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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: June 26, 2019 03:18 PM
From: Representative Tarah Toohil
To: All House members
Subject: Resolution JSGC Study on PA's Opportunities for Application of Family First Prevention Service Act Federal Funds under Title IV-E
 
Dear Colleagues,

We should not leave Harrisburg until we know that the State Legislature is going to be included in the discussions around timely application of Family First Prevention Services federal dollars. Last week, the Department of Human Services testified before the House Children & Youth Committee and announced that the Department would not be applying for program funding in October 2019 and instead would delay application for Title IV-E funding until one year later in October 2020. This potentially leaves tens of millions of our federal reimbursement dollars on the table in Washington. In fact, 17 other states are planning to apply for this funding in October 2019. I believe that if they can do it... then we can too!

I believe that if the Joint State Government Commission coordinates and collaborates with the Department of Human Services, the Child Welfare Steering Committee, the House Children and Youth Committee, and any other relevant committees of the Legislature to study and produce a report to the House of Representatives, then we as state legislators can be more proactive in going after these federal dollars and enhance our Pennsylvania families in a way that would prevent children from being removed from their homes and placed into foster care and congregate care in the first place.

Any of the decisions around Family First involve two key elements:
  • Ensuring Pennsylvania’s Children are provided with safe, permanent and loving families; and
  • Ensuring the Commonwealth is making informed and proactive decisions regarding the use of our state dollars and available federal dollars related to child welfare.
This is why I ask you to please join me in co-sponsoring an urgent Resolution of the House directing the Joint State Government Commission to study the impact of a timely and expeditious implementation of the Family First Prevention Act on the Commonwealth’s Title IV-E funding.



Introduced as HR438