Federal and State Cooperation

Section 4.12

Federal and Local Policymakers and Advocates Should Create Coordinated Approaches between Federal Government Agencies and Programs that Serve Youth and Families that will Help States Coordinate, Blend or Braid Federal Funding Streams to Create a Seamless, Comprehensive and, to the Greatest Extent Possible, Non-judicial Continuum of Care for Youth and Families

As state and local authorities break down silos between systems, agencies and funding streams to ensure unfettered access to needed programs and services, it is critical that federal authorities facilitate and support these efforts by providing the flexibility states and local authorities need – especially as federal supports become more limited.  In some cases the federal government has already amended certain statutes and regulations to permit states to coordinate, blend or braid certain federal funding streams.  For example, the last three reauthorizations of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) have encouraged states to blend funding from four distinct ESEA programs.1

Federal policymakers should expand on ESEA and examine other ways state and local authorities should be permitted to blend and braid funding streams, not only within agencies but across programs and agencies.  This examination should look closely at where and how arcane silos, restrictions and prohibitions are hindering youth and families from accessing the full array of services critical to their individual needs and desired outcomes.

1 Braiding and Blending of Federal Funding. Fact Sheet produced by the West Virginia Department of Education. Available at http://wvde.state.wv.us/titlei/documents/Blendingandbraidingoffunds-3-07.doc.