Child Welfare Policy and Advocacy

General | Child WelfareEducation | Juvenile Justice | Healthcare and Behavioral Treatment

Our Vision

At all stages of development, children and youth should have safe, stable, loving families and homes, as well as the opportunity to thrive in the community.  

What We Believe

LSA believes families should be preserved, when it is in the best interest of the child, and that services should wrap around and sustain children and their families in the community.  We will work to ensure quality care for homeless youth, as well as children in foster care and other residential options; promote appropriate, timely, safe, and permanent placements for children and youth; embed trauma-informed practices into the system; and adequately prepare homeless youth and those aging out of foster care for independence. 

What We Support

LSA is committed to improving outcomes for children, youth, families, and communities by working with our members to identify and advance practitioner-informed policies. Within Child Welfare, LSA has specific policy and advocacy goals related to Safety and Well-Being; Child Welfare Finance Reform; Supports for At-Risk, Transition Age, and Homeless Youth; Quality Care Across Settings; and Strong Families and Communities.  Below, learn more about the legislative, administrative, and regulatory actions we support. 

Safety and Well-Being

Children, youth, and families should be safe from abuse, neglect, exploitation, and trafficking. Specifically, LSA supports:

  • Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (P.L. 113-183)
  • Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (P.L. 93-247)
  • Family Violence and Prevention Services Act (P.L. 111-320)

Child Welfare Finance Reform 

Child welfare funding should align with child well-being, in order to support policies and practices that improve outcomes for children. This includes access to appropriate, early intervention, integrated services designed to prevent initial out-of-home placements, as well as those to prevent reentry into foster care or other residential options. In part, comprehensive child welfare finance reform should make Title IV-E funding available for preventive and family services, extend access to foster care services to age 24, and eliminate the AFDC income requirement from Title IV-E eligibility.  Specifically, LSA supports:

  • Family Stability and Kinship Care Act (S. 1964, H.R. 3781) 
  • Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (P.L. 110-351)

Supports for At-Risk, Transition Age, and Homeless Youth 

Promote access to preventive and early intervention services for children and youth who are at risk of entering or are transitioning out of the child welfare system, as well as youth who who are at-risk of becoming homeless and/or are experiencing homelessness.  Specifically, LSA supports:

  • The Health Insurance for Former Foster Youth Act (S. 1852, H.R. 3641)
  • Family Stability and Kinship Care Act (S. 1964, H.R. 3781) 
  • Runaway and Homeless Youth Trafficking Prevention Act (S. 262, H.R. 1779)
  • Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (P.L. 113-183)
  • Foster Youth Independence Act (S. 1439, H.R. 3160)

Quality Care Across Settings

Children, youth, and families involved with the child welfare system should have access to quality services and supports across the continuum of care including: preventive services; foster care and other residential treatment, as well as permanency and post-permanency services. Specifically, LSA supports:

  • Family Stability and Kinship Care Act (S. 1964, H.R. 3781) 

Strong Families and Communities

Families – including those of kin - should have access to the income and community services, supports, and employment they need to create and sustain a safe, healthy, and financially stable environment.  Specifically, LSA supports:

  • Income Supports Programs – Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP)
  • Community Supports Programs – Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), and the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) 

LSA is committed to improving outcomes for children, youth, families, and communities.  We will work with our members, policymakers, stakeholders, and other national partners to advocate for our practitioner-informed programmatic and solutions-based policy goals. Contact LSA’s Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, Lindsey Copeland, to learn more about LSA policy and advocacy.