Alliance Public Policy Agenda: Tier One
Tier one issues are the highest priority for the Alliance for Children and Families. For these issues, the Alliance seeks to become a recognized leader in the public policy process.
The staff of the joint public policy office of the Alliance and United Neighborhood Centers of America (UNCA) devote at least half their time and resources to tier one issues. Staff also actively engage the Alliance and UNCA memberships by providing issue alerts and facilitating dialogue between congressional representatives and Alliance members in their districts.
- Support Title IV-E funding reform that eliminates the tie to Aid to Families with Dependent Children and includes reforms addressing inadequate foster care rates.
- Support increased funding for child abuse prevention and other services funded under Title IV-B and the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act.
- Oppose exclusion of child welfare services from allowable Medicaid payments.
- Support education assistance for child welfare and foster care workers.
- Support assistance for children aging out of foster care.
- Support extension of the Hershey Amendment to individuals working as houseparents and living on-site in nonprofit institutions caring for orphaned and disadvantaged children. Support exempting them from federal hourly minimum wage and overtime provisions while ensuring a living wage, plus room and board.
- Support regulation of boot camps, wilderness programs, and other unregulated residential programs. Support exempting residential programs that are already regulated unless the adequacy of existing regulation and enforcement is first reviewed at the federal or state level.
Health Care Reform & Behavioral Health
- Support universal coverage of adults and children as part of any national health reform plan.
- Support inclusion of mental health and chemical dependency coverage as part of any national health reform plan.
- Support requiring the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program Payment and Access Commission to evaluate Medicaid enrollees’ access to mental/behavioral health and dental health services.
- Support requiring states to develop ways to raise reimbursement in fields where payments are determined to be too low.
- Support requiring states to raise Medicaid reimbursement to at least parity with Medicare.
- Support establishing therapeutic foster care (TFC) as a category of Medicaid-reimbursable services or establishing TFC as a permissible service within the rehabilitative option of Medicaid.
- Support defining “rehabilitative” care as care for the restoration, attainment, and maintenance of functioning.
- Support allowing states flexibility in determining their payment methodologies for rehabilitative care and targeted case management.
- Support funding to states for demonstration projects aimed at transforming the delivery of health care for foster children through the adoption of electronic health records.
- Support repealing or rolling back the exclusion that prohibits federal financial support for institutes for mental disease.
- Support legislation that makes it financially feasible for families with children who have mental health needs to stay together and rely on home- and community-based services, including the Keeping Families Together Act as introduced.
- Support parity in mental health and substance abuse coverage and treatment.
- Support tuition subsidies for students entering the field of child and adolescent mental health or other nonprofit human services fields.
- Oppose funding cuts for substance abuse prevention and treatment, particularly for individuals with mental illness and for children in the child welfare system.
- Support an expansion of behavioral health services in schools that partner with community organizations, including the Mental Health in Schools Act (S. 1332 and H.R. 3430) as introduced.
- Support place-based initiatives that comprehensively and effectively address the needs of children, families, and communities.
- Support a federal Promise Neighborhoods initiative that seeks better outcomes for children, families, and communities by integrating previously siloed programs, such as early childhood and after-school programs, K-12 education, college preparation, job training, parental education, health care, neighborhood revitalization, and tax policy. Also support a Promise Neighborhood initiative that is built on public-private partnerships between nonprofits, government, health care organizations, local businesses, and schools.
- Support making nonprofit charities the principal local coordinators and funding recipients for local Promise Neighborhoods initiatives.
- Support limiting any federal match requirements and, where they exist, allowing such requirements to be fulfilled with other public funding, not just privately-raised funds.
- Support making Promise Neighborhoods more multigenerational by expanding allowable services to include those for adults and the broader neighborhood.
- Support increased federal funding for the Community Development Block Grant.
For more information, contact the staff in the Alliance Public Policy Office.