Florida Granted Flexible Child Welfare Funding Waiver

By: Department of Children and Families Email
By: Department of Children and Families Email

News Release: Department of Children and Families

TALLAHASSEE—The Department of Children and Families (DCF) today announced Florida received federal approval for the five year renewal of the statewide flexible funding waiver for foster care. The renewal of the IV-E Waiver will continue the state’s positive progress in reducing the number of children in out-of-home care and providing necessary support and prevention services for improved child welfare.

“The renewal of the waiver will allow us to continue to serve the needs of Florida families and children in the best way possible,” Interim Secretary Jacobo said. “Having the funding flexibility allows us to match our program goals with the financial support necessary to implement them.”

The five year waiver under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act is
authorized by the Administration for Children and Families and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It allows federal foster care funds to be used for any child welfare purpose rather than being restricted to out-of-home care as generally required under federal law. It enables funds to be used for a wide variety of child welfare services including prevention, intensive in-home services to prevent placement of children outside the home, reunification and foster care.

The waiver was first introduced and implemented under Governor Jeb Bush in 2006. The goal of the waiver was to support changes in the state’s child welfare system to maintain child safety and improve outcomes for children and families served the by DCF and its community-based partners. After its expiration in 2011 the waiver was extended in three month increments and now will be renewed until 2019.

The University of South Florida reviewed the effectiveness of the initial
waiver and advocated for its renewal, stating the waiver enabled
Community-Based Care organizations to allocate funding for innovative diversion and family preservation services to prevent children from entering foster care.

"With the renewal of the IV-E Waiver, our members will have the resources to continue to provide the best possible services to children and families in Florida’s community-based care system,” CEO of Florida Coalition for Children Kurt Kelly said. “This is a big win for Florida’s child welfare system and Florida’s abused, abandoned and neglected children.”

For more information on the Florida Department of Children and Families, please visit www.myflfamilies.com.

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