The C.A.S.E. mission of ensuring the well-being of foster and adopted children and their families is advanced by our commitment to working to influence legislation that impacts the foster care and adoption communities. Our location in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area affords us the opportunity to advocate with Congress on important issues including federal funding for expansion of adoption-competent post-adoption services and supports and other important policy issues as outlined below.
Family First Prevention Services Act of 2016
August 30, 2016. The Bipartisan Family First Prevention Act led by Senators Hatch and Wyden was passed by the house in June of 2016, and the Senate will be voting on this act shortly. This bill would help to ensure much-needed mental health services for children most at risk of entering or re-entering foster care. C.A.S.E. sent a letter in support of this bill to Senators Hatch and Wyden; view the support letter here: CASE Family First Support letter August 2016 C.A.S.E. CEO Debbie Riley also submitted an Op Ed letter to the hill: view the published opinion letter here.
Reduce Psychotropic Drug Use in the Foster Care Population
On October 30, 2014, C.A.S.E. sent a letter to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) providing guidance on the development of their joint collaboration to reduce psychotropic drug use in the foster care population and to improve child wellbeing. C.A.S.E. proposed that applicants for ACF-funded activities to demonstrate the existing capacity or the commitment to build an adoption competent workforce that will deliver the evidence-based interventions and allow “training for adoption competency for professionals delivering evidence-based interventions” to the list of ACF’s funded activities, among others. View the letter: Policy Oct 30 2014 CASE Follow UP ACF CMS letter
Disparities in Treatment
On August 18, 2014, C.A.S.E. submitted comments to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) on its Strategic Plan, Leading Change 2.0: Advancing the Behavioral Health of the Nation 2015-2018. In our comments, we requested that foster and adopted children be recognized as a vulnerable population that experiences unique disparities in treatment due to workforce shortages of adoption competent mental health professionals. View our comments: Policy Aug 18 2014 CASE SAMHSA Comments.
National Adoption Competency Mental Health Training Initiative
On June 25, 2014, eleven Senators sent a letter to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) supporting efforts to develop a National Adoption Competency Mental Health Training Initiative, and advising the ACF of the unique competencies of C.A.S.E. in the field of adoption competency. C.A.S.E. is pleased to have been awarded the contract to collaborate with the ACF to develop this initiative, including new training curriculums for child welfare staff and clinicians. View the letter from the Senators: Policy June 25 2014 ACF CASE
Improve Mental Health Services
On September 16, 2013, C.A.S.E. provided comments to the Senate Finance Committee in response to their request for suggestions on how to improve mental health services. Our recommendations focused on 1) the need for a trained, highly qualified, mental health workforce to the nation’s young people with foster care experiences, and 2) foster and adoptive families’ needs to both identify and affordably access mental health professionals that are trained to meet their unique needs. View C.A.S.E. comments: Policy Sept 16 2013 CASE Finance Letter
Use of Title IV-E Training Funds
On February 27, 2013, C.A.S.E. Executive Director, Debbie Riley, provided written testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee for its hearing on Increasing Adoptions from Foster Care and the Adoption Incentives Program. C.A.S.E. advocated for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to provide clear guidance to states on the allowable use of Title IV-E training funds, including training to private agency staff that serve foster children. Second, C.A.S.E. urged Congress to prioritize resources for post adoption services, with a specific focus on addressing the clinical needs of children adopted from the foster care system and their adoptive families. Third, C.A.S.E. encouraged ACF to support the Training for Adoption Competency curriculum through its existing programs. CASE Testimony Debbie Riley 2013.