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
President George W. Bush signed into law the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (H.R. 6893/P.L. 110-351) on Oct. 7, 2008. This law 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. To view a summary of the act, click here.
2009 - 2011 State Legislation
Below are summaries of state legislation from 2009 through 2011 related to various provisions of Fostering Connections including relative notification, tribal foster care, and transitional planning for older youth.
Relative Notification Provision
The relative notification provision provides that within thirty days after the child has been removed from parental custody, the state shall exercise due diligence to identify and provide notice to all adult grandparents and other adult relatives of the child. The notice will be sent to any other adult relatives suggested by the parents, subject to exceptions due to domestic violence. In response to the Fostering Connections Act, at least 18 states have introduced legislation related to the relative notification provision of the Act in the 2009 through 2011 legislative sessions. To view a summary of this legislation, click here.
Tribal Foster Care Provision
The tribal foster care provision seeks to provide equitable access to foster care and adoption services for Indian children in tribal areas. Under these provisions, all Indian tribes are allowed direct access to IV-E funds which includes services to support foster care, adoption, and independent living. The legislation contains provisions that would provide new funding for technical assistance to tribes who seek to operate the Title IV-E program and onetime start up grants of up to $300,000 each year for a maximum of two years. In response to the Fostering Connections Act, at least three states have enacted provisions relating to tribal foster care in the 2009 though 2011 legislative sessions. To view a summary of this legislation, click here.
Transitional Planning for Older Youth Provision
The transitional planning for older youth provision requires that, during the ninety day period immediately prior to a youth’s emancipation from the foster care system, a caseworker must provide the child with assistance and support in developing a personalized transition plan. Transitional planning is a necessity for youth aging out of the foster care system, as plans can be developed to account for a youth’s housing issues, financial needs, medical costs, educational opportunities, and benefits upon emancipation from the system. In response to the Fostering Connections Act, at least 14 states have enacted the mandatory provisions related to transitional planning for older youth. To view a summary of this legislation, click here.
FOSTERING CONNECTIONS RESOURCES
Fall 2011: Fostering Connections Update
This edition of NCSL’s Child Welfare Legislative Policy Network newsletter includes information and links to summaries of state legislation from 2009 through 2011 related to various provisions of Foster Connections including educational stability, kinship guardianship assistance payments for children, health oversight and coordination, state option for foster children past age 18, and sibling placements. Click here to view the newsletter.
Fostering Connections Act: State Legislative Enactment Summaries
In the 2009 and 2010 legislative sessions combined, 33 states and the District of Columbia enacted 63 different bills related to the provisions of the Fostering Connections Act. In the 2011 legislative session, state activity around the act continues. Click here for a summary of state legislation that has been introduced in the 2011 legislative session.
For more information on enacted bills in 2009, click here. For more information on enacted bills in 2010, click here.
This website is a gathering place of information, training and tools related to furthering the implementation of the Fostering Connections law. The site provides data and resources on each section of the bill. Click here to view the site.
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