help them share accurate information with parents and adoption professionals in their communities, and ensure that administrators, adoption professionals, and policymakers understand the value of adoption credits in the future.  

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Filed under Adoption and Post-Adoption Services, Permanency, Tools for Advocates

Recording from Webinar: “Adoption Tax Credit: A Guide for Advocates”

View the presentation from our November 13 webinar, Adoption Tax Credit: A Guide for Advocates, below. You can follow along with the audio recording with the audio player beneath the presentation.

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Filed under Adoption and Post-Adoption Services, Permanency, Tools for Advocates