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By Howard Shiffman, MA

Federal child welfare funding – known as Title IV-E – is a big piece of how the U.S. child welfare system is funded. In 2010, total funding in support of child welfare services was roughly $29.3 billion in combined federal, state, and local funds. Federal funding alone accounted for $13.5 billion, and with 2012, Title IV-E federal spending at $6.91 billion, it was approximately 50% of total federal child welfare spending (see Mapping The Child Welfare Market: 6.2 Million Children In Contact With Child Welfare System & $29.3 Billion In Annual Spending).

The preferred uses of Title IV-E funding is changing in some big ways. Where once traditional Title IV-E services were only for out-of-home placement (state maintenance payments for foster care, adoption assistance, and guardianship assistance care for eligible children), it can now be used through a state waiver to prevent out-of-home treatment. These prevention services – which include aftercare services, trauma informed intervention, and preservation services – are a big change in the use of Title IV-E dollars.

And out of these changes, new models for financing and delivering these services are being developed. Last week, I wrote about the Massachusetts model (see Will The Massachusetts Model Be THE New Child Welfare System Management Model? all members) which integrates congregate care and community-based treatment and uses waiver funds to pay for community-based services that will follow children in foster care who are discharged from a residential treatment placement (see Massachusetts Launching Unified Child Welfare Service Model For Congregate Care & Community-Based Treatment).

For organizations in the health and human service field that are looking at this big change in the child welfare system (see A Child Welfare Funding Change – For The Better all members), here is a breakdown of the other states that have received approval for Federal Fiscal Year 2012 Title IV-E demonstration projects from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Children’s Bureau:

What additional developments can providers expect? The first and biggest is, in federal fiscal year 2013 and 2014, ACF may select Title IV-E waiver proposals from up to ten additional states for approval. The true magnitude of this for IV-E funding remains to be seen, but I’m expecting it to be large.

Questions about opportunities, or possible concerns? Feel free to contact me at

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For another free resource, see: P4P Meets Title IV-E  all members

This resource is free for the next sixty days to all registered OPEN MINDS Circle members.

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