When Child Welfare Works: Recommendations on IV-E Finance Reform

Two major foundations joined to call for a restructuring of federal child welfare funds aimed at improving foster and kinship care, limiting the amount of time that federal funds can be spent on them for any one youth, and ending certain federal spending on group care.

The paper, “When Child Welfare Works,” bemoans the “arcane federal financing structure that fails to support or provide incentives for the best practices we now know are essential to improve the well-being of children.”

The paper’s recommendations include:

  • Limiting federal foster care reimbursement under Title IV-E to 36 months per child (over the child’s lifetime).
  • Elimination of Title IV-E funding entirely for shelter care, as well as for group care for children younger than 13.
  • A 12-month limit on congregate care funding for older youth.
  • Eliminating entirely the concept of income eligibility requirements for IV-E reimbursement.
  • More flexible licensing standards for kinship placements and a requirement that all children be placed in licensed homes.
  • Changes in the way “case work” and “overhead” are defined and reimbursed, so that agencies can receive reimbursement for a broader array of support activities, such as non-clinical counseling of families.
  • An increased tax credit for foster families caring for youth who are over age 12, are siblings, or are difficult to place.
  • Allowing child welfare workers to receive educational loan forgiveness after 4 years (instead of 10).
  • Allowing current funding streams to cover better training of child welfare investigative staff.

Click here to read “When Child Welfare Works”

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John Kelly, Editor in Chief, The Chronicle of Social Change
About John Kelly, Editor in Chief, The Chronicle of Social Change 1181 Articles
John Kelly is editor-in-chief of The Chronicle of Social Change. Reach him at jkelly@chronicleofsocialchange.org.


  1. sorry about the duplicate comment about child placement and Kinship. I had not realized this was another portion of the same report, but could not delete my comment

  2. and still nothing that brings those Kinship families into the safety net that are currently not qualified to become licensed due to lack of child welfare placement . How to we get the attention of people like the Casey Foundation to advise policy makers of our need to be supported?

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