CHIFF is gone. What does CAPP portend?
The Children in Families First (CHIFF) legislation died a slow death surrounded with silence. You can read the Post-Mortem here. It is possible, but unlikely, that CHIFF could be re-introduced in the 114th session of Congress, which recently convened.
What have the former proponents of CHIFF been working on, since the CHIFF legislative campaign failed?
Many (though not all) CHIFF proponents have been participating in the strategies outlined in the US Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity (APCA), a report released in December 2012. Several of the CHIFF proponents are now part of the Children in Adversity Policy Partnership (CAPP), an offshoot of APCA. APCA is, according to June 2014 information, “a demonstration of the U.S. Government’s commitment to greater coordinated, comprehensive and effective assistance to prevent and respond to the needs of especially vulnerable children. More than 30 offices across the U.S. Government continue to support programs and policies relevant to the APCA objectives globally.”
The main website for Children In Adversity is here.
The three principal objectives that everyone involved with APCA supports are these: Build Strong Beginnings (focused on children under five years old); Put Family Care First (to prevent unnecessary family-child separation and promote permanent family care); and Protect Children (from violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect.)
Each of the objectives requires significant implementation, which likely also will involve signficant funding and legislation.
The CAPP Steering Committee includes former CHIFF proponents Joint Council on International Children’s Services (JCICS), Kidsave, and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Other Steering Committee members are Arms Around the Child, Child Fund International, World Vision, and Save the Children. The co-chairs of the Steering Committee are Tom DiFilipo of JCICS and Greg Mann of Save the Children. Information from JCICS about CAPP is available here, including a link to a survey which allows you to become involved with CAPP.
Government agencies working to implement APCA, along with CAPP, include (but are not limited to) US Agency for International Development (US AID), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the National Institute of Health (NIH), the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the US Department of Agriculture, the US Department of State, the Peace Corps, and more.
There is also a Global Alliance for Children involved with APCA as well, a public-private partnership: “In response to the global and national conditions of children in extreme adversity, a group of foundation, bilateral, multilateral, NGO and private sector partners founded the Global Alliance for Children: Ensuring the Future. Through a donor advised fund, joint programs and coordinated funding, the Alliance seeks to achieve three core objectives in six countries over the course of five years.”
The three core objectives are the “principle objectives” outlined above. Three of the countries have been named so far for assistance: Cambodia, Rwanda, and Uganda.
The members of the Global Alliance include US AID, World Childhood Foundation, Childhood, Maestral International, Save the Children, Lumos, GHR Foundation, US Department of Labor, World Bank Early Child development, and USB Optimum Foundation.
One of CHIFF’s goals had been to establish a USAID Center for Excellence for Children in Adversity (USAID CECA), so this is one overlap between CHIFF and CAPP, in that the center has indeed been established, and apparently funded as well. More information is available here.
This is not by any means an exhaustive explanation about the players and policies involved in the implementation of the Action Plan for Children in Adversity and CAPP. I urge you to take a look at the links and learn more. Huge expenditures of money and time have been and will be spent on this enormous project. If vulnerable children and families are genuinely and substantially helped, that should be applauded.
So, what does that mean for international adoption? Please see Part 2, available tomorrow.