Update on February 20, 2013
Additional Information on the federal funding streams in
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 safely remain with their families of origin, the funds
support permanency solutions through reunification services, adoption, and
kinship. Furthermore, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 outpaces resources, with
only 1 in 7 eligible children receiving a child care subsidy.