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Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Week in Review: April 8, 2011

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The House passed the Health and Human Services Omnibus bill this week, SF760. Here are some of the key Child Welfare elements:

  • Streamlining the Children and Community Services Act (CCSA), see line 30.21
  • Appropriation of $64.3 million for each biennium.
  • For American Indian Child Welfare projects, see line 281.10 Subd. 14b.
The amounts of the Children's Services Grants can be found starting at line 331.8 of SF 760 (note: this links to the most recent version of the bill as of the date of this posting - 4/8/11). The Children's Services Grants include:
  • Adoption Assistance and Relative Custody Assistance Transfer
  • Privatized Adoption Grants
  • Adoption Assistance Incentive Grants

Several House members introduced a bill with revised proposals from the Governor's office. In HF1304 the CCSA grant is reduced to $61.8 million. The proposal changes the name of the CCSA to the "Vulnerable Children and Adults Act" and narrows its purpose. You can read about the changes to the the grant beginning at line 44.26.

The Northstar bill, which includes DHS's proposals around Child Welfare, can be found beginning on line 51.29 of HF1304.

Child's rag doll, bound with string
"The death of Marchella Pierce, a 4-year-old girl in Brooklyn who was beaten, malnourished and tied to a bed, has again aroused anger over child welfare in New York City." Olivia A. Golden, of the Urban Institute, wrote an op-ed piece in the NYTimes this week.

Dr. Golden lifts our heads up from the policy debates and day-to-day struggles of Child Welfare practice and calls our attention to the lessons we can learn from safety improvements in other fields, like health care and airlines. "There is a way out. Making sweeping policy changes and scapegoating individuals are not the best way to enhance safety, but rather, clear-headed, evidence-driven examination of the resources, conditions and communication that guide decision-making in the workplace. That way Marchella's death will not become just another example of the cycle of outrage and failure."

Hearings coming up next week:

HF1191: Social worker licensure provisions modified.
House Hearing Scheduled in Health and Human Services Reform on 4/13/2011

SF 540: Child maltreatment mandatory reporting requirement for school district employees; teacher license revocation provision
Senate Hearing Scheduled in Education on 04/12/2011

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