Thursday, October 31, 2013

Need input from foster parents on sex trafficking and re-homing

Dear NFPA Board and Council of State Affiliates members and NFPA members,

NFPA (and our State Affiliates) have been asked by the staff of the Human Resources Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee in Washington, DC, to provide information on two very important topics: sex trafficking of youth in foster care and re-homing. The Committees is and will continue to address each of the following topics and wants input from foster parents and child advocates on both.  Please send your comments to me at as I have agreed to gather the comments and provide them to the Committee staff.

First topic for input:
The House Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing last week on preventing and addressing sex trafficking of youth in foster care (here's the link: During this hearing the committee members heard about ways in which the child welfare system can better protect youth and prevent this from happening, and they also heard about services available to youth who have been victims of trafficking. The question now is how do foster parents fit in to both helping prevent sex trafficking as well as taking in kids who have been victims of sex trafficking. The committee wants to hear from foster parents who work with these kids to hear more about what they do, what supports they receive (or don't receive), and some of the challenges to preventing trafficking or working with kids who have been trafficked.

Second topic for input:
There has been recent media coverage of situations where parents adopt children (mostly from overseas) and then decide to place them with other families outside of the traditional child welfare and court process: Many of the members of the Human Resources Sub-committee are concerned about this issue.  The committee staff is interested to know whether foster and/or adoptive parents have any thoughts on this issue.  Congressman Langevin will shortly be introducing a bill to address this issue and the staff are interested in thoughts on this topic.

Response time is short (within two weeks but ASAP). Regardless of what else is happening in Washington, DC, some excellent work is continuing to happen on behalf of our nation's and the world's children.  Let's do our best to show the Committee staff and members that NFPA and our State Affiliates are there to help them make good decisions as legislation is proposed and passed. Thank you.

Again, please email responses to me at

Irene Clements
President, National Foster Parent Association

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