Washington Insider: Therapeutic Foster Care

Restraint and Seclusion Bill Introduced in Senate

Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee introduced the Keeping All Students Safe Act, which seeks to restrict potentially harmful use of restraint and seclusion in schools. Congress has been examining the use of restraint and seclusion since a 2009 GAO (Government Accountability Office) report raised concerns about death and abuse that occurred in public and private schools and treatment centers.

The GAO reported that their study did not reflect how widespread the problems are, but did examine the causes and risk factors in10 of the more serious cases they found, which included: … more

Building Bridges Report: Creative Financial Strategies

The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) has released a new report

“Fiscal Strategies that Support the Building Bridges Initiative Principles.”

The report summarizes successful programs and fiscal solutions used to implement the Building Bridges best practices which emphasize shorter stays in residential care, community services and post discharge follow up. The document also identifies barriers and challenges to implementing the Building Bridges framework. … more

Landmark Foster Care Settlement

A class action lawsuit, Katie A. v. Bonta, that started in California in 2002 has finally reached a settlement. It outlines a comprehensive reform strategy for the state and attempts to cure an overarching problem facing many states: the difficulty of aligning mental health services with the child welfare system.

Mental health and child welfare often work in silos, despite the fact that, according to the complaint, up to 85 percent of foster children have mental health needs. The class action suit was brought against the state of California for failure to assess and treat mental health needs of children who were either in foster care or at imminent risk of coming into care. … more

Report: Preventing Restraint and Seclusion Saves Money

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released a report entitled The Business Case for Preventing and Reducing Restraint and Seclusion Use. While many studies support reducing restraint and seclusion for well-being reasons, this is purportedly the first study to demonstrate the cost-savings associated with prevention. 

The report maintains that restraint and seclusion increase the cost of care and that other options should be used: … more

Bill Supporting Federal Funding for Therapeutic Foster Care Introduced in the House

Reps. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and John Sullivan (R-Okla.) introduced legislation (H.R. 4787) March 10, 2010, that would maintain federal funding for Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) services.

According to the Foster Family-based Treatment Association (FFTA), the bill is similar to legislation introduced in the Senate (S. 1217). According to FFTA, the House bill: … more

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