The Title IV-E Foster Care program provides funds to States to assist with: the costs of foster care maintenance for eligible children; administrative costs to manage the program; and training for staff, for foster parents and for private agency staff. The purpose of the program is to help States provide proper care for children who need placement outside their homes, in a foster family home or an institution. Nearly $4 billion will be spent for these purposes in FY1999.
The Title IV-E Adoption Assistance Program provides funds to States to assist in paying maintenance costs for adopted children (AFDC or SSI eligible) with special needs, e.g., children who are older or handicapped. Funds are also used for the administrative costs of managing the program and training staff. The goal of this program is to facilitate the placement of hard to place children in permanent adoptive homes and thus prevent long, inappropriate stays in foster care. This program is expected to provide approximately $869 million to States in FY1999.
The Independent Living Program provides services to foster children who are 16 years or older to help them to make the transition to independent living by helping them earn a high school diploma or receive vocational training, receive training in daily living skills such as budgeting, locating housing, career planning and job finding; or otherwise make the transition to independent living. $70 million will be spent on the Independent Living program in FY1999.
The Safe and Stable Families Program (formerly called the Family Preservation and Support Services Program) encourages and enables "each State to develop and establish, or expand, and to operate a program of family preservation services and community based family support services." Family preservation services typically are activities to assist families in crisis, often families where a child is at imminent risk of being placed in out-of-home care because of abuse and/or neglect. Family support services are primarily preventive activities with the aim of increasing the ability of families to successfully nurture their children, most often provided at the local level by community-based organizations. This program will in FY1999 provide $275 million to States for these efforts.
The Child Welfare Services Program helps State public welfare agencies improve their child welfare services with the goal of keeping families together. State services include preventive intervention, so that, if possible, children will not have to be removed from their homes; services to develop alternative placements like foster care or adoption if children cannot remain at home; and reunification so that children can return home if at all possible. The funding level for this program has been stable at $292 million for a number of years.
Basic State Grants provide assistance in developing, strengthening, and implementing child abuse and neglect prevention and treatment programs. Eligible states must have established the following: a mandatory reporting law; procedures for the prompt investigation of reports; provisions to provide emergency services to protect reported children; provisions for immunity from prosecution for reporters; an assurance that a guardian ad litem is appointed in judicial proceedings to represent and protect the rights and best interests of the child; a system of preventive and treatment services and related multi-disciplinary programs and services; and a process in which reports and records are kept confidential and in which unauthorized disclosure is a criminal offense. States must also have programs and/or procedures in place to respond to reports of medical neglect, including instances of withholding medically indicated treatment from disabled infants with life threatening conditions. In FY1999, $21 million will be awarded participating States and Territories.
Community-Based Family Resource Program Grants are provided to States to develop and implement, or expand and enhance, a comprehensive, statewide system of community-based family resource services. To receive these funds, states must have established or maintained a trust fund or other funding mechanism that pools Federal, state, and private funds and makes them available for child abuse and neglect prevention and family resource programs. In FY1999, participating jurisdictions will receive grants totaling $33 million.
Children's Justice Act Programs help States to develop, establish, and operate programs designed to improve the investigation and prosecution of child abuse and neglect cases, particularly cases of child sexual abuse and exploitation, in a manner which reduces additional trauma to the child; and to improve the handling of cases of suspected child abuse or neglect related fatalities. Funds for this program are allocated from the Department of Justice's Victims of Crime Fund. FY1999 grants will total $8.5 million.