By Dennis Cooley MD, FAAP
Department of Children and Families.
- Add $5.5 million, including $3.3 million from the State General Fund, to increase payments for foster care kinship placements from an average of $3 per day to an average of $10 per day;
- Add $300,000, all from the federal TAN Fund, for Communities in Schools, for FY 2019. The program provides case management services to at-risk students, with a focus on improving academics, behavior, attendance, and graduation rates.
- Add $1.0 million, all from the federal TANF, for the Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, and municipal parks and recreation programs for FY 2019, and add language requiring the agency use half of the funding to provide funding for foster children participating programs instead of requiring foster parents to pay the fees from their daily rates and the other half for other programs.
- Add $1.0 million, all from the federal TANF Fund, for the Kidzlit program for FY 2019. The program is an out of school enrichment program designed to teach reading skills while teaching social development skills to children.
- Add $750,000, including $375,000 from the State General Fund, for a feasibility study to study the replacement of child welfare information systems for FY 2019. The feasibility study is required for the federal matching funds and will provide .
Our Chapter hosted the first Advocacy day at the Capitol February 6th and it was very successful. Next year we are planning on expanding our efforts so please let us know if you would be interested in attending.
Kansas did pass a Telemedicine bill that included definitions and service parity but not payment parity. Bills that would expand Medicaid and prevent the state from making changes to the KanCare program without consent of the Legislature stalled out and died.
Speaking of KanCare, last fall the state sent a 1115 Waiver to CMS which included some important changes to the program including a lifetime limit on benefits and a work requirement for some adults. Recently CMS denied the state the request to impose a 3 year lifetime limit on Medicaid benefits and has decided to hold off ruling on the work requirement pending more information.
The Senate Agriculture Committee passed a bill that will cut $20 million from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) over the next 10 years. SNAP is the nation’s largest child nutrition program, serving about one in four U.S. children.This program provides food to approximately 112,000 Kansas children each month. The AAP has joined other leading health and nutrition groups to oppose this bill and keep SNAP strong for families.
President Trump recently requested Congress rescind $15 billion recently allocated by Congress in the budget. Included in this is $7 billion from the CHIP Program. It is unlikely Congress will agree with the presidents requests.
Finally the Department of Homeland Security has made public their policy of forcibly separating children from parents as they cross the border. This has been going on for some time and according to the New York Times over 700 children have been separated including 200 children under 4 years of age. The AAP, which has a policy statement condemning this practice, has spoken out in opposition.
If you have questions on these or other advocacy issues please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org