Earlier this month, Congress passed and the President signed into law proposals led by the Ways and Means Committee to strengthen families and communities across the country.
As Chairman Brady said when these critically important measures were signed into law:
“Ways and Means Members have been committed to solutions that strengthen families, protect those in at-risk communities, and help Americans get back on the path to achieving their own success. These pro-family policies focus on not only delivering immediate support, but strengthening family bonds for the long-term to help reduce child abuse, keep families together, and improve lives.
“I would like to thank Human Resources Subcommittee Chairman Adrian Smith, Congressman Vern Buchanan, and Congresswoman Jackie Walorski for leading the effort to design and implement solutions that will strengthen America’s families and communities. For too long services meant to help families have not been delivering results for Americans in need. Our children deserve to grow up in stable homes in strong communities so they can accomplish and celebrate their own achievements – we will continue to work to make that a reality.”
Here’s how these evidence-based, family-focused policies will improve lives across the country, including descriptions of the bills that will make that happen:
SUPPORTING YOUNG FAMILIES LIVING IN AT-RISK COMMUNITIES
Increasing Opportunity and Success for Children and Parents through Evidence-Based Home Visiting Act (H.R. 2824): Extends for five years the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. H.R. 2824 ensures MIECHV maintains its standing as an evidence-based program providing real help to young families. This legislation:
- Prevents child abuse and placement in foster care by providing home visiting services to help keep families together both in the short term and long term;
- Supports state and local innovation by giving state and local governments the flexibility to choose what proven and effective home visiting models best suit their communities; and
- Evaluates programs to make sure they are effective by requiring states to continue to measure the program’s impacts, providing valuable feedback on effective approaches.
HELPING AMERICANS GET BACK IN THE WORKFORCE
Unemployment Insurance (UI) Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessments (RESEA): Authorizes the structure of RESEA within the UI program to help more unemployed workers quickly get back into the workforce. This provision of legislation:
- Provides Americans with the resources they need to get back to work while simultaneously providing the benefits they count on;
- Expands access to and improves coordination with the existing workforce development system; and
- Focuses on getting Americans back to work with the use of proven, evidence-based approaches, and provides incentives to states that successfully improve their employment outcomes.
INVESTING IN PREVENTATIVE SOLUTIONS TO KEEP CHILDREN SAFELY WITH FAMILIES
Family First Prevention Services Act (H.R. 5456 in the 114th Congress): Strengthens families by providing upfront evidence-based prevention services to all children at risk of coming into foster care. This legislation focuses on keeping children safely with their parents, and in addition:
- Helps parents with substance abuse and mental health issues by providing preventative and evidence-based services;
- Combats the opioid and heroin epidemic by reauthorizing and updating Regional Partnership Grants, a program that aids in providing substance abuse services locally;
- Prevents placement in foster care and keeps families together by providing services that maintain a safe environment for children to remain at home; and
- Promotes family placements for children in foster care by closely reviewing the necessity of foster care placements for appropriateness.
PROMOTING INNOVATIVE AND EFFECTIVE SOCIAL PROGRAMS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act (H.R. 576): Supports innovative and effective social programs that deliver real results:
- Promotes local innovation to address complex challenges by providing a single entity within the federal government for funding; and
- Encourages social services that have real impact by only paying for interventions that produce real results to help children and families.
Our priority is to keep American families together – and this depends on getting them the right services in order to combat hardships like poverty, unemployment, opioid abuse, and children at-risk of foster care placement. We are encouraging new and innovative solutions across the country while making sure that program integrity is being upheld and improved.
These family-focused policies will improve the lives of families everywhere – rightfully serving the American people that need help the most. The Ways and Means Committee will continue to lead efforts on developing impactful policies that will strengthen our families, communities, and nation.
CLICK HERE to read more about the Committee’s work on the Increasing Opportunity and Success for Children and Parents through Evidence-Based Home Visiting Act (H.R. 2824).
CLICK HERE to read more about the Committee’s work on the Family First Prevention Services Act (H.R. 5456 in the 114th Congress) and Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act (H.R. 576 in the 115th Congress).