oppose cuts to Social Services Block Grant/Children's Defense

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Sun, 26 Apr 1998 02:47:18 -0700 (PDT)


FWD  CC Replies to <CDFupdate@childrensdefense.org>
Children's Defense Fund Update
April 6, 1998
Special Alert


"Cuts to the Social Service Block Grant over the past three years
clearly have had a negative impact on communities.  For example, due
to recent Title XX cuts, an agency serving the homeless in
Chattanooga, Tennessee is being forced to close the city's only
shelter for families at a time when this type of shelter is a scarce,
but needed resource."--from article below

*** Child Welfare and Mental Health ***

--- OPPOSE FURTHER CUTS IN THE TITLE XX SOCIAL SERVICES BLOCK GRANT
---

The Title XX Social Services Block Grant is a mainstay of critical
support for child care, child abuse prevention and treatment, and many
other children's services in communities across the county, yet it has
been a target for repeated cuts these past several years.  President
Clinton's FY99 Budget proposes an additional 17% cut for FY99 which
would reduce its current funding level to $1.9754 billion.

** There are two steps you can take to urge Congress to fund the Title
XX Social Services Block Grant for FY99 at least at its current
funding level of $2.38 billion.

1-  Contact your Senators and Representatives during the April Recess
and urge them to fund the Title XX Social Services Block Grant at
least at $2.38 billion for FY 1999.  Explain how children and families
in your community already have been hurt by cuts in the block grant.

2 -  Add your organization's name to the letter below to Congress on
funding for the Social Services Block Grant being circulated by Family
Service America (FSA).   Contact Jamila Larson at:
<jlarson@childrensdefense.org>,  if your organization can sign on and
she will forward your names to Family Service America.  Please include
your organization, city and state as you want it listed on the letter
and your name and  phone number for follow-up.

-- SAMPLE LETTER --

March 3, 1998

Senator XX
United States Senate
Washington, D.C.  20515

Dear Senator XX:

We, the undersigned organizations, strongly oppose the
Administration's proposal to decrease the Social Service Block Grant
(SSBG), Title XX of the Social Security Act, by $471 million.  We ask
that Congress restore this program to its authorized level of $2.38
billion.

Over recent decades, the Social Service Block Grant has allowed states
the flexibility to provide vital services for families, children,
older persons and persons with disabilities.  These services have
already been jeopardized by previous cuts in the last three years of
over one-half billion dollars.  The proposed budget plan represents an
additional cut $471 million below the authorization level included in
the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of
1996 and would result in close to a billion dollar cut in the program
since FY96.

In reviewing the SSBG, we ask you to look at the positive impact the
funding has had on programs and people throughout the country.  In
fiscal year 1995, close to 93,000 Pennsylvanians received adult
protective services and another 16,000 benefited from case management
services.  It also made possible more than 23,000 home delivered meals
in Utah, Arizona and Arkansas, and an additional $1 million was
provided for these meals in Mississippi.  Special Services for persons
with disabilities reached 191,000 Californians and nearly 13,000
citizens of Connecticut.  Also, $1 million was used in Connecticut for
family planning and preventative health services.  In Rhode Island,
$250,000 of SSBG funds provided transportation to people with
disabilities.  Community living support services assisted over 44,000
people in Wisconsin.  In addition, foster care, protective or at-risk
youth services benefited over 43,000 children in the states of Hawaii
and Michigan alone.

Cuts to the Social Service Block Grant over the past three years
clearly have had a negative impact on communities.  For example, due
to recent Title XX cuts, an agency serving the homeless in
Chattanooga, Tennessee is being forced to close the city's only
shelter for families at a time when this type of shelter is a scarce,
but needed resource.  In Akron, Ohio a counseling program for spousal
and child abuse, as well as a Teen Parent Program are being forced to
close due to SSBG cuts.  In Indiana, fewer families needing support
services to deal with child abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse can now
be served.

The block grant dollars provided by Title XX result in services.
These services are often the only support families, children, older
persons, and person with disabilities receive in order to reduce risk
and overcome challenges that face them.  The individuals in all of
these groups rely on the case management, respite care, transportation
and counseling services that Title XX supports.  The half a billion
dollar cut to Title XX included in welfare reform did not allow for
HHS to propose additional cuts if TANF caseloads went down.  In fact,
the programs funded by this block grant represent vital support
services to these same families.  These services are more important
today due to the fact the new welfare law places such a heavy emphasis
on moving families off assistance and into the job market.

Our organizations urge you to demonstrate strong support for the Title
XX, Social Service Block Grant in the fiscal year 1999 budget by
funding it at the authorized level of $2.38 billion.

Sincerely,

American Association of Children's Residential Centers
American Association on Mental Retardation
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
American Humane Association
American Psychological Association
American Public Welfare Association
The American Society on Aging
The Arc
The Association of Gerontology and Higher Education
Association of Jewish Aging Services
The California State Association of Counties
Catholic Charities USA
The Center for Women Policy Studies
Child Welfare League of America
Children's Defense Fund
Council for Exceptional Children
County Welfare Directors Association of California
Epilepsy Foundation of America
Family Service America
Generations United
Idaho Youth Ranch *after 3/3
International/National Association of Business, Industry, and
Rehabilitation
Legal Action Center
Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs, Evangelical Lutheran Church
in America
National Association of Developmental Disabilities Council
National Association of Homes and Services for Children
National Association of Social Workers *after 3/3
National Association of State Units on Aging
National Association of Meal Programs
National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems
National Association of Retired and Senior Volunteer Program Directors
National Association of Senior Companion Project Directors
National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
National Council on Senior Citizens
National Council on the Aging *after 3/3
National Conference of State Legislatures
National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association
National Network for Youth
National Organization for Women
National Puerto Rican Coalition
National Senior Citizens Law Center
Northeast Parent and Child Society
The Older Women's League
Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc.
Salvation Army
Union of American Hebrew Congregations
United Way of America
United Church of Christ, Office for Church in Society
Volunteers of America

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Kimberly Taylor
Children's Defense Fund
25 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
202/662-3540 (fax)
CDFupdate@childrensdefense.org

"What is done to children, they will do to society." --Karl Menninger

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