Human Services

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the nation’s largest anti-hunger program.  SNAP benefits provide a significant boost to local economies.  Federal stimulus legislation increased these benefits.  The SNAP program is federally funded but administered at the state level.

This report includes bar charts for outcome indicators for two major child welfare programs administered by states—adoption and foster care.  This includes the nubmer of children per thousand in the foster care system who were victims of maltreatment by a foster parent or facility staff member; the percent of children reunited with their families in less than 12 months; the median time to adoption from time of latest removal from the home; the percent of children in the foster care system for less than 12 months that had two or fewer placements; the percent of children in the foster care system for 12 to 23 months that had two or fewer placements; the percent of children in the foster care system for 24 or more months that had two or fewer placements; and the percent of children that re-entered foster care in less than 12 months of being reunited with their families.

States bear enormous responsibility for administering the nation’s safety net programs. They are the first responders when unemployed workers apply for unemployment benefits, food assistance and welfare. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 expanded some safety net support, temporarily filling in some of the benefit gaps.

Suggested State Legislation: In 1984 New York established a state Adoption Information Registry within the state department of health to enable adopted children to get identifying information about their biological parents. New York Chapter 435 of 2008 enhances awareness of that Registry by directing that a biological parent be given an Adoption Information Registry Birth Parent Registration Consent form at the time they surrender their child for adoption.

Suggested State Legislation: This Act gives veterans’ organizations the right to receive the cremains of a veteran which have not been claimed by a relative or friend of the deceased within a certain time after cremation, and upon certification to the state commissioner of health and senior services that a diligent effort has been made to identify, locate and notify a relative or friend of the deceased within that time.

Suggested State Legislation: The new Uniform Parentage Act confronts the complicated issue of establishing legal parentage against the complications that technology provides. It brings genetic testing into modern parentage actions in a manner that is efficient, but that preserves due process rights for all concerned

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments strongly urge Congress to restore funding to the child support enforcement program by passing The Child Support Protection Act of 2007 (S. 803) or similar legislation.

Suggested State Legislation: This Act requires people 18 years or older to prove they are lawfully present in the United States before such people can get certain public benefits.

Suggested State Legislation:  This Act establishes procedures to expedite hearings on child custody and visitation issues for service members who are absent or about to depart for duty.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments representing state, territorial and provincial policy leaders urge the use of local, fresh milk in WIC and other federally funded hunger security programs.

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