CSAC Support for Child Welfare Budget Requests
April 11, 2019
Over the past week, both the Senate and Assembly Budget Subcommittees on Health and Human Services have held hearings on the Governor’s Budget proposals for, and potential investments in, the child welfare system. The County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA), working with county affiliates and other partner organizations, is leading the way on many of these proposed investments. CSAC is working diligently to convey our support for the below child welfare budget augmentation requests and shared our strong support at the recent budget hearings.
- Bringing Families Home – This $25 million General Fund request would continue and expand the existing Bringing Families Home Program, which provides critical housing-related supports to child-welfare involved families and those at risk of homelessness in support of family reunification and family maintenance efforts. This program has already permanently housed over 440 families, with hundreds more in the process of securing needed housing.
- Family Urgent Response System – This $15 million investment in 2019-20 and $30 million ongoing General Fund request, also sponsored by the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California, will provide foster youth and their caregivers with the immediate support they need during times of emotional crisis, and link youth and families to needed supports and services to help stabilize the situation. The Family Urgent Response System will help fill the gap with immediate access to trained trauma-informed care experts, resulting in decreased calls to law enforcement.
- Extended Foster Care Program Supports – This $50 million General Fund request will provide additional funding to expand social worker capacity within the Extended Foster Care Program, reduce caseloads, and fund housing navigators to aid youth in securing safe and stable housing and provide housing financial assistance.
- Family Stability Funding – Numerous organizations, including the Chief Probation Officers of California, are requesting $43.2 million General Fund to allow counties to maintain critical supports to resource family caregivers. This is an extension of existing funding known as Foster Parent Recruitment, Retention and Support (FPRRS) that has been successful in establishing new recruitment and retention efforts to build the capacity of caregivers to provide a safe and loving environment for foster children and youth.
- Resource Family Approval – This request urges restoration of $24.4 million for county child welfare agencies to continue to expeditiously approve resource families to care for children and youth in the foster care system. Counties are working diligently to improve the resource family approval process and cutting funding at this time will undermine these important efforts.