Update #2 ·

Update on December 06, 2012

Share the Petition to Save these Specific Programs for Vulnerable Children

When we're talking about protecting children's programs in the fiscal cliff debates, we're talking about the specific programs below. Read about the critical services and supports they fund and then see how your state would be affected by the fiscal cliff, if no deal is reached by the end of the Congressional session: http://www.cwla.org/advocacy/SequestrationBudgets.pdf.

Any deal to avert these harmful budget cuts must not also include cuts to these and other critical safety net and child welfare programs. Sign and share this petition today to tell the President and Congress that you oppose balancing the budget on the backs of children.

CHILD WELFARE SERVICES (CWS) and PROMOTING SAFE AND STABLE FAMILIES (PSSF) are flexible funding streams that can fund a range of child welfare services, including family support to prevent maltreatment and alternatives to child removal for struggling families. For children who cannot continuously safely remain with their families of origin, the funds support permanency solutions through reunification services, adoption, and kinship. Furthermore, the statute includes fundamental protections for children and service provision to address their needs and the needs of their families. These programs are instrumental in keeping all children safely thriving in permanent, loving families.

CHILD CARE and HEAD START help at-risk families find stability through early learning opportunities for children and as a work or education support for parents.

Federal CHILD CARE funding gives states flexibility in setting child care eligibility standards and allocating funds. A state can designate any family earning up to 85% of the state median income (SMI) as eligible for a child care subsidy. Eligible children must also be younger than 13, and their parents must be working, receiving training, or in school. Children in the protective services system or in need of protective services are eligible, regardless of their parents' eligibility (work status). A child in foster care qualifies only if a state indicates in its child care plan that the foster care system is considered part of its child protection system. Overall, need for child care assistance far out paces resources, with only 1 in 7 eligible children receiving a child care subsidy

HEAD START functions not just as a child care and education program for low-income families, but also as a comprehensive effort to promote child development. Head Start offers services that are unique and critical to children's development, addressing their social, emotional, physical, and health needs. Head Start recognizes that both families and communities are important to the program's success; consequently, partnerships serve as an important part of its structure.

The SOCIAL SERVICES BLOCK GRANT (SSBG) is a flexible funding stream that plays a key role in Child Protective Services. Although states can use SSBG funds for an array of social services, such as child care or services for the aging, child welfare services receive more of these funds than any other service area. The block grant frequently serves as a link between government funding and private and charitable sources and helps build and fund a network of private agencies. The funds supplement local and charitable efforts by providing federal dollars to fill a gap these charities may not be able to meet. The breadth of services provided by SSBG funds can also cover shortfalls left by other federal social services programs.

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