The 2020 Spending Deal: A Full Breakdown of Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Funding

Just before the holidays, and amidst the contentious impeachment proceedings, both parties and both chambers hammered out a spending deal for fiscal 2020 that was then signed by President Donald Trump.

You can click here for The Chronicle of Social Change’s funding chart, which outlines many of the key federal lines for the youth services field. We include this year’s levels and the comparable figures for fiscals 2018 and 2019.

A few quick notes on what Youth Services Insider sees as the most significant changes within the 2020 deal…

Family First Transition: The Family First Prevention Services Act took effect in 2019, but most states opted for a delay in implementation. This deal drops in a bunch of money and some easement on regulations to try and get more of them motivated to start moving toward compliance with the law.

You can click here to read all about the Family First Act, and click here for a rundown of the transition help included in this spending bill.

Boosts for child care and early learning: Congress raised spending by $550 million each for the Child Care and Development Block Grant and Head Start. The former is given to states to subsidize child care or after-school programs for low-income parents; the latter is a well-known early education program serving low-income families.

Congress also included a 10 percent bump to the Preschool Development Grants fund, which goes up to $275 million from $250 million.

Apprenticeships: A favorite of the Trump administration, apprenticeships pair young people looking to learn a trade with veterans in the industry. There is increasing agreement on both sides of the aisle that this area is ripe for investment in serving youth and young adults who do not have an interest in pursuing a college degree.

The federal apprenticeship account got $175 million in 2020, up from $145 million in 2018 and $68 million in 2017. YSI could see this line continuing to rise in the coming years.

Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act:The push to reauthorize CAPTA continues, and advocates for it are hoping that comes with a bigger authorization level. The 2020 spending deal includes a 39 percent bump to the community-based child abuse prevention grants funded under CAPTA, up to $55.6 million from $40 million last year. The state CAPTA grants got a big hike in 2018.

Delinquency Prevention:Title V of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) supplies modest grants to each state, which then are expected to use a state advisory group to steer the funds into community-based plans for preventing delinquency.

YSI has heard many times that one of the most important reasons for pushing reauthorization of laws is that appropriators just take the programs within them more seriously. A year after JJDPA’s long-awaited reauthorization, the Title V program is at $42 million, up 53 percent from last year.

Breaking Down Silos: A small program that helps states braid child welfare funds with other streams, such as substance abuse or mental health services, was reauthorized as part of the Family First Act. While it usually received $20 million each year, YSI only sees $10 million broken out for the partnerships in 2020.

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John Kelly, Editor in Chief, The Chronicle of Social Change
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John Kelly is editor-in-chief of The Chronicle of Social Change. Reach him at