IN THIS NEWSLETTER
WE CAN HELP YOU FOR FREE
NCSL can help state child welfare systems develop ways to safely reduce the number of children in foster care through:
- Presentations, informal briefings and testimony before committees and hearings,
- Written research and analyses, or
- Informal telephone conference calls with state child welfare administrators, legislators and legislative staff in other states to discuss their experiences with child welfare reform.
FOSTERING CONNECTIONS TO SUCCESS ACT of 2008
The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (H.R. 6893/P.L. 110-351) of 2008 helps to: connect foster children with their relatives; better coordinate the health care and education of foster children; support permanent families through relative guardianship; and enhance adoption subsidies and supports to older youth in foster care.
FOSTERING CONNECTIONS LEGISLATIVE HIGHLIGHT: Educational Stability
Under the Fostering Connections Act, each child’s state case plan must include:
- assurances that the placement of the child in foster care takes into account the current educational setting and proximity to the school;
- an assurance that the state agency has coordinated with local educational agencies to ensure the child remains in school;
- if remaining in such school is not in the best interests of the child, assurances by the state and local agencies to provide immediate enrollment and transfer of records to a new school; and
- consider reasonable travel for the child to remain in his or her current school.
Examples of enacted legislation related to the educational stability provision include:
- 2011 Arkansas SB 625, Act 591: Determines that each child in foster care be assisted so that the child can remain in his or her current school. Ensures that individuals directly involved in the care, custody, and education of a foster child shall work together to ensure continuity of educational services to the foster child.
- 2011 Colorado HB 1274,Chap. 271: Determines that for children in out-of-home placements, the Department of Human Services shall provide notification to the child welfare educational liaison of the pending enrollment in a public school. Establishes that the Department of Human Services and the Department of Education shall enter a memorandum of understanding that includes a consistent and uniform approach to sharing medical, mental health, sociological, and scholastic achievement data about students between a school district, charter school, or institute charter school and the county department of social services to better facilitate the creation of transition plans for those students and ensure the safety of the people in the school community.
In response to the Fostering Connections Act, at least 19 states enacted legislation related to the educational stability provisions of the Act during the 2009 through 2011 legislative sessions. Click here to view this related legislation.
EDUCATIONAL SUCCESS FOR CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE
On November 3-4, 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education jointly sponsored Child Welfare, Education and The Courts: A Collaboration to Strengthen Educational Successes of Children and Youth in Foster Care. The two-day meeting convened leaders in the child welfare, education and juvenile court systems for every State, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Click here to learn more about this meeting. Click here for a summary of the event.
CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT REPORTING STATE STATUTE OVERVIEW
All 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have laws and policies that specify procedures for making and responding to reports of suspected child abuse or neglect. Mandated reporters are required by most States to make an immediate report when they suspect or know of abusive or neglectful situations. NCSL has compiled information from a series of statutory reports from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau, Child Welfare Information Gateway related to mandated reporters of suspected child sex abuse. Click here to view the full compilation of information.
Additionally, NCSL is tracking introduced legislation related to the mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect. Approximately 44 bills in 14 states have been introduced in the 2012 legislative session on the reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect. Click here to view this summary of introduced legislation.
CHILD WELFARE HIGHLIGHTS
- The Government Accountability Office has released a report on the use of psychotropic medications by children in foster care. Click here for more information and to view the full report.
- The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices hosted a webinar, “The Adolescent Brain: Policy and Practice Implications for Foster Youth” on January 4, 2012. Click here to access the audio recording of the webinar and click here for the PowerPoint presentations.
NCSL CHILD WELFARE QUICK LINKS
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