Summary: H.R.5640 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House with amendment(s) (07/12/2006)

Child and Family Services Improvement Act of 2006 - (Sec. 3) Amends part B (Child and Family Services) of title IV of the Social Security Act with respect to the promoting safe and stable families (PSSF) program to: (1) prohibit the Secretary of Health and Human Services from making any payment of PSSF funds to a state for administrative costs that exceed 10% of the state's total program expenditures; (2) reauthorize the program at current levels through FY2011; (3) increase the set-asides for Indian tribes from 2% to 3% of any discretionary funds appropriated and from 1% to 3% of the mandatory funds authorized and remaining after the separate reservation of funds for monthly caseworkers is made; (4) eliminate the authority of the Secretary to exempt tribes from any of the PSSF plan requirements; (5) permit an intertribal consortia to submit a single PSSF program plan for approval; and (6) provide that tribes may form consortia in order to meet the $10,000 minimum funding threshold required to be eligible to receive tribal PSSF program funds.

(Sec. 4) Requires the Secretary to reserve $40 million each fiscal year for allotments to support monthly caseworker visits to children in foster care under state responsibility. Requires states to use such money primarily for activities designed to improve caseworker retention, recruitment, training, and ability to access the benefits of technology. Sets forth special rules for funds reserved to support monthly caseworker visits, including requirements for state submission of data on: (1) frequency and location of such visits; and (2) state ability to verify visit frequency.

(Sec. 5) Authorizes appropriations to the Secretary for child welfare services (CWS).

Modifies state plan as well as state allotment and reimbursement requirements under the CWS program.

Repeals requirements that a state CWS plan apply certain child day care standards and provide for training and effective use of paraprofessionals. Requires state plans to describe: (1) services and activities to be funded and how they relate to CWS purposes; and (2) steps the state will take to provide CWS statewide.

Requires states to have administrative and judicial procedures in effect for children abandoned at or shortly after birth to ensure expeditious decisions for their permanent placement.

Prohibits: (1) more than 10% of CWS expenditures, federal and nonfederal, for administrative purposes; or (2) the use of CWS funds for child day care, foster care maintenance payments, or adoption assistance payments.

Requires a state plan to outline how the state will ensure that physicians or other appropriate medical professionals are actively consulted and involved in: (1) assessing the health and well-being of children in foster care under state responsibility; and (2) determining appropriate medical treatment for them.

Repeals the prohibition against reallotment of funds based on state failure to maintain mandatory CWS state plan foster child protections.

Repeals state authority to count spending on foster care maintenance payments as CWS expenditures to meet federal matching requirements.

(Sec. 6) Reauthorizes and extends through FY2011 the court improvement program and the program for mentoring children of prisoners (MCOP).

(Sec. 8) Makes additional appropriations to the Secretary for the PSSF program for FY2006.

(Sec. 9) Requires the Secretary to report biennially to specified congressional committees on: (1) the level of expenditures, and the programs and activities funded, by each state, territory, and Indian tribe to which funds are paid; (2) the number of children and families served by each such state, territory, and Indian tribe; and (3) how spending under the programs has helped achieve the goals identified by each such state, territory, and Indian tribe as part of the annual planning process undertaken in developing plans.