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September/October 2011Vol. 12, No. 7Commissioner Samuels Testifies Before Congressional Committee

Improving outcomes for abused and neglected children was the focus of testimony presented on June 16, 2011, before the House Ways and Means Committee Subcommittee on Human Resources by Bryan Samuels, Commissioner, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Department of Health and Human Services.

Mr. Samuels' remarks to the subcommittee provided background information on federally supported State child welfare services as the subcommittee considers the reauthorization of the Federal title IV-B program, including the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program (PSSF). Mr. Samuels also provided his recommendations for amendments to the program that would enhance the delivery of more effective services and lead to better outcomes for children served by the child welfare system.

Specific recommendations included:

  • Reauthorization of the title IV-B Child Welfare Services Program
  • Reauthorization of State Court Improvement Program (CIP) grants, with a focus on these key areas:
    • Raising the visibility of concurrent planning
    • Reducing the time to adoption after parental rights have been terminated
    • Broadening policies that provide for more opportunities for youth to participate in child welfare hearings
    • Improving understanding of the impacts of trauma
  • Creation of a Tribal CIP
  • Repurposing title IV-E funds mandated for regional planning grants focused on substance abuse to caseworker improvements to address the mental health needs of children in foster care

The full text of Commissioner Samuels' remarks is available on the website of the Administration for Children and Families' Office of Legislative Affairs and Budget: