Government Affairs and Advocacy

July 25 Federal Update: Upcoming Webinar to Discuss the Challenging of the Indian Child Welfare Act and Tribal Sovereignty

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July 22, 2022

On August 11, Social Current will host a webinar called “Challenging the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and Tribal Sovereignty” on the upcoming Supreme Court case Brackeen v. Haaland. The case challenges the ICWA, a law enacted in 1978, which is considered the “gold standard” in child welfare practice. Enacted to put an end to generations of separating Native children from their parents, the ICWA prioritizes placement with extended families and tribal communities whenever possible, preserving children’s connection to their culture and people. Opponents of the law argue that the ICWA is unconstitutional because it treats Native children differently in the child welfare system – an argument that fundamentally misunderstands tribal sovereignty. The Supreme Court will take up the case this fall.

Social Current is a major proponent of shifting resources and supports upstream to prevent family separation; however, if a placement is necessary, the research is clear that extended family and kinship care settings are optimal. Separating Native children from their families and communities goes against everything we understand about child well-being and equity. Please join Social Current President and CEO Jody Levison-Johnson and Dr. Sarah Kastelic, executive director of the National Indian Child Welfare Organization, to learn more about ICWA and what you can do to help.

Manchin Opts for Healthcare Bill, Delays Climate and Tax Provisions

Two weeks ago, Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) told Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) that he would delay consideration of a legislative package focused on climate change provisions and tax increases on the wealthy. In prior weeks, both senators had said they were making progress on the bill, but Manchin put a hold on talks after the June inflation report recorded the highest inflation increase in 40 years. In the meantime, he said he could support a slimmed down health care bill that would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, cap out of pocket costs for seniors at $2,000 per year, and extend Affordable Care Act insurance subsidies for 13 million people for two years. Biden has called on Congress to pass the health care bill and Schumer says it could pass before the August recess.

First-Ever Grant Funding for Integrated Approaches to Homelessness

The Biden administration announced the first-ever batch of grants to address unsheltered homelessness and homeless encampments through integrated approaches. The package of $322 million, including $54.5 for rural communities, supports initiatives that tie together housing, healthcare and veteran services and expressly encourages coordination between health care organizations, public housing authorities, and other housing providers. These grants will fund homeless outreach, permanent housing, and other support services. In addition to these funds, another batch of $43 million is now available for 4,000 housing vouchers to aid individuals experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, and veterans and their families.

New Ratings in the Family First Prevention Services Clearinghouse

The Family First Prevention Clearinghouse has posted new ratings for nine prevention services. One was found to be “well-supported”, one “supported”, two “promising”, and five rated as “does not currently meet criteria”. The programs included mental health services, in-home parent skill-based services, and substance abuse services. So far 109 programs and services have been reviewed, and 57 have been rated as promising, supported, or well-supported.

The new ratings are as follows:

  • Chicago Parent Program – Does not currently meet criteria
  • Early Pathways – Does not currently meet criteria
  • Effective Black Parenting Program – Promising
  • ezPARENT – Does not currently meet criteria
  • Families Actively Improving Relationships – Does not currently meet criteria
  • Families First (Utah Youth Village Model) – Well-supported
  • Fostering Healthy Futures® for Preteens – Supported
  • Fostering Healthy Futures® for Teens – Does not currently meet criteria
  • On the Way Home® – Promising
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