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ACTION ALERT:  Reauthorization of the Court Improvement Project & Full Funding Restoration


In 1993 Congress created the State Court Improvement Program (CIP) to improve the legal process in the child welfare system, improve outcomes for children and families, and enhance collaboration between child welfare agencies, the legal system, and tribes. The original funding was $10 million per year but in 2006, two additional grants were created to increase the total funding to $30 million per year.

Due to something along the lines of a technicality, this funding was reduced from $30 million to the original $10 million in 2016-2017, which dramatically reduced the ability of CIP directors to provide programs --including programs to provide training and support to attorneys who represent children, parents, and agencies.   This fall the National Association of Counsel for Children joined a coalition which includes the ABA Center on Children and the Law, National Center for State Courts, National CASA, and the National Council of Family and Juvenile Court Judges to help reauthorize the CIP program and restore CIP funding. 

There is now a bill to reauthorize the Court Improvement Program at the full $30 million level for the next five years. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) introduced theContinuing of Useful Resources to States Act or COURTS Act (HR 4461) in the House. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) have introduced a companion bill in the Senate with the same title (S. 2173). Under rules established by committee, the House Bill includes an "off-set" for the $200 million that will be needed to fund the CIP program for five years, which is one-time reduction in the TANF Contingency Fund, but other sources of funding are being actively researched.  The Senate bill does not specify this language


Please support CIP funding by:

  • Calling your House Representatives and Senators
  • Emailing your House Representatives and Senators
  • Sending Letters to you House Representatives and Senators


Please see the list of House and Senate contacts list here and above and take a moment to make a call. 


A suggested call script is here, as well as a fact sheet on CIP funding.


Here is a sample letter that can be sent via email or US Mail.





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