Weekly Notes: Funding at ACF; New Measure for Poverty; Jim Casey Youth Opportunity Initiative Report

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***The Family and Youth Services Bureau, a division of the Administration for Children and Families at Health and Human Services, is taking applications for state agencies that would like to be part of a five-year demonstration project on services to rural homeless youth. The applicant for any state must be the agency that handles independent living programs for youth aging out of foster care, and the state must pony up 10 percent of whatever the approved cost of the project is. There will be three grantees selected, and each will receive $200,000 per year.

***Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), who authored the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act that was passed last year, has introduced a bill that would modernize the measures for poverty in the United States. The MAP Act would use the recommendations produced by the National Academy of Sciences to devise a more modern calculation for who qualifies as poor.  For the most part, that means accounting for more modern physical necessities, and on the other side accounting for the increased availability of government assistance. You can read a summary of the bill here.

***The Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative released this report on its Opportunity Passport program in anticipation of Congress reauthorizing the Assets for Independence Act (AIA) this year. One big recommendation the initiative makes to lawmakers: Youths should be able to use their independent accounts, which are matched at up to $1,000 per year through AIA, to purchase vehicles.