The Ohio investment plan: In Lorain County, federal money once locked up for foster care now safely reduces the need for foster care
Fifteen years later, the results provide a compelling example of how changing the federal child welfare financing system can spur effective, innovative services that safely reduce the need for foster care and improve the lives of children and their families.
Today, Lorain County is far from alone. Thanks to the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act of 2011 and previous legislation, communities in 21 states and the District of Columbia now have a similar opportunity to demonstrate how making smart, effective investments of federal funds in the right kinds of services at the right time can help more children grow up in safe, stable and permanent families.
And the number is growing.
The question today is how soon a comprehensive reform of the federal child welfare financing system under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act can provide all communities across America the same opportunities to succeed.
A movement for change
The success of the Title IV-E demonstration projects in some states has prompted a larger, national conversation about the urgent need to improve the way the federal government funds child welfare.
“In the ‘90s the federal government knew that Tile IV-E needed to look different,” said Jennifer Justice, deputy director, Ohio Office of Families and Children. “The federal government had the wisdom to say, ‘Let’s let some states try something different.’ ”