Projected, Federal spending on children will drop about a quarter within a decade

“The Urban Insitute projected, Federal spending on children will drop about a quarter within a decade, as appropriations for the elderly and rising interest payments on a soaring national debt will squeeze spending on America’s youth. 

Contributing to the drop are congressional budgeting rules that build in increases for entitlements like Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid, while annual discretionary spending is capped by rules Congress adopted a decade ago. Discretionary programs include funding for low-income public schools, early education programs like Head Start, child welfare and aid for students with disabilities. “The budget illustrates shortcomings in the ability to govern. 

Underinvestment and declining investment in children shows how much we pay attention to immediate consumption, instead of long-term investment,’ said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonprofit organization in Washington, during a panel discussion Wednesday organized by the Urban Institute. ‘And it is  easy to keep it on automatic pilot.'”

John Fenderwald, Federal spending on children projected to drop substantially over next decade Urban Institute report underscores need for budgeting reforms” (July 18, 2018).

Renewed Appeal from Experts in Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, and Child Development to Halt Separation of Children and Families From Parents at the Border

“There is ample evidence that separating children from their mothers or fathers leads to serious, negative consequences to children’s health and development. Forced separation disrupts the parent-child relationship and puts children at increased risk for both physical and mental illness. Adverse childhood experiences—including the incarceration of a family member—are well-recognized precursors of negative health outcomes later in life. And the psychological distress, anxiety, and depression associated with separation from a parent would follow the children well after the immediate period of separation—even after eventual reunification with a parent or other family. NCCASP along with 539 other child welfare organizations are deeply concerned that recent agency actions institutionalize such harm by taking children from their parents as a matter of policy.”

Large-scale Implementation of Home Visiting Program in CT Shows Promise By Reducing Child Abuse by 22%

CAMP HILL, Pa.April 24, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — 
The research represents one of the largest studies in the U.S. conducted to investigate the impact of home visiting on child maltreatment, including nearly 8,000 families in Connecticut. Researchers found a 22 percent decreased likelihood of substantiated cases of child maltreatment as reported by Child Protective Services data when comparing two groups of children born to first-time mothers. Children whose mothers received home visiting were compared to children whose mothers where eligible for home visiting but did not receive the services.


“Jurisdictional Issues” in Indian Country have life and death consequences

Journalist Rachel Monroe brings to light what many us working in Indian Country have seen: the “jurisdictional issues” leading to deaths and tragic injustice for people who live in these areas.Capture.JPG

Jurisdictional issues – whether the Federal government, state, or tribal police investigate a crime can sometimes only be determined by using a GPS.  Furthermore, tribal courts are limited to sentencing  Indian offenders (other ethnicities do not fall under their jurisdiction) to prison terms not greater than three years per offense.  Prosecution of major crimes are often left to the U.S. Attorney’s office, which often declines to prosecute – leaving dangerous perpetrators living amongst the people.


The Omnibus Spending Bill

From: the Children’s Defense Fund 

The Omnibus bill had the following provisions to aid vulnerable children:

o   $20 million to fund Kinship Navigator Programs in all states and territories (no state match required). The intent of this money is to help develop navigator programs in states and localities that do not have them and to help existing programs get the evaluation they need or adapt their programs to meet evidence-based standards in the Family First Act. With Family First, once the programs meet these standards they will be able to draw down Title IV-E reimbursement.  

o   $20 million additional funds for Regional Partnership Grants

o   $1 million additional funds for the startup costs related to the clearinghouse of promising, supported, and well-supported practices, which was established in the Family First Prevention Services Act for evidence-based mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment services and in-home parent skill-based programs.

o   $37 million additional funds for the Adoption and Guardianship Incentives Program, which recognizes and rewards states for improved performance in ensuring children and youth leave foster care to permanent adoptive and guardianship families.

o   $60 million additional funds to CAPTA (the Child Abuse Treatment and Prevention Act) to help states do other child abuse prevention work (totaling $85 million).



Congress Serves Kids in Continuing Resolution

“The Title IV-E Social Security entitlement, currently reserved for foster care and adoption assistance expenses, can now be used for 12 months of services aimed at helping families without the use of foster care.  The Family First Act will enable child welfare systems to tap into IV-E S to get addiction treatment for parents that they determine, with the right amount of support, are not a danger to their children. So too for parents suffering from mental illness or basic parenting deficits.

The Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, which pairs professionals with new and expecting mothers to help prepare them for parenthood, faced a shortfall that likely would have prompted program eliminations and staff layoffs across the country.  It received a five-year extension at its current rate of $400 million per year.

This deal added an additional four years, giving CHIP a full decade extension, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will actually save the federal government $6 billion over the decade.Community health centers serve about 27 million people a year in America, many of them low-income families. Federal funding expired in September, and is renewed in this bill with an increase from last year’s $3.6 billion. The centers will receive $3.8 billion this year, and $4 billion next year.”

– Chronicles of Social Change

Director of NCCASP chosen as Class of 2018 Presidential Leadership Scholar

On Jan 30, 2018 –  The Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS) program announced that Ann Ratnayake, Managing Director of NCCASP has been selected as one of the 59 Scholars chosen for the program’s fourth annual class.  PLS is a partnership with the Clinton Library, George Bush Library,  LBJ Library, and the George W. Bush Library.


PLS serves as a catalyst for a diverse network of leaders brought together to collaborate and make a difference in the world as they learn about leadership through the lens of the presidential experiences. The fourth class was selected after a rigorous application and review process.  Over the course of several months, Scholars will travel to each participating presidential center to learn from former presidents, key former administration officials, and leading academics. They will study and put into practice varying approaches to leadership, develop a network of peers, and exchange ideas with
mentors and others who can help them make an impact in their communities. The program kicks off in Washington, D.C. on February 6.

Predictive Analytics – Highlighting the line of Danger for A Child In Need


The New York Times  By  Dan Hurley

“The [team] linked many dozens of data points — just about everything known to the county about each family before an allegation arrived — to predict how the children would fare afterward. What they found was startling and disturbing: 48 percent of the lowest-risk families were being screened in, while 27 percent of the highest-risk families were being screened out. Of the 18 calls to C.Y.F. between 2010 and 2014 in which a child was later killed or gravely injured as a result of parental maltreatment, eight cases, or 44 percent, had been screened out as not worth investigation.

According to Rachel Berger, a pediatrician who directs the child-abuse research center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and who led research for the federal Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities, the problem is not one of finding a needle in a haystack but of finding the right needle in a pile of needles. “All of these children are living in chaos,’ she told me. ‘How does C.Y.F. pick out which ones are most in danger when they all have risk factors? You can’t believe the amount of subjectivity that goes into child-protection decisions. That’s why I love predictive analytics.

It’s finally bringing some objectivity and science to decisions that can be so unbelievably life-changing.'”


Increasing both prevention and treatment will lead to a net cost reduction in spending of approximately 5.2 billion dollars


Researchers at Rand Corp modeled the complex child welfare system and found “that combining expanded prevention and treatment in the form of support for kinship care leads to a net cost reduction in the range of 3 to 7 percent of total spending (or approxi mately $5.2 billion to $10.5 billion saved against the current baseline of $155.9 billion) for a cohort of children born over a five-year period.

Increases in prevention lead to decreases in mal-treatment and improvements in young adult outcomes but do not affect the experiences of children who enter the system and result in small additional costs. Increases in treatment lead to improvements in system experience and outcomes and reduce lifetime costs but do not reduce maltreatment. It is only when increases to prevention and treatment are implemented together that all of the policy objectives are achieved. It is not necessarily unexpected that this approach would generate reductions in maltreatment, improvements in system experience, and improvements in outcomes. “


Read the Full Report Here:  Jeanne S. Ringel et. al., Improving Child Welfare Balancing Investments in Treatment and Prevention (Rand Corp 2017)