Updated: Amid Cuts to Youth Services, Trump Includes Big Increase to Child Welfare Entitlement

Note: CLICK HERE for an updated Trump Budget Request chart, which includes the 2017 appropriations figures from the recent omnibus deal reached in early May.

President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget proposal includes a slate of deep cuts and eliminations of programs aimed at serving youth and families, but includes a hefty increase in the amount spent on an entitlement for foster care and adoption assistance.

Title IV-E of the Social Security Act is an entitlement, which matches the cost of foster care services and adoption subsidies with state agencies. Trump’s budget proposal would boost spending to $5.5 billion for foster care and $2.9 billion for adoption.

The comparable levels in fiscal 2016 were $4.8 billion and $2.6 billion, meaning Trump has included $1 billion more for IV-E, a 13.5 percent increase.

The Department of Health and Human Services refused to comment when asked by The Chronicle what the reason for the increase was. While a IV-E request is routinely included in the president’s budget, as an entitlement it is not subject to appropriations in the same way as discretionary or mandatory spending.

It is possible that the proposed increase is not a suggestion of support for more IV-E spending as much as an acknowledgment of the growing number of children in foster care. Federal data lags behind fiscal years, but recent reports have charted a continued increase in national foster care rolls between 2012 and 2015.

Elsewhere in the budget, Trump proposes to eliminate several programs aimed at serving low-income and at-risk youth. Among the programs slated for closure by the administration:

AmeriCorps ($388 million), a service-learning program where participants receive stipends and college assistance in exchange for work on community service ventures. In addition to the program’s engagement with youth and young adults, the participants constitute a significant supply of low-cost labor for many nonprofit organizations.

21st Century Learning Centers ($1.2 billion), a program at the Department of Education that funds before and after-school programs with academic components.

Social Services Block Grant ($1.6 billion) and Community Services Block Grant ($714 million), two large state grant programs managed by the Administration for Children and Families. According to recent federal analysis, the lion’s share of SSBG funds in recent years have been allocated to child welfare spending.

The Trump budget would also cut deeply into several streams for children and families. Among them:

Workforce Investment Opportunities Act: Funds for youth and young adult activities would fall from $875 million to $608 million, while Job Corps would decline about $250 million. Trump leaves YouthBuild, a national program that connects youth to job training and GED prep level at $90 million.

Unaccompanied Minors: A $153 million cut in funds for what is essentially the nation’s only national foster care program. The Department of Health and Human Services takes custody of youth who arrive at the border without their parents, and works to either repatriate them or connect them to family living in the United States. The program’s budget swelled during the Obama administration as the number of unaccompanied minors from Central America skyrocketed.

TRIO and GEAR UP: Cumulative decrease of nearly $200 million for programs aimed at helping low-income youth get into and prepare for college.

Mentoring: Trump’s plan mostly leaves the decimated budget intact at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, with one exception. The mentoring account, which at its height in the previous administration reached about $110 million, is slated for $53 million, down from $83 million in 2016.

Click here to read our budget chart, which compares Trump’s proposed spending to the fiscal 2016 levels cited in his budget.

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John Kelly
About John Kelly 1107 Articles
John Kelly is editor-in-chief of The Chronicle of Social Change.

17 Comments

  1. Family services abuses and kidnaps children. Defund this agency and prosecute the workers that violate rights and break the law.

  2. About that Title IVe…we actually are desperate for help in this area! facebook.com/stillworkingforJesus

    • What? Your CPS needs more help kidnapping children and violating family rights to get money and abuse children?

  3. I can’t believe that so many people are unable to accept the fact that this is a lot of good parents getting their kids stolen by a corrupt system for money. F**k Trump I bet if it was his kid maybe he would pay attention! Someone call child welfare he has anger management issues!

  4. Every post I have made has been excluded. My point is that this system is rife with corruption. The entire system benefits from this industry and not these children. Studies have shown if the parents are given even a little help, their children fare better with them.

  5. I’m baffled by the statement, “It is possible that the proposed increase is not a suggestion of support for more IV-E spending as much as an acknowledgment of the growing number of children in foster care.” It is not only possible but extremely likely. Are you actually implying the Trump Administration wants to put more kids into foster care so they are proposing a higher budget for IV-E spending? That makes no sense at all to me. They can’t propose a change in entitlement spending unless they are proposing a change in policy, and they are not doing that. Check out their budget for Medicaid on p.439 of the Budget Appendix. They have one set of projections for current policy, then a separate estimate for their legislative proposal, showing a decrease of $3.9 billion. That is what they would do if they wanted to propose an change in foster care policy. If you look at the 2016 actual, 2017 estimated, and 2018 estimated IV-E spending from the budget document, you will see that most of the increase was estimated to occur between 2016 and 2017. We know foster care caseloads have been increasing starting in FY 2013. Unfortunately, we won’t see the FY 2016 numbers until next fall, and we won’t see the FY 17 numbers until a year after that. But given the caseload growth since 2013, these estimates don’t surprise me at all. After all, I assume that they have most of the same smart people doing the projections as were there during the Obama Administration.

    To me the most striking thing in the Trump budget is the statement that “An average of 176,500 children per month are estimated to be served in FY 2018. We know that more than 400,000 are in foster care at any given time. The fact that less than half of them are served by the federal government reflects the cruel and illogical “lookback” that results in less than half of kids in foster care being eligible for IV-E funding.

  6. They are using these programs to funnel money to the states. The states are addicted to the money and they are using the funds for pensions and benefits for the public sector. These children and their parents are the sacrificial lambs.

  7. …but her Emailz…. and Benghazi…. I will only concede ASFA, but even ASFA she wasn’t a leader on it, as much as she likes to tout she was. She goes with the flow and she is moved by data. The flow and the data was going towards family preservation and kinship. The current administration is moved by photo ops and easy fixes. Those are often obtained by throwing more money at Foster Parents and Adoptive Parents.

    I am not surprised by this budget in the least bit. I know that the religious and conservative movements are heavily into adoption and saving children. It was also the GOP that legalized For Profit Foster Care.

    Elections have consequences.

    • ASFA is the FEEDING TUBE of all the Children being stolen away from Families It’s requirements are that the State Agencies MUST REMOVE MORE and MORE CHILDREN EACH YEAR MORE THEN THE YEAR BEFORE so Agencies are FORCED TO REMOVE NOT SAVE CHILDREN THAT TRULEY NEED HELP instead ADOPTABLE ONES ARE TAKEN

  8. We voted for you to end the kidnapping of our children and Grandchildren. This is something Hitlery would do. Never thought you would do this to us!

  9. This is a COMMUNIST INHUMANE UNETHICAL UNCONSTITUTIONAL SYSTEM THAT MUST BE DEFUNDED N SHUT DOWN ………………THIS IS NOT THE AMERICAN WAY THIS IS NOT GOOD BUSINESS THIS IS RACKETEEERING N CHILD TRAFFICKING INDUSTRY THAT IS NOT OPERATING UNDER CONSTITUTIONAL LAW …………THE SYSTEM IS BROKEN N DANGEROUS WITH ABUSES PHYSICAL EMOTIONAL SEXUAL AND CHILD TRAFFICKING EXPLOITED CHILDREN FORCED ADOPTIONS MISSING N MURDERED FOR GOVERNMENT TITLE IV E FUNDING THAT IS THE DRIVING FORCE TO THE MASS CORRUPTION IN THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM AND CPS ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,DEFINITELY UNACCEPTABLE PRESIDENT TRUMP

  10. You have got to be kidding me!!! Yes, these so called people are stealing our grandchildren just to get more Federal funding. They need to be abolished not given more kidnapping money. Please don’t do this to us. This is something Hillary would do. OOPs, she already did. This is not something Donald Trump would do!

    • Secretary Clinton did no such thing. She actually ensured more support for foster families. Apparently you just took the hateful propaganda at face value and didn’t do research. The result us that our kids are in danger. Do better next time.

  11. omg if this is true you lost me Mr.President Trump The people are abusing it DHS CPS these people are kidnapping our grandkids kids abusing and even being murders we have no voice everyone closes doors on us we arnt being heard we live in fear everyday wondering when our loved ones may end up dead or tortured they dont need more money insentives they need to be held accountable 2 teen girls killed by adoptive parents recently in Oct.on girl the second girl in May she was 16 and weighed 56 pounds convicted felons having priority over loving grandparents

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