CCC Report: Carrots and Sticks: The Impact of the New York State Family and Children’s Services Block Grant on Child Welfare Services in New York City
Published February 1998
In 1995, Governor Pataki proposed and the Legislature approved the Family and Children’s Services Block Grant, which capped state funding for child welfare services and reduced state spending by 25%, or $151 million in its first year. The Block Grant was intended create an incentive system to improve the child welfare system and create flexibility, but instead made less funding available to counties and failed to deliver on its promise of regulatory relief, and program and fiscal flexibility. In the two years since its implementation, reports of abuse and neglect have increased and more children are entering foster care.
CCC’s study of the first two years of block grant implementation found the greatest failure of the state Block Grant is the lack of funds sufficient for the child welfare system to keep children safe and to adequately address the needs of children in foster care.
CCC’s study is based on surveys of preventive and foster care agencies (both mailed in surveys and in-person surveys) and an extensive review of data, policy and regulations, as well as the assistance of an 18-person Advisory Panel.
CCC’s study concludes that the Family and Children’s Services Block Grant needs to be eliminated this year, rather than allowing it to sunset in 1999.