We need you to write to your members of Congress today to fix a funding shortfall in the Adoption and Guardianship Incentive Program!
The Adoption and Legal Guardianship Incentive Payments program recognizes and rewards states for improved performance in ensuring children and youth leave foster care to permanent adoptive and guardianship families. Through this program, states receive financial awards that increase adoptions and guardianships during the previous fiscal year. Many states use the incentive payments to support adoptive and guardianship families, including funding post-adoption/guardianship programs and adoption or guardianship assistance benefits. The program is a critical piece of the federal government’s effort to encourage and support permanency for children and teens.
Up until the Budget Control Act of 2011 was enacted, if states earned more than had been appropriated, appropriators made up the shortfall by increasing funding. Since then, however, appropriators have not made up for the shortfall. This resulted in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to use funds from the current year’s appropriations to make up for previous year’s incentive payments. Now, there is a shortage of $50 million that is still owed to the states for fiscal year 2016 adoptions and guardianships.
Due to the inability to fully pay the states funds earned, there is a potential loss of post-adoption/guardianship services. These services are critical to ensure success for our children who leave foster care to adoption or guardianship, allowing them to reach their full potential.
What You Can Do
This year, Congress needs to make up for the $50 million shortfall as well as fund the annual appropriation for potential awards to be announced in September 2018.
Please email or call your members of Congress to ask for a one-time appropriation to fix this problem. You can find your Senators here and your Representative here. If your members on on the House and Senate Appropriations Committee is it even more important!
- The House of Representatives Appropriations Committee Members
- The Senate Appropriations Committee Members
If your representatives are on the committee, contact them immediately to support the appropriation. If they are not, ask your representatives to contact the members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committee in support of the $50 million appropriation.