Membership recruitment and team building is critically important in order for our voice to be heard. Collectively we must stand together in solidarity. As many are aware, the last minute passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 was loaded with legislation not passed through the routine legislative process. After the government was initially funded through a series of five temporary continuing resolutions, the legislative pressure to pass the budget was hurriedly accomplished in a matter of days. In the process, over 2,000 pages of laws were added as an omnibus spending bill. The final funding package –the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, was enacted on March 23, 2018.
One of the provisions added to the omnibus spending bill was the prohibition for Title IV-E dollars to be used for the care of children not requiring treatment services in anything other than a foster family home or kinship care arrangement.
Touted as the most comprehensive change in child-welfare services in decades, the Family First Prevention Services packet included the aforementioned prohibition of use of IV-E dollars.
Some members of the Coalition of Residential Excellence will be negatively impacted by this change in child welfare spending. The vast majority of our membership will not be directly impacted because they are not relying on State or Federal revenues to fund their programs. However, the impact of the legislation is significant.
It subtly suggests there is no value is residential programs providing non-treatment related residential care for children. Consequently, we must be alert to future threats that carry with them the potential to further eliminate or modify the range of services that member agencies provide children from hard places.