Blog Posts -- Legislation & Policies

Will the new foster care law give grandparents a hand? (ncsl.org)

On Feb. 9, President Donald Trump signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (H.R. 1892) to keep the government funded for six more weeks and pave the way for a long-term budget deal that will extend to the end of the fiscal year. Included in the act is the Family First Prevention Services Act, which has the potential to dramatically change child welfare systems across the country. One of the major areas this legislation seeks to change is the way Title IV-E funds can be spent by states. Title...

Children of imprisoned parents get Oregon bill of rights [streetroots.org]

"The first state law of its kind..." reads the article! A big thanks to Oregon law makers for pioneering law supporting the rights of children of incarcerated parents. On Tuesday September 19 th , Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law a bill of rights for Oregon's children requiring the Oregon Department of Corrections to develop and sustain policies and procedures supporting the needs of families, and protecting the rights of children, when parents are incarcerated. This legislation is...

Briefing in Support of ACEs Legislation - WATCH LIVE

Tomorrow (July 26), Building Community Resilience will co-host a briefing on childhood trauma-- The Need to Address Childhood Trauma: Implications for Child Welfare and Education-- at the U.S. House of Representatives. Honorary Co-Hosts are Rep. Danny K. Davis (IL-7) and the Congressional Foster Youth Caucus. Featured speakers include Wendy Ellis , Milken Scholar, doctoral candidate and BCR Project Director, Olga Price , Director of the National Center for Health and Health Care in Schools.

Big wins for kids caught in foster care crisis [crosscut.com]

Months ago we shared the report from Washington State's Blue Ribbon Commission recommending the creation of a new state agency consolidating child welfare, early learning, and juvenile justice. The report recommends many changes in both internal organization and delivery of services to children and families. Many of these recommendations are informed by ACE science - both emerging and established best practices in child welfare, early learning and work with children and families. Washington...

Lois Henry: Upping the bar for foster children [bakersfield.com]

A new law in California, effective this year, is reducing the number of groups home and congregate care facilities. This law is part of a larger framework called the Continuum of Care Reform (Assembly Bill 403). This editorial by Lois Henry sheds light on the plans of one California community, Bakersfield, to reduce group-care and increase the number of foster homes. Including efforts to level the playing field for relative caregivers and streamline the permanent plan of adoption.Zachary...

Will the Legislature do what's needed for foster care? [crosscut.com]

Proposed foster care reform continues to wait in Washington State as legislators continue to negotiate budget and policy proposals... Republicans and Democrats in Olympia insist they want to shore up the state’s failing foster care system, but major reforms could falter as they head into a special legislative session to hammer out budget and policy proposals that remain miles apart. Compared with their Republican Senate colleagues, Democrats who control the House have proposed millions more...

Bill aims to create alternative to foster care for struggling families [newschief.com]

This sounds like interesting proposed legislation, and certainly in the right direction as far as building community supports for families in need. However, it does seem to need a little more work to ensure accountability of these short term foster families as well as their ability to safely parent the children in their temporary care. TAMPA — One parent losing a job, being admitted to a hospital or struggling with addiction can be difficult for any family. For a single parent, however, it...

Answering the call for Texas' children [www.tribtalk.org]

If you follow child welfare news at all, you know Texas has been overhauling and prioritizing changes to their foster care system. As the Texas Legislature grapples with how to fund child welfare, they are considering statewide performance-based contracting for the child welfare provider network, which serves the majority of children placed in Texas foster care. Two new bills will include provisions to strengthen the Texas child welfare system, as well as focus on trauma-informed care and...

State, University researchers seek solutions to disproportionate foster placements among Native kids [wakemag.org]

Minnesota has put more Native American children in foster care than any other state in the nation. Despite being one of the least-represented minorities in Minnesota, nearly one in every 10 Native children is in the foster system, compared to only one in every 100 white children. One of key individuals who has spearheaded research into this issue is Professor Priscilla Day, director of the Center for Regional and Tribal Child Welfare at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Day has focused on...

Proposed task force to identify needs for trauma services [bismarktribune.com]

When Jessica Kluck signed the adoption papers in 2015, she was on her own. Kluck, a single woman living in Bismarck, adopted five Native American children, ages 5 to 16, all siblings, after serving as their foster parent through PATH foster care agency. Kluck said she was certain she was destined to help these kids, who were traumatized while living with their parents on a reservation in North Dakota. "It's been a hard road, but I've never regretted it," said Kluck, 37. Her kids received...

Texas lawmakers begin to reform Child Protective Services [star.txstate.edu]

The Texas Senate and House of Representatives unanimously voted to pass bills for reform of Child Protective Services. During the State of the State address, Gov. Greg Abbott noted “over one hundred deaths” of children in foster care services within the last year. A CPS reform was one of the four policies Texas Gov. Greg Abbott listed as emergency items for the legislative session. “You will cast thousands of votes this session. Few will involve life or death decisions. Your vote on CPS is...

Proposed bill would require more training for foster parents in Arizona [abc15.com]

Advocates for Arizona's House Bill 2476 are hopeful it will be read in the Senate by today. This legislation would put in place additional trauma-based training for foster parents.. "You can't parent [a child exposed to trauma] the way that you parent your biological kids..." Just as child welfare social workers deserve training and opportunities for professional development to ensure they are able to serve children and families to the best of their ability, foster parents also deserve...

Committee Votes to Establish Kansas Foster Care Task Force [kansaspublicradio.org]

A Kansas House committee voted without dissent today (TUE) to establish a new task force to improve the state's foster care system. Foster parents, law enforcement, and court officials have all been testifying that they struggle to get information and services for children in state custody. That, plus high caseloads and turnover among social workers has meant that more Kansas children are waiting to go home or be adopted. Republican Linda Gallagher, Vice Chair of the Children and Seniors...

Sentator Dick Durbin and U.S. Rep. Danny Davis Introduce New Legislation: Illinois Children Traumatized [chicagofender.com]

CHICAGO – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and U.S. Representative Danny Davis on Monday unveiled the Trauma Informed Care for Children and Families Act, which is designed to address the toxic stress and trauma that impacts many children from Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods. “As we work to address the root causes of violence, we need to focus on the impact that community violence and other traumatic experiences have on Chicago’s children,” said Durbin. “During a visit to the Cook County...

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