fare them well

tracking what’s changing for welfare, women and children

Report shows addtional $200 milllion matched for federal child aid grant

A December report by the Child Care Bureau shows that money matched under the Child Care and Development Block Grant helped approximately 53,200 additional children last year.

In the 2006 fiscal year, states received an additional $200 million in federal matching funds, according to the Center for Law and Social Policy.

That means the average monthly number of children served increased from $1.75 million in 2005 to $1.80 million in 2006.

To see how your state fared,  check out the State-by-State Child Care Spending and Participation in 2005 website, and click on your state in the picture like the map below.

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December 12, 2007 Posted by | Kid Concerns, Money Matters | , , , | 2 Comments

More CO parents could have help with child care

bilde.jpgSource: Coloradoan.com

Hundreds of low-income families could get help paying for child care when eligibility standards change in one Colorado town next year.

The Larimer County commissioners last week agreed to raise the income ceiling for eligibility in the Child Care Assistance Program, or CCAP, from 150 percent of the federal poverty level to 185 percent.

Here’s how the Coloradoan.com broke down the effect of the increase:

As of Jan. 1 Larimer County will increase income ceilings for eligibility in the Child Care Assistance Program from 150 percent of the federal poverty level to 185 percent. The following shows family size, followed by 150 percent of poverty, followed by 185 percent of poverty:

  • Two: $1,712/month; $2,111/month
  • Three: $2,146/month; $2,647/month
  • Four: $2,581/month; 3,184/month
  • Five: $3,016/month; $3,720/month

The change is expected to help more than 350 children.

December 12, 2007 Posted by | Kid Concerns, Money Matters | , , | Leave a comment

NY families not getting eligible money, study finds

The Center for Governmental Research— a non-partisan, independent think thank based in Rochester, NY — released a report this fall documenting a nearly 40 percent decline in children receiving subsidies since 2001–from 13,575 children served in an average month in 2001 to 8,400 children served on average during the first four months of 2007.

According to the report, over 12,000 children in Monroe County are living in families that are potentially eligible for child care assistance and are not receiving it.

Many of those families also receiving TANF, or welfare aid, but still are not receiving extra child assistance.

The report details several policy changes at the county and state levels have contributed to the decline in children receiving assistance:

  • Since 2002, income eligibility for child care subsidies in Monroe County has fallen from 200 percent of poverty to 165 percent.
  • While fewer families are income-eligible for assistance, more parents seeking child care subsidies are being denied. The rate of applicant denial increased from 11 percent in 2001 to 50 percent in 2006. A contributing factor to this increase in denials was failure of applicants to comply with a 2004 New York State law that requires applicants to seek child support payment as a condition of receiving child care assistance. (Federal law does not require parents to seek child support from a non-custodial parent in order to obtain a child care subsidy although several states have this requirement.)
  • Finally, the county has decreased spending on child care in recent years, contributing to an accumulation of approximately $5 million in unspent child care funds.

The report was unable to conclude why a large number of TANF child care cases were of a short duration or why few families transitioned to the income-eligible child care assistance program.

December 10, 2007 Posted by | Kid Concerns, Related Reports | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Talk with Tom Caplan, expert on child support pass-through laws

In Oct. 2007, the Institute for Research on Poverty released a pivotal study on a hot topic for welfare recipients. Many state laws allow the state to collect $50 a month from welfare recipients who also receive child support.

Today, I spoke with Tom Caplan, associate director of the institute the study and implications it has on the correlation between child support and welfare benefits.

Click below to listen to the chat http://hilaryp.podbean.com/medias/play/aHR0cDovL21lZGlhMS5wb2RiZWFuLmNvbS9wb2RjYXN0LWJsb2ctYXVkaW8tdmlkZW8tbWVkaWEtZmlsZXMvYmxvZ3MvMjc0OTEvdXBsb2Fkcy9XaXNjV2VsZmFyZUludGVydmlldzEubXAz/WiscWelfareInterview1.mp3>Listen%20to%20this%20episode</a></font>

Can’t hear the audio? Read on for a full copy of the transcript.

Hilary: How important is the topic of welfare is to your research institute?

Tom: The institute was founded 40 years ago during the war on poverty, in the 1960s.

Hilary: This study specifically dealt with the difference between disregard and pass-through?

Tom: Before the big national welfare reform of 1996, the U.S. government had one policy for how states should treat child support. Any private child support that exceeded $50 just reimbursed the state and federal government. So after 1996, the policy changed and states weren’t required anymore to disregard the first $50 of child support. Most states chose not to, so that every dollar of child support that came in, none of it went to the children.

Hilary: Do you think the general public understands the importance of having pass-through?

Tom: No, I don’t think so at all. On the one hand, look, we’re giving these people public benefits, and that’s meeting their basic needs. Any money that comes in from public child support, that ought to reimbursement the public. On the other hand, if someone said that ‘gee, we’re not providing that much with public welfare benefits so that if a family is able to receive private child support, it ought to be on top of those basic welfare benefits. I think people would believe that too.

Hilary: The study found that pass-through has had a negative effect on the non-custodial parent being responsible and continuing to upkeep their payments. Do you feel like that’s accurate?

Tom: The study was setup by states where some people in are randomly assigned to get pass-through, and some parents were assigned not to get pass-through. If we could look at  state policies where it was all done one-way and it wasn’t an experiment, we’d have a more accurate account.

Hilary: But what if people don’t see a benefit in having $50 more dollars going to a family?

Tom: It’s surprising that absent parents know that the money is going to the family, and their willingness does not always happen.  I think the supposition, that pass-through does not does not increase the willingness of a non-custodial parent to pay, the likely reason for that is that in most states it’s pretty hard to get away with not paying.

Hilary: With all of those variables taken into account, we’re still seeing more single moms now more than ever. DO you think we’ll see more push for pass-through?

Tom: Well, I do. The federal government just passed legislation that allows states to do pass-throughs. I don’t know if we’ll ever see a majority of states do this.

Hilary: Where could someone who wants more information about pass-through go onine?

Tom: It’s: www.irp.wisc.edu/publications

November 19, 2007 Posted by | Kid Concerns, Legislation, Listening, Money Matters, Pass-Through, Related Reports, Research | , , , | 1 Comment

State helps low-income Hoosiers pay for child care

This week, Indiana kicks up its efforts to make sure parents on welfare have affordable child care.

To help low-income families balance work and parenthood, the state is picking up the bill. This month, The Indianapolis Star reports state officials put $10 million toward child care vouchers for thousands of children whose parents are working to get off welfare.

October 7, 2007 Posted by | Initiatives, Kid Concerns | , , , , | Leave a comment