Monday, October 31, 2011

New film on Youth Aging out of Care

Check out a new film on the struggles of 3 youth aging out of foster care

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Senate Education legislation for foster youth introduced

From CWLA:

Senate Considers Fostering Success in Education Amendment

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) continued markup of a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) today, otherwise known as the No Child Left Behind Act. Senator Al Franken (D-MN) proposed an amendment addressing the educational stability of youth in care. Following up with the 2008 Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (Fostering Connections, P.L. 110-351), Senator Franken’s amendment requires that state and local education agencies will work with child welfare agencies to ensure children in care can remain in the school that is in their best interest or promptly transfer when that is in the child’s best interest.
The full committee debated the amendment for about a half an hour. Some committee members were interested in understanding how the new provision differed from what passed under Fostering Connections and how transportation would be provided for children in far away placements. Supporters of the amendment recalled the testimony from an earlier hearing of a young woman who moved several times while in foster care, causing her to switch schools more than ten times. Ultimately, the amendment passed by a vote of 13 to 9. The HELP Committee will continue to markup the bill in hopes of moving it to the Senate Floor soon.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Link to a good article on the challenges of fostering

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bill in US Senate to encourage State to keep kids out of foster care

A bill awaiting President Barack Obama’s signature would give new federal support to state programs  that help keep children out of foster care, according to the bill’s sponsors. Senate Bill 1542 would reform rules that now prohibit states from using federal foster care funding on programs that help keep children at home with their families. States that reduce the number of case- loads now lose federal dollars for foster care, called Title 4-E funds. Under the bill, those states could tap that stream of money for programs that help keep children at home or reduce the duration of their stay in foster care.

States that want to use the new option for spending the federal dollars have to apply for a “flexible funding waiver” from the federal government and may do so beginning in 2012. The application includes a plan and goals for reducing caseloads. Between 2012 and 2014, 30 states will be awarded the waiver, said Dan Ashby, chief of federal funding at the Children’s Administration. The waivers last for five years, he said. Link to the bill