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
The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act became Public Law 110-351 three years ago. 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 the 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.
The educational stability provision requires that each child in foster care shall have a case plan that promotes their educational stability. In response to the Fostering Connections Act, at least 18 states and the District of Colombia introduced legislation related to the educational stability provision of the Act during the 2009 through 2011 legislative sessions. To view a summary of this legislation, click here.
Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payments for Children
The kinship guardianship provision grants states the option to provide assistance payments to grandparents and other relatives who have assumed legal guardianship of children. At least nine states and the District of Colombia have introduced kinship guardianship provisions in response to the Fostering Connections Act. To view a summary of these enactments, click here.
Health Oversight and Coordination
The Health Oversight and Coordination provision requires oversight and coordination of health care services, including mental and dental health care, for foster care youth. In response to the Fostering Connections Act, at least three states enacted legislation related to the health oversight and coordination provisions of the Act during the 2009 through 2011 legislative sessions. To view a summary of these enactments, click here.
State Option for Foster Children After Age 18
The Fostering Connections Act provides states with the option to continue providing Title IV-E reimbursable foster care, adoption, or guardianship assistance payments to children up to the age of 19, 20 or 21 if the youth meets certain eligibility requirements. In response to the Act, at least 10 states and the District of Colombia have introduced legislation to extend foster care benefits to youth who age out of the system. To view a summary of this legislation, click here.
The sibling placement provision requires that states make a “reasonable effort” to place siblings in the same foster care, kinship guardianship, or adoptive placement, as long as such a joint placement or continued interaction would not be contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings. At least nine states have enacted legislation pertaining to the sibling placement provision of the Act. To view a summary of these enactments, click here.
FOSTERING CONNECTIONS RESOURCES
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. And, 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.
NCSL CHILD WELFARE QUICK LINKS
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