Granite State Children’s Alliance launches campaign to protect kids from abuse

June 10, 2020

The Granite State Children’s Alliance, which oversees child advocacy centers around the state, has launched a summer campaign reminding all New Hampshire adults that they are mandated by law to reported suspected abuse or neglect of a child. Gov. Chris Sununu and U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan have already pledged to “know and tell,” lending their voices in support of the educational program that teaches adults to know the signs of abuse and tell responsible authorities.

Full article here.

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice Urges Congress to Provide Emergency Child Welfare Funding

May 8, 2020. In this letter, Gov. Justice urges Congress to provide emergency funding for the following programs:

  • $1 billion for Community-based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) Grants
  • $20 million in Kinship Navigator Programs
  • $1 billion for Title IV-B Part 2
  • $500 million for CAPTA Title 1
  • $30 million for the Court Improvement Program
  • Increase FMAP for Title IV-E Prevention Program
  • Increase funding to Title IV-E Chafee by $500 million
  • Provide $100 million in one-time emergency support for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program.

Read full letter here.

Kansas Department of Children and Families announces additional support to family-based providers

In this communication, the Department for Children and Families acknowledges that schools closings may have created additional mealtime and other expenses for your family-based providers. To help offset those additional costs, the Department is providing an additional temporary rate increase of $8.00 per day for each child in the foster care program. DCF will apply the higher rate from March 23 to May 15, 2020.

“This additional $8.00 daily rate augments the current level of care payment for each child. Caregivers will notice this increase with their April 5, 2020 reimbursement. These rates will happen automatically and no action is required by the caregiver. Currently this rate increase is approved only for the critical period of school closures; March 23 to May 15. Rates will return to previous daily amount at the end of this period.” in a new tab)

Read letter here.

Oklahoma Human Services provides additional support to resource families

Oklahoma’s Director of Child Welfare Services writes to foster parents to announce additional support to assist families during the pandemic.

“During this incredibly difficult time, our thoughts have continually returned to the families we serve, including our wonderful resource families, and how we can best support you as you care for Oklahoma’s children. We know that schools being closed and children returning home full-time have dramatically impacted your lives and resources due to unexpected costs. For this reason and in a desire to offer supports that positively impact placement stability, Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) is excited to provide $250 per month, per child in OKDHS custody as emergency relief to your family for these unexpected expenses.”

Read letter here.

New Mexico Dept. of Children, Youth and Families Provides Foster Families Additional Support

Secretary Blalock writes to foster parents to announce that they will be receiving an additional $175/month/child to support the needs of children and youth effective April 2020 and continuing until emergency restrictions are lifted. This represents an approximate 25% increase in the average foster care rate for each child each month during this period of crisis.
“We hope this temporary increase helps your family adjust and address emergent needs with children and young people being home for the rest of the school year and the many other ways the stay-at-home order is likely affecting your family.”

Read letter here.

South Carolina Department of Social Services provides much needed support to foster families

South Caroline DSS issued a letter to foster parents announcing that they will be receiving an additional $90/month/child to support the needs of children and youth to begin the month of March 2020 and continuing throughout the Covid-19 emergency declaration period. The temporary increase aims to “help your family address emergent needs with children and young people being home from school and the many other ways the home or work order is likely affecting your family.”

South Caroline is one of several states, including New Mexico, using increased FMAP to provide additional financial support to foster families.

Letter here.

Ohio Gov. DeWine will cover costs of youth “aging out” of foster care until end of pandemic

OLUMBUS, Ohio – Gov. Mike DeWine announced the state will continue to cover the costs for youth in foster care who are turning 18 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to DeWine, more than 200 people will “age out” of Ohio’s foster care system in the next three months.

“For many of these young people, their future looks uncertain because of COVID-19, whether their plan was to start a career or pursue higher education. This program will provide them with a safety net during these difficult times,” DeWine said.

Article here

California Executive Order on Older Youth In and Aging Out of Foster Care

Executive Order here

Provisions include:

  • The Department may verify foster youth status for the purpose of facilitating foster youth access to programs providing cellular telephones or other communication technology to foster youth.
  • Waiver of State extended foster care eligibility for all youth entering or reentering extended foster care requiring any physical, in-person, face-to-face application, meetings, visits, and signature requirements.
  • Suspension of the maximum age criteria for nonminor dependents who turn 21 on or after the date of this Order.

Illinois DCFS Director Letter to FCAA-IL

Letter from DCFS Director to Foster Care Alumni Association-IL to express thanks for efforts to ensure that youth in transition are provided services and resources necessary to maintain their safety and health during this difficult time. The letter outlines the steps that DCFS is taking  to address the elevated needs of youth in transition.  Letter here

Rhode Island Executive Order on Extended Foster Care

Executive Order, dated April 14, 2020, provides protections for older youth in foster care so they can continue receiving services as well as some additional assistance. Executive Order here.

The executive order suspends age requirements for youth in extended care and aftercare programs to allow provision of services after a youth turns age 21.

Eligible youth include youth who are participating in the programs (extended care and aftercare) as of Jan 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020. Services shall continue for up to 60 days after the termination of the state’s disaster declaration.

The child welfare agency shall provide funds for this order through a request out of the general fund or any other available federal or state funds that may come available.

California to spend extra $42 million to help foster youth during pandemic

Governor Newsom is making more than $27 million available to help families stay together, nearly $7 million to support social workers and $3 million to support Family Resource Centers.

These new investments, totaling $42 million ($40.6 million in state general fund and $1.4 million in federal funds) over the next three months will support foster youth and reduce child abuse. These investments include:

Supporting Families Struggling to Stay Together – $27,842,000
This funding will provide a $200 per month supplement to families in the Emergency Response and Family Maintenance programs and who need additional support to be able to stay together.

Additional Social Worker Outreach – $6,896,552
Support for social worker overtime and additional outreach by county social workers to foster family caregivers at higher risk of COVID-19 (e.g. caregivers who are over 60 years old). Social workers will engage these caregivers to identify specific needs or concerns.

Family Resource Centers – $3,000,000
Family Resource Centers play a critical role in preventing child abuse and neglect, strengthening children and families, and connecting families to an array of county support systems of care. This funding will provide direct support and services to foster families, including material items, assistance with isolation needs, parenting resources, and staff time to help link families to other state and federal supports (e.g. food, housing, etc.).

Expansion of Helplines – $250,000
Funds will assist 2-1-1 and Parents Anonymous to offer immediate assistance to families in crisis who are seeking assistance. Parents Anonymous will provide expanded hours of services, link parents to online support groups and will make referrals to county and local services and Family Resource Centers as needed.

Age Extension for Foster Youth – $1,846,165
Approximately 200 young adults age out of the foster care system every month. Too many of them are at risk of homelessness and food insecurity. During this crisis, foster care payments and eligibility will be extended to help them maintain their living arrangements and to provide food security.

Additional Support for Resource Families Impacted by COVID-19 – $1,728,655
Families impacted by COVID-19 can receive higher monthly reimbursement rates to cover the extra costs associated with supporting children with more complex needs. Flexibility for counties to use these reimbursement rates will make sure that foster children can stay in their homes and not be moved into shelters or other facilities.

Extended Timeframe for Caregiver Approvals – $166,000
Funding will allow caregivers to continue to be paid beyond 365 days while awaiting Resource Family Approval. The extension in funding is required due to delays in caregiver approvals and caseworker diversion to emergency work.

Access to Technology – $313,128
iFoster will give more foster youth access to cell phones and laptops so they can stay connected with their families and communities, and continue to participate in educational opportunities during this crisis. This will allow the purchase of 2,000 laptops and 500 cell phones and will provide for short-term staffing assistance to iFoster to help process the applications and get phones configured and shipped to foster youth quickly.

Announcement here.

Illinois Executive Order in Response to COVID-19

COVID-19 Executive Order No. 20 was issued by Governor Pritzker on April 7, 2020 and includes Section 4:

During the duration of and for sixty days following the termination of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamations, the definition of “child” under Section 2.01 of the Child Care Act of 1969, 225 ILCS 10/2.01, is suspended for the limited purpose of ensuring that persons in the care of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services who are 18 years of age or older and are in a placement identified in the Child Care Act of 1969, are permitted to remain in their placement.

Executive Order here.

California HHS/Department of Social Services Guidance on COVID-19

April 17, 2020, This All County Letter (20-45) provides guidance regarding the Extended Foster Care program for nonminor dependents (NMDs) during the current state of emergency related to COVID-19 and pursuant to the authority in the Governor’s April 17, 2020 Executive Order N-53-20 (EO N-53-20).

April 3, 2020, This Provider Information Notice (20-04-CRP) provides general recommendations for prevention, containment, and mitigation of COVID-19 in licensed children’s residential facilities, licensed foster family homes, and homes certified or approved by a foster family agency (FFA). In addition, this PIN includes statewide waivers for certain licensing requirements applicable to these children’s residential settings, administrators, and administrator certification program training vendors without the need for providers to make an individual request, and subject to the waiver terms and conditions set forth in this PIN.

April 2, 2020, This Provider Information Notice (20-06-CRP) incorporates guidance from ACL 20-25 that provided updated information to county child welfare social workers and juvenile probation officers regarding the provision of services to children and families during the evolving COVID19 situation. This PIN provides recommendations and best practices related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) for licensed children’s residential facilities, licensed foster family homes, and homes certified or approved by a foster family agency

March 30, 2020 This All County Letter provides placement preservation and emergency planning guidance to county and tribal child welfare agencies, probation departments, and children’s residential programs and service providers regarding the care of children, nonminor dependents, and families who are exposed to, present symptoms of, or test positive for, the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) during this state of emergency. Letter here.

March 30, 2020 This All County Letter provides county child welfare social workers and juvenile probation officers updated instructions regarding documenting of contacts completed with children and families through videoconferencing during the declared Coronavirus (COVID-19) State of Emergency.

March 28, 2020 This All County Letter provides requirements and interim guidance for social workers and juvenile probation officers regarding investigations of child abuse and neglect during the declared California State of Emergency due to the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

March 21, 2020 This All County Letter will provide updated requirements and guidance for county child welfare social workers and juvenile probation officers regarding the provision of services to children and families during the evolving situation related to the Coronavirus (COVID19).