HHS FY 2018 Budget in Brief - ACF - Mandatory


Administration for Children and Families (ACF): Mandatory

Administration for Children and FamiliesThe Administration for Children and Families promotes the economic and social well-being of children, youth, families, and communities, focusing particular attention on vulnerable populations such as children in low income families, refugees, and Native Americans.

ACF Budget Overview

(Dollars in millions)

Current Law Budget Authority 2016 2017 /1 2018 2018
+/- 2017
Child Care Entitlement to States 2,917 2,917 2,917
Child Care and Development Fund (non-add) /2 5,678 5,673 5,678 +5
Child Support Enforcement and Family Support 4,125 4,167 4,395 +228
Children's Research and Technical Assistance /3 49 35 39 +4
Foster Care and Permanency 7,665 8,254 8,728 +474
Promoting Safe and Stable Families (mandatory only) /4 472 461 345 -116
Social Services Block Grant 1,669 1,662 1,700 +38
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) 16,737 16,737 16,739 +2
TANF Contingency Fund /5 583 608 608
Subtotal, TANF (non-add) 17,320 17,345 17,347 +2
Total, Current Law Budget Authority 34,217 34,841 35,471 +630
Proposed Law Budget Authority        
Child Care Entitlement to States 2,917 2,917 2,917
Child Care and Development Fund (non-add) /2 5,678 5,673 5,678 +5
Child Support Enforcement and Family Support 4,125 4,167 4,286 +119
Children’s Research and Technical Assistance /5 49 35 54 +19
Foster Care and Permanency 7,665 8,254 8,746 +492
Promoting Safe and Stable Families (mandatory only) 472 461 495 +34
Social Services Block Grant /6 1,669 1,662 85 -1,577
TANF 16,737 16,737 15,117 -1,620
TANF Contingency Fund 583 608 -- -608
Subtotal, TANF (non-add) 17,320 17,345 15,117 -2,228
Total, Proposed Law Budget Authority 34,217 34,841 31,700 -3,141

Table Footnotes

1/ Reflects the annualized level of the Continuing Resolution that ended April 28, 2017, including the across the board reduction, the 21st Century Cures Act, and directed transfers.
2/ The Child Care and Development Fund includes mandatory funding from the Child Care Entitlement to States and discretionary funding from the Child Care and Development Block Grant.
3/ Includes $15 million in mandatory funds transferred from the TANF Contingency Fund for Welfare Research in FY 2016.
4/ The total for Promoting Safe and Stable Families includes Abstinence Education and the Personal Responsibility Education Program, with a proposed reauthorization in FY 2018. In addition, there is a discretionary appropriation of $60 million for PSSF in FY 2016, FY 2017, and FY 2018.
5/ Includes $15 million in mandatory funds transferred from TANF for Welfare Research in FY 2018.
6/ The proposed law reflects the reauthorization of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants.

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Budget requests $31.7 billion for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) mandatory programs. ACF serves the nation’s most vulnerable populations through mandatory programs including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Child Care Entitlement to States, Child Support Enforcement, Foster Care, Adoption Assistance, Guardianship Assistance, Independent Living, and Promoting Safe and Stable Families.

Child Care Entitlement to States

The Child Care Entitlement to States was created by the welfare reform law enacted in 1996, which directly appropriates annual mandatory child care funding for States and tribes. The program requires States to spend at least 70 percent of mandatory child care funding on families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, transitioning from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or at risk of becoming eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. States must also spend a minimum percentage of all child care funds to improve the quality and availability of healthy and safe child care for all families. Together with the Child Care and Development Block Grant, the program provides funding to States to help families access and afford child care.

The FY 2018 Budget provides $2.9 billion for the Child Care Entitlement to States. Total child care funding for the Child Care and Development Fund, which includes mandatory and discretionary child care funding, is $5.7 billion in FY 2018. In FY 2018, the request would enable nearly 1.4 million children to receive child care assistance through this State-administered program.

Child Support Enforcement and Family Support Programs

Child Support is a joint Federal, State, tribal, and local partnership that seeks to ensure financial and emotional support for children from both parents by locating non-custodial parents, establishing paternity, and establishing and enforcing child support orders. The Budget requests $4.3 billion in budget authority in FY 2018 for Child Support Enforcement and Family Support Programs.

Child Support collected $32.4 billion in FY 2015, the last year from which data is available, a return of $5.26 per dollar invested in the program. In FY 2015, paternity was established for 1.5 million parents (100 percent of Title IV-D non-marital births), and child support orders were established for 86 percent of cases. Additionally, Child Support operates several demonstration projects to increase employment and child support payment rates among non-custodial parents. In FY 2015, the Tribal Child Support Program oversaw 59 comprehensive tribal IV-D programs, including two new comprehensive programs and an additional three start-up tribal programs.

The Budget promotes strong families and responsible parenting by engaging more parents in payment of child support, improving enforcement tools, and transitioning more responsibility to the States. These proposals are estimated to save $698 million over 10 years. Supplemental Security Income and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program realize savings of $527 million collectively.

In addition, the Budget includes $833 million in net savings over 10 years for a technology enhancement and replacement fund to build model child support systems and applications. This would enable States and tribal child support programs to replace out-of-date child support systems with a customizable uniform model system, improving efficiency and reducing long-term costs for States, tribal child support programs, and the Federal Government. An enhanced federal match rate of 90 percent would incentivize States to modernize more quickly and avoid system failure. The savings result from efficiencies these model systems would create in the process of replacing multiple legacy state child support systems. This proposal reflects the benefits of private sector approaches of operating government programs.

Children’s Research and Technical Assistance

Children’s Research and Technical Assistance supports state child support programs by disseminating information and providing training and technical assistance, including assistance with State automated systems and training of staff. Children’s Research and Technical Assistance also operates the Federal Parent Locator Service, which assists States in locating absent parents to establish, enforce, or modify orders for child support, custody, and visitation.

The FY 2018 President’s Budget includes $37 million in this account, devoted to training and technical assistance ($12.3 million) and operating the Federal Parent Locator Service ($24.6 million).

Foster Care and Permanency

The Budget requests $8.7 billion for the Foster Care, Adoption Assistance, Guardianship Assistance, and Independent Living programs. These programs, authorized by title IV­-E of the Social Security Act, support safety and permanence for children separated from their families and prepare older foster youth for independence.

Funding primarily goes to States for board and care payments for children in foster care who are eligible for title IV-E funding, as well as to the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, which offers assistance to current and former foster youth aged 16-21 in obtaining education, employment, and life skills for self-sufficiency. The Foster Care program also works with tribal agencies to help strengthen their child welfare systems.

Promoting Safe and Stable Families

The Budget includes $495 million in total for the mandatory portion of the Promoting Safe and Stable Families program. These funds provide formula grants to States to provide services to families, to address child safety at home, and to provide supportive services for reunifying and adoptive families. Funding also supports Regional Partnership Grants, a competitive grant program that reduces the risk of foster care due to parental substance abuse. The Budget proposes to reauthorize Promoting Safe and Stable Families (title IV-B) through FY 2022 at $345 million per year.

This account includes two other programs, the Personal Responsibility Education Program and Abstinence Education. The Personal Responsibility Education Program provides formula grants to States to educate adolescents on pregnancy prevention, sexually transmitted diseases, and adulthood preparation subjects such as relationship skills and financial literacy. Abstinence Education provides formula grants to States to support programs that present ways teens can develop healthy and positive relationships and promote reasons to delay sexual activity. Projects focus on youth who are homeless, in foster care, live in rural areas or areas with high teen birth rates, or come from racial or ethnic minority groups with disparities in teen birth rates. The Budget proposes to reauthorize both programs through FY 2019 at the current levels of $75 million per year for each program, which will cost $300 million.

Social Services Block Grant

The FY 2018 Budget eliminates funding for the Social Services Block Grant for a savings of $1.4 billion in FY 2018 and $16.7 billion over ten years. The Social Services Block Grant provides funding that is duplicative of resources available through other federal programs and has not demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing dependency on welfare and supporting self-sufficiency. As a 2011 U.S. Government Accountability Office report pointed out, the Social Services Block Grant is fragmented, provides duplicative or overlapping services, and has limited accountability. The Social Services Block Grant essentially offers a no-strings-attached approach to taxpayer funds. Eliminating the Social Services Block Grant aligns with the Administration’s goal of supporting welfare programs that effectively help low-income families gain self-sufficiency through paid employment. Furthermore, the proposal represents the Administration’s commitment to focus limited taxpayer dollars on the outcomes, not inputs, of programs to ensure they are effectively helping low-income families.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families provides States, Territories, and eligible Tribes the opportunity to design creative programs to help families transition from welfare to self-sufficiency. States have tremendous flexibility in determining how to use their Temporary Assistance for Needy Families dollars to meet their citizen’s needs and get them back on their feet. States now spend much less on cash assistance payments than during the early years of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families implementation and more on education and training, child care, and other work supports.

The Budget proposes $15.1 billion for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families State and Territory Family Assistance Grants, to build on the successes of welfare reform and to strengthen and re-focus Temporary Assistance for Needy Families as an effective anti-poverty program that fosters child and family well-being through job-readiness programs and employment opportunities programs. This request aligns with the proposal to zero-fund the Social Services Block Grant. States will continue to have broad flexibility in determining how to spend their remaining Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant funds, including a focus on welfare-to-work activities. The budget includes a legislative proposal to fund Welfare Research and the Census Bureau Survey of Income Program Participation, at $15 million and $10 million respectively, through a $25 million set-aside from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant.

The Budget also proposes to eliminate the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Contingency Fund, saving $6 billion dollars over 10 years. While the intent of the Contingency Fund is to assist States experiencing increased demand for cash assistance during economic declines, recent experience has demonstrated that the Contingency Fund is an ineffective mechanism for responding to economic downturns. This proposal advances the Administration’s goal of reducing duplication and increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of federal benefit spending programs. The Administration looks forward to working with Congress to ensure Temporary Assistance for Needy Families resources are targeted to families that are temporarily in need of additional support while maintaining welfare reform’s emphasis on gainful employment.

 

FY 2018 ACF Mandatory Outlays

(Dollars in millions)

Proposed Law Outlays 2016 2017 /1 2018 2018
+/- 2017
Child Care Entitlement to States 2,788 2,968 2,946 -22
Child Care and Development Fund (non-add) /2 5,306 5,693 5,718 +25
Child Support Enforcement and Family Support 4,079 4,266 4,302 +36
Children’s Research and Technical Assistance (mandatory only) 67 52 57 +5
Foster Care and Permanency 7,700 8,025 8,457 +432
Promoting Safe and Stable Families (mandatory only) /3 421 465 454 -11
Social Services Block Grant /5 1,780 1,699 362 -1337
Sandy Supplemental /4 96 64 -64
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) 15,624 16,504 15,395 -1,119
TANF Contingency Fund 572 616 51 -565
Subtotal, TANF (non-add) 16,196 17,120 15,446 -1,674
Total, Proposed Law Outlays 33,031 34,595 32,024 -2,645

Table Footnotes

1/ Reflects the annualized level of the Continuing Resolution that ended April 28, 2017, including the across the board reduction, the 21st Century Cures Act, and directed transfers.
2/ The Child Care and Development Fund includes mandatory funding from the Child Care Entitlement to States and discretionary funding from the Child Care and Development Block Grant.
3/ The total for Promoting Safe and Stable Families includes Abstinence Education, the Personal Responsibility Education Program. In addition, there is a discretionary appropriation of $60 million for this account in 2016, FY 2017 and FY 2018.
4/ The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 provided $500 million in funding for Social Services Block Grant to aid in the recovery from Hurricane Sandy.
5/ The proposed law reflects the reauthorization of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants.

FY 2018 ACF Mandatory Legislative Proposals

(Dollars in millions)

Current Outlays 2018 2018
-2022
2018
-2027
Proposed Law Outlays      
Strengthening Child Support Enforcement and Establishment /1 -21 -259 -698
Technology Enhancement and Replacement Fund -110 -609 -833
Subtotal, Child Support (non-add) -131 -868 -1,532
       
Abstinence Education 1 136 136
Personal Responsibility Education Program 2 136 141
Subtotal, PSSF (non-add) /2 3 272 277
       
Health Profession Opportunity Grant 3 170 170
Foster Care and Permanency /3 18 109 224
Social Services Block Grant -1,411 -8,194 -16,694
Subtotal, Social Services Block Grant (non-add) -1,390 -7,915 -16,300
       
Welfare Research and Census SIPP Set-Aside 25 125 250
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) -1,243 -7,581 -15,866
TANF Contingency Fund -567 -2,999 -6,039
Subtotal, TANF (non-add) -1,785 -10,455 -21,655
       
Total Outlays, ACF Legislative Proposals -3,303 -18,968 -39,211

Table Footnotes

1/ The Child Support outlays in this table are net of estimated savings in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ($418 million over 10 years) and the Supplemental Security Income program ($109 million over 10 years), which would result from this proposal. These outlays include the cost of $175 million over 10 years from Federal Offsetting Collections.
2/ Costs of extending PREP and Abstinence Education through FY 2019. There is not cost for reauthorizing PSSF through FY 2022.
3/ Reflects interaction effects from proposal to eliminate SSBG.

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Content created by Office of Budget (OB)
Content last reviewed on May 23, 2017