The Administration for Children and Families at the Department of Health and Human Services has released a much anticipated Information Memorandum
detailing plans for state child welfare waiver demonstration projects
in the coming years. State child welfare agencies are now considering
applying for these demonstration projects. For FY 2012 demonstrations,
proposals are due July 9.
The priority areas for the waiver demonstrations are to:
produce positive well-being outcomes for children, youth and their families;
enhance the social and emotional well-being of children and youth;
yield more than modest improvements in the lives of children and families; and/or
the involvement of other resources and partners to make improvements
concurrently through child welfare and related program areas.
waiver demonstration projects are designed to allow more flexible use
of federal funds in order to test new approaches to service delivery and
financing structures, in an effort to improve outcomes for children and
families involved in the child welfare system. These demonstration
projects involve the waiver of certain requirements of titles IV-E, the
section of the Social Security Act that govern the foster care, adoption
assistance and optional kinship guardianship assistance programs. They
do not however provide additional funding to carry out new services.
guiding principle of the waiver process is that there is a growing body
of evidence suggesting that there are promising and effective
approaches to improve outcomes for children and families in which abuse
and/or neglect has taken place or is likely to take place. However, such
approaches are utilized too rarely by many child welfare agencies. The
goal of the waivers is to facilitate innovation and experimentation in
child welfare programs through the demonstrations and to improve
outcomes for children. ACF is encouraging states to consider whether
funding flexibility and improvements in the service strategies for
children both at risk of foster care placement and those already placed
outside the home could lead to better outcomes for children.
IM also describes how the public can be involved in the development of
strong demonstration projects. CWLA private provider members can play an
important role in developing high quality proposals and are encouraged
to be involved in the application process. We will be hosting a webinar
on this topic with Bryan Samuels, Commissioner of the Administration for
Children, Youth, and Families on May 29th. For more information
regarding this webinar including registration details please contact us
at firstname.lastname@example.org .