Child Welfare: An Overview of Federal Programs and Their Current Funding [July 16, 2014] [open pdf - 491KB]
"Child welfare services are intended to prevent the abuse or neglect of children; ensure that children have safe, permanent homes; and promote the well-being of children and their families. As the U.S. Constitution has been interpreted, states bear the primary responsibility for ensuring the welfare of children and their families. In recent years, Congress has appropriated just above or below $8 billion in federal support dedicated to child welfare purposes. Most of those dollars (97%-98%) were provided to state, tribal, or territorial child welfare agencies (via formula grants or as federal reimbursement for a part of all eligible program costs). Federal involvement in state administration of child welfare activities is primarily tied to this financial assistance. The remaining federal dollars dedicated to child welfare purposes are provided, primarily on a competitive basis, to a variety of eligible entities to support research, evaluation, technical assistance, and demonstration projects to expand knowledge and improve child welfare practice and policy. At the federal level, child welfare programs are primarily administered by the Children's Bureau, which is an agency within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). However, three competitive grant programs (authorized by the Victims of Child Abuse Act) are administered by the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) within the Department of Justice (DOJ)."
CRS Report for Congress, R43458