The Federal Role in Funding Child Protection: How Eliminating the "Lookback" Could Help Texas

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Scott McCown /(512) 320-0222 x 109

February 7, 2007

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Nationally, in 1998, more than half of the children in foster care were eligible for federal support, but, by 2005, fewer than half were"an estimated 35,000 fewer children. Experts project that the number of children eligible for support will continue to decline by about 5,000 a year. Many factors contribute to this decline, including changes in state policies and demographics. A new analysis by KIDS ARE WAITING: Fix Foster Care Now, led by The Pew Charitable Trusts, with CPPP as a partner, shows that part of the decline is the result of the federal “lookback” policy. This policy makes a child’s eligibility for federal funds dependent on whether their family would have qualified for support in 1996 under the rules of the now-defunct Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).