Finance Reform Principles

The following system-centered principles complement the Shared Principles for Child Welfare Fiscal, Policy, and Practice Alignment of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, the American Public Human Services Association, and the National Organization of the State Associations for Children.

11. A meaningful accountability framework balances oversight and flexibility and is an essential component of a better aligned financing system. An accountability framework balances oversight, achievement of established outcomes, and incentives to recognize and encourage scaling up proven, effective programs and practices. Within this federal child- and family well-being framework, incentives are tied to improvement in safety, permanency, and well-being outcome measures; CQI and related processes demonstrate and validate efforts made toward improving child and family outcomes, and states strategically target resources and invest in evidence-informed strategies. This furthers delivering the right services at the right time for the appropriate length of time.

12. Federal financing provides base funding to support state Child Welfare Systems and the federal-state-local partnership includes a mechanism for shared risk taking. As the nexus for Child Welfare funding streams, state agencies can reliably budget for federal financing that can be leveraged using state, local, and private resources. Within the financing formula, there is a risk-sharing provision to manage dramatic increases in the number of children entering the Child Welfare System due to extenuating circumstances.

13. The federal government establishes accountability across programs and agencies that are part of an integrated system of care to improve child and family outcomes. The effectiveness of the Child Welfare System is enhanced through the practice of braiding or blending relevant funding streams from other sectors and programs. Mechanisms are in place to incentivize the integration of systems and funding streams to achieve an established set of shared outcomes.

14. Federal child welfare financing is available without regard to the parent’s income. Financing is provided for all maltreated children in need of safety, protection and permanency. The 1996 look-back provision that linked the Child Welfare System to the prior AFDC program is eliminated.

Download the complete shared principles as a PDF.

Contact the Alliance Public Policy Office with questions or for more information.

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