Thursday, September 16, 2010
GOOD NEWS FOR FLORIDA CHILDREN: State gets short term extension of foster care funding waiver
WAIVER THAT HELPED MAKE FLORIDA AN EMERGING NATIONAL LEADER IN CHILD WELFARE EXTENDED FOR TEN MONTHS
NCCPR has learned that the Department of Health and Human Services has granted Florida a ten-month extension on its unique-in-the-nation statewide waiver from federal foster care funding restrictions.
In a letter to Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary George Sheldon, Acting HHS Assistant Secretary for Children and Families David Hansell extended the waiver until July 31, 2012. At that time, HHS will decide whether to extend the waiver for a full five years.
This is very good news for Florida's vulnerable children. It means Florida gets ten more months to take money that other states can use only on foster care and use it for better alternatives. The waiver has been a key factor in turning Florida from the national example of child welfare failure to an emerging national leader in safely protecting children by doing more to keep families together. The "maintenance of effort" provisions of the waiver also protected DCF from the kinds of state budget cuts to child welfare that other states have endured.
This is the same kind of waiver granted to Michigan – but that state chickened out at the last minute.
We've posted the letter from ACF, followed by the letter from Sheldon requesting the waiver on our website here.
More about the waiver, and how it's helped Florida's vulnerable children is in this previous posts to this Blog which includes links to other posts describing the waiver in more detail.