Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 was enacted on December 27, 2020 and includes dedicated assistance for child welfare services and supports. This includes provisions from the bipartisan Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act, which was sponsored by Representatives Danny Davis (D-IL) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN) as well as other supports for vulnerable families and their children.

This page features information and tools on the child welfare provisions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 with an emphasis on the policies and funding to meet the needs of transition age youth in foster care, including those who have recently left foster care but are eligible for services and supports.

MATERIALS ISSUED BY THE CHILDREN’S BUREAU within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

  • Information Memorandum (ACYF-CB-IM-21-05) sent to public child welfare agencies to provide a detailed description of the child welfare provisions within the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.

ADVOCACY INFORMATION AND TOOLS

  • New Issue brief, Youth Provisions in the Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act (Division X of P.L. 116-260, published by the Congressional Research Service (April 21, 2021)
  • Section-by-section overview of the Child Welfare Provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, prepared by Children’s Defense Fund.
  • Detailed Summary of the Child Welfare Older Youth Provisions (updated Feb 24, 2021)
  • General summary of provisions impacting older youth (not limited to child welfare) in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021
  • Template Letter to Child Welfare and Independent Living (IL) Director to request to partner in the implementation process. Advocates can use this template to make a request to have a role in implementation and share priorities for implementation.
  • Implementation Decision Points. This is a draft list of questions tailored for advocates to use in conversations with their child welfare agency about implementation steps and the planning process. It can also be used to guide organizing that advocates are doing to identify their priorities for implementation.
  • California state advocacy letter. A group of child welfare advocates in California have jointly issued recommendations for state policy makers on how to implement the Chafee funds provided through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. Letter here.
  • New fact sheet on youth eligible for pandemic relief issued by the Annie E. Casey Foundation helps states calculate the number of older youths, ages 14 through 26, who qualify for assistance through the recent federal stimulus package, which includes $400 million in relief for young people in and transitioning out of foster care. The increased funding — more than 2.5 times the amount states usually receive for these services — could provide critical support for nearly 900,000 young people nationwide. Fact sheet here.

WEBINAR SERIES hosted by Juvenile Law Center and Foster Club

  • Webinar: “Now What?” Tips for Advocates Implementing the Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act. Webinar hosted by the Juvenile Law Center and FosterClub. Webinar slides here

NEWS AND MEDIA (also see our News blog)

  • Help available to youths aging out of foster care amid pandemic, oped by Megan Henry in the Columbus Dispatch. See op-ed here.

FOR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE MATERIALS OR TO SHARE RESOURCES ON THIS PAGE, CONTACT JENNY POKEMPNER AT JPOKEMPNER@JLC.ORG