President’s FY22 Budget Proposal Released

Last week, President Joe Biden released his full budget proposal for fiscal year 2022 (FY22). This is a process that happens each year. Ultimately, Congress will make final decisions on appropriations, but these recommendations let you know where the administration’s priorities stand. This budget ends a decade-long focus on increasing military and domestic spending levels by similar amounts in order to gain bipartisan support for appropriations bills. Instead, it proposes a 16% increase to nondefense programs and a 1.7% increase for defense. The FY22 budget is also the first budget since 2011 that is not subject to statutory limits on discretionary spending, as established in the Budget Control Act of 2011, which expires in FY22. A more detailed summary from the White House can be found here.

The Alliance-Council on Accreditation has compiled a detailed summary of key provisions for human service organizations.

Download Summary  

Child Abuse Prevention Dollars Available from American Rescue Plan

Under the American Rescue Plan, Congress included $250 million for community-based child abuse prevention (CBCAP) funding through CAPTA. These funds, divided among 50 states and territories via a formula based on child population, are designed for community-based efforts to develop, operate, expand, enhance, and coordinate initiatives, programs, and activities to prevent child abuse and neglect and to support coordination of resources and activities to better strengthen and support families to reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. This historic investment in CBCAP represents a 400% increase compared to FY2021. In addition, $100 million for CAPTA Title I (grants to states) will support state child protective services programs and infrastructure. Prevent Child Abuse American and other organizations have put together new guidance related to this emergency funding. This details eligible entities, services, and more. We recommend our network take advantage of this important funding to advance their prevention work.

Source: Prevent Child Abuse America

New Ratings in Family First Prevention Services Clearinghouse

The Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse has announced ratings on five new programs. Three programs were found to be “supported,” two were “promising,” and none were found to be “well-supported.”

This brings the total number of programs that have been rated as meeting criteria to:  

  • Mental health: Five “well-supported,” five “supported,” and eleven “promising”
  • Substance use: Three “well-supported,” two “supported,” and three “promising”
  • In-home parent skill-based: Six “well-supported,” four “supported,” and three “promising”
  • Kinship navigator: Zero “well-supported,” “supported,” or “promising”

Some programs have been approved for multiple service areas. In total, ten programs have been rated as “well-supported,” eight as “supported,” and sixteen as “promising.” Twenty-one programs have been found not to meet criteria.

An updated list of programs and services planned for review is available here.

Source: Child Welfare and Mental Health Coalition

Child Tax Credit Advocacy Updates

The Children’s Defense Fund and Center for the Study of Social Policy put together talking points focused on why the child tax credit should be seen as a child welfare issue. Given that poverty is a contributor to child welfare system involvement, a permanent expansion of the child tax credit has the potential to be transformative for families involved in the system. Congress is currently debating future expansion of the child tax credit, which was first expanded under the American Rescue Plan. Those talking points are available here.

Source: Children’s Defense Fund

Child Tax Credit Disbursements Set to Begin in July

The Treasury Department announced that the expanded monthly Child Tax Credit program, enacted under the American Rescue Plan, will begin on July 15, 2021. Eligible families (with income less than $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for married couples) will receive a payment of up to $300 per month for each child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each child ages 6 through 17. According to the administration, over 65 million households will receive the monthly installments, which are set to expire at the end of the year unless legislation is passed to make it permanent. Two portals will go live to help eligible families access their payments. The first is for families not required to file federal taxes, which includes low- and no-income families. This portal will also allow those families to claim their third stimulus check of $1,400. The second portal will help families inform the IRS about updated custodial status and whether or not they wish to receive their tax credits in full next year or in monthly payments this year.

Federal Reserve Releases Economic Well-Being Report

The Federal Reserve released the 2020 report on its annual Survey of Household Economics and Decision-making (SHED), which details the financial well-being of individuals and families. Beginning in 2013, the Federal Reserve Board has conducted the survey annually to get a glimpse of the country’s economic picture. The report for 2020, which draws from 11,000 interviews with adults, shows the unique effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on households. For instance, a record share of adults – 25% – were worse off financially than they were a year earlier. Fourteen percent of adults were laid off at some point in 2020, and a similar share received unemployment income during 2020. One quarter of adults wouldn’t have been able to pay their bills if they incurred one $400 financial setback or couldn’t pay their monthly bills at all. Racial disparities ran through all the data, with Hispanics and African Americans suffering from higher levels of unemployment and financial insecurity. The report also includes insights on more topics, including banking and credit, housing, retirement, and education.

New Guidance on State and Local Funds in American Rescue Plan

The Treasury Department has released long-awaited guidance on the $350 billion in state and local aid, which was allocated in the American Rescue Plan in March. The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, which were designed to compensate for lost revenue during the pandemic, can serve multiple uses. For instance, states and localities can pay for vaccination programs, testing, contact tracing, and PPE purchases with these dollars. The funds can also support small businesses, as well as the tourism, travel, and hospitality sectors. Government entities can put these funds to use for affordable housing, education services, and childcare programs in the most severely affected communities. States and localities can also provide premium pay for essential workers, including social service and human services staff of third-party contractors. Finally, funds may be used to invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.

Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund Q&A Released

The Office of Family Assistance under the Administration for Children and Families published a Q&A on the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund (PEAF), a $1 billion supplement to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program that was allotted in the American Rescue Plan. PEAF is for non-recurrent, short-term benefits that are designed to mitigate discrete financial challenges. Examples of aid include short-term housing, food aid, clothing allowances, and back-to-school costs. Like TANF, only families with children are eligible for PEAF, including child-only cases, kinship caregivers, and pregnant women with no other children. Under PEAF, agencies can disregard TANF sanction and lifetime limit prohibitions and are granted more discretion in determining which families qualify as “needy”.