WE CAN HELP YOU FOR FREE!
NCSL can help your work to develop strategies to improve your State’s child welfare system and to safely reduce the number of children in foster care through:
- On-site presentations, informal briefings and testimony before committees and hearings,
- Written research and analysis, or
- Informal telephone conference calls with state child welfare administrators, legislators and legislative staff in other states to discuss their experience in child welfare reform.
Questions?? Contact Nina Williams-Mbengue at 303.856.1559. For questions about the newsletter, contact Kelly Crane at 303.856.1372.
STATE LEGISLATIVE EFFORTS TO SAFELY REDUCE THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE
States are working to safely reduce the number of children in foster care through reducing the number of children who have been in foster care for long periods of time and reducing the number of children that enter into state care. Examples from Oregon and Colorado of such strategies are below.
- A new program in Oregon, Fostering Hope, that includes partners, the Oregon Department of Human Services and Catholic Community Services, intends to build neighborhood-based support systems for families. Its goal: reduce child maltreatment and the number of children living in foster care by 20 percent in the program’s targeted neighborhoods.
- Colorado recently enacted HB 1226 which creates the differential response pilot program for child protective services. The bill states that the Department of Human Services shall establish and evaluate a pilot program in which the participating counties shall use an alternative approach to addressing reports of alleged child abuse or neglect in cases in which an assessment determines that the safety of the child is at low or moderate risk according to an assessment performed by each participating county department.
FOSTERING CONNECTIONS TO SUCCESS
President Bush signed into law the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (H.R. 6893/P.L. 110-351) on October 7, 2008. This new law helps to connect foster children with their relatives, improve the health care and education coordination for foster children, support permanent families through relative guardianship, and enhance adoption subsidies and supports to older youth in foster care.
2010 Legislative Highlights: Educational Stability
The Educational Stability provision of the Fostering Connections Act requires that each child in foster care shall have a case plan that promotes their educational stability. Examples of 2010 enacted state legislation that promote educational stability for children in foster care include:
- Connecticut SB 31: Establishes that whenever a child is placed in out-of-home care by the Department of Children and Families the child may continue to attend his or her school of origin. If it is determined that it is in a child's best interests to remain in his or her school of origin, the Department and the Board of Education shall collaborate on a transportation plan for the child from the town in which the child is placed to the school of origin.
- South Carolina SB 1134: Establishes the “South Carolina Education Bill of Rights for Children in Foster Care” to provide that school districts shall take certain measures to help ensure that the education needs of children in foster care are met by assisting with enrollment, school records and credit transfers, access to resources and activities, and excused absence make-up requirements.
Click here for information on Fostering Connections related bills that have been introduced in 2010.
Click here for information on Fostering Connections related legislation that was enacted in 2009.
FREE Fostering Connections Webinar
A free webinar on the kinship provisions of the Fostering Connections Act will take place on Tuesday, July 13, 2010 from 2-3 PM EDT. You can register for this event by clicking here.
The Fostering Connections Resource Center, the Children's Defense Fund and Child Focus are offering a free webinar on the education provisions of the Fostering Connections Act. The new law presents both opportunities and challenges to state leaders responsible for implementing requirements aimed at promoting new school stability for children and youth in foster care. During this webinar, experts from the Legal Center for Foster Care and Education will focus on the special challenges related to providing, arranging, and paying for transportation for children to remain in their same schools.
FUNDING OPPORTUNITY FOR STATES TO IMPROVE FOSTER CARE
The Children’s Bureau recently released two funding opportunity announcements for States. Below is information on both opportunities. Click here to see all of the recent funding announcements.
Initiative to Reduce Long-Term Foster Care
The Children’s Bureau recently released a funding opportunity announcement for an Initiative to Reduce Long-Term Foster Care (HHS-2010-ACF-ACYF-CT-0022). The closing date is August 9, 2010 and grants are available for up to $2,500,000 for the first year and up to $3,000,000 for subsequent years.
These funds will provide cooperative agreements to States, Tribes, and counties with the goal of addressing grantee specific issues which cause children and youth to remain in foster care longer than three years. The cooperative agreements will fund activities related to reducing the length of time children and youth spend in foster care.
Click here to view the full announcement from the Children’s Bureau.
Diligent Recruitment of Families for Children in the Foster Care System
The Children’s Bureau recently released a funding opportunity announcement for Diligent Recruitment of Families for Children in the Foster Care System (HHS-2010-ACF-ACYF-CO-0012). The closing date is August 2, 2010 and grants are available for up to $400,000 per year.
The purpose of this announcement is to fund, by awarding cooperative agreements, comprehensive diligent recruitment programs for a range of resource families for children in foster care. These recruitment efforts will help in locating families for children in foster care as a means to improve the permanency outcomes for children in care.
Click here to view the full announcement from the Children’s Bureau.
2010 LEGISLATIVE SUMMIT: HUMAN SERVICES AND WELFARE COMMITTEE INFORMATION
NCSL’s 2010 Legislative Summit is quickly approaching! This year’s Summit will be held in Louisville, Kentucky beginning on July 25th. Some highlights for Legislative Summit include:
- Federal Priorities in Child Welfare: Bryan Samuels of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will provide an update on state progress in the second round of the federal Child and Family Services Reviews. An overview of potential opportunities for states in implementing provisions of the Fostering Connections to Success Act of 2008 and improving services to children and families in the nation’s child welfare system will also be discussed.
- Site Visit to Louisville South Central Neighborhood Place: Youth need supportive families and communities; opportunities to engage in positive programs outside of school and opportunities to build skills for the future. Neighborhood Place is a one-stop service center offering a single location for families to receive health care, employment assistance and other social services.
To view the full agenda with the dates, times, and locations for the Human Services and Welfare Committee sessions, click here.
NCSL CHILD WELFARE QUICK LINKS